Friday , March 24 2017

Differences in topography often mean that local microclimates show variations from the more generalized pattern within a specific climatic region. A site in a natural dip or hollow may be relatively warm if it is protected by the wind. But if the hollow is shaded from sunshine it will be cool and may form a frost pocket in winter. Rainfall may be less in gardens in the lee of high ground than in others in the same locality but on the windward side.

A garden and its plants further modify local climate and introduce features that give rise to a microclimate specific to the garden. This may differ markedly from that of the surrounding area. To alter the existing microclimate of a garden, a gardener can readily adapt certain features to provide specific conditions.

Microclimate

Orientation
The soil in raised or sloping beds that face the sun will warm up quickly in spring, offering ideal conditions for early crops or flowers. If the soil in this area is free-draining then the place can be used for plants that prefer dry conditions.

South-facing fences and walls are excellent places to grow tender climbers, wall shrubs and trained fruit trees. Since they are in the sun for much of the day, this improves the flowering and fruiting. Walls absorb a great amount of heat during the day that is then released overnight. This can confer a few degrees extra frost protection during winter.

Wind shelter
A row of trees or on fence will provide a sheltered area for plants that might otherwise suffer from wind damage. The growing conditions on each side of such a windbreak will be different. The ground close to a hedge or fence on the leeward side will rarely receive rain and will also be sheltered from the warming effect of the sun, depending how dense the windbreak is.

Shaded areas
In the garden, areas of shade beneath tree canopies, hedger or large shrubs will receive the same sort of light as in natural woodland. These places may be suitable for plants that enjoy such an environment. If you are going to grow plants that will require a greater degree of shade, than you can grow them against north-facing walls, but keep in mind that these sites will also be colder.

A bog garden
For moisture-loving plants you can find the proper place to grow them near the edges of a pond or stream or in a low-lying part of your garden. In these places you can create the bog-like conditions in which moisture-loving plants will thrive.

Greenhouses and frames
To be able to provide a variety of microclimates in a small place, the gardener can use greenhouses, frames and cloches to obtain complete control over the nature elements. Using these structures the gardener is able to control the temperature, the amount of water, the air circulation, the amount of light that plants will receive and the type of plants that he wants to grow, as these structures allow you to grow even the most tender plants that otherwise will not survive in outdoor conditions.

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Sunlight

Sunlight plays a major role in stimulating plants growth by providing the radiant energy to raise the temperature and humidity of soil and air. For most of the plants, sunshine and a consequent high temperature encourage maximum new growth, flowering and fruiting. A warm, sunny summer will result in greatly enhanced food storage to plants and helps to firm their protective tissue, which means that better propagating material is produced and that the plants will be more resistant to the winter cold.

Daylength
The duration of daylight in a 24 hours period will vary by latitude and season. It affects flowering and fruiting of some plants which need a specific amount of daylight in a 24 hours period. According to their need of daylight, plants can be categorized as short day and long day plants. The short day plants will need less than 12 hours of daylight, while the long day plants will need more than 12 hours of daylight.

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