Whether you are planting seed starts or cuttings there are certain requirements for healthy plant growth. Below is a list of important factors to consider for a successful garden.
Temperature - Plants grow well only within a limited temperature range. Temperatures that are too high or too low will result in abnormal development and reduced production. Warm-season vegetables and most flowers grow best between 60° and 75° or 80° F. Cool-season vegetables such as lettuce and spinach should be grown between 50° and 70° F.
Light - All vegetable plants and many flowers require large amounts of sunlight. Proper indoor lighting might be required when using a greenhouse, depending on the time of use it is used. A garden needs at least 8 to 10 hours of direct sunlight each day to produce healthy happy plants. Adequate spacing between plants will ensure that each plant receives sufficient light in the greenhouse. Greenhouse plants will not do as well during the winter as in the summer. Shorter days and cloudy weather reduce the light intensity and thus limit production. Most plants will do better if grown from January to June or from July to December than if they are started in the fall and grown through the midwinter months.
Water. Providing the plants with an adequate amount of water is a priority, especially during the hot summer months. If a plant is not kept sufficiently moist, the plant roots will dry out and some will die. Even after the proper moisture level has been restored, the plants will recover slowly and production will be reduced.
Water quality should also be considered. Water with excessive alkalinity or salt content can result in a nutrient imbalance and poor plant growth. Softened water may contain harmful amounts of sodium. Salt levels greater than 0.5 millions or 320 parts per million are likely to cause an imbalance of nutrients. It is generally a good idea to have your water tested before you start your garden.
Oxygen -. Plants require oxygen for respiration to carry out their functions of water and nutrient uptake. In soil adequate oxygen is usually available, but plant roots growing in water will quickly exhaust the supply of dissolved oxygen and can be damaged or killed unless additional air is provided.
Mineral Nutrients - Plants must absorb certain minerals through their roots to survive. In the garden these minerals are supplied by the soil and by the addition of fertilizers such as worm castings, manure, compost, and fertilizer salts. The essential elements needed in large quantities are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Micronutrients - iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, and chlorine are also needed but in very small amounts.
We carry a select variety of high quality soils, earth worm castings, compost, and manures in bags and 1 yard totes. We also stock high quality mineral nutrients, guanos and blends that will help your garden thrive. We carry The Worm Farm Earthworm Castings and many other high quality soil and nutrient products from Down To Earth and Sparetime Supply.