When searching for information on planting any type of plant, there seems to be one special thing that they all need. Good drainage! No matter where or what you are planting, drainage, for the plants health and vitality is a must. Some plants thrive in full sun and some love the cool shade, but they all need to be free of standing water. From succulents that must be kept dry to tropical plants that love the moisture, maintaining a healthy level of water and dryness is the key to a thriving plant.
If you live in the perfect environment then plant away with no worries, but for the rest of us, soil amending can be an important step that should be taken seriously. A little work ahead of time can eliminate the headache of watching your plants suffer in soil they cannot grow in, or dying all together. Although all plants ask for good drainage, that can mean different things for different types of plants and landscapes.
Your first step to figuring out how to maximize your drainage and soil quality is to figure out what type of soil your landscape has. This can be accomplished by research online that includes getting your hands dirty eventually. There are also online services that offer to soil test for you, all they need is a sample mailed in. Once you have figured out your type, there are so many ways to work with it that there are no soils that can’t be conquered! Adding organic matter (decaying matter) can help with any kind of soil and can add or decrease moisture. You may need to add minerals depending on what your soil is lacking. Sometimes shredded bark or peat moss is needed to amend the soil, and adding these can help plants establish. Compost and well rotted manure are also very beneficial to most plantings, but especially vegetables and Annual flowers. It really on depends on where you live and what the general area surrounding you is compromised of.
Soil amending, along with research on the plants that you include in your space, should get you on the right track for good drainage. Healthy plants will follow! There are always cases of trial and error, and mistakes will be made, along with plants lost. Drainage is not the only thing to consider either, so learning all you can before planting is essential. Preparation is one crucial step to ensuring long lasting, healthy, happy plants!