Garden Plants Enhances a Home’s Value
Working in the garden is either a tedious but necessary task for the typical homeowner before getting back to something more substantial. It is a pleasurable respite from the tedious but essential tasks of daily life. Most people fail to realize that gardening is one of the most complex interactions of sciences and math that they can be involved in without having a career directly involved with the sciences. Awareness of these complicated issues can make even a simple garden more productive and beautiful while reducing costs and work.
Starting with the soil and planting, the gardener works with practical geology and inorganic chemistry. Soil comprises finely ground-up rocks and minerals in sand, silt, and clay in some mixture. Knowing the pH, chemical composition, and the mix of these components in the soil is critical to properly preparing the grounds for planting. Mixed in with the mixture of sand and clay is a buildup of organic material, initially naturally occurring compost and mulch. The resulting mixture is what a garden’s “dirt” is composed of. Understanding what is there typically leads you to apply necessary amendments properly. Add to that is the understanding of the physics of water drainage to ensure that a productive garden does not become only a water retention pond.
After the soil is prepared, the gardener enters the world of botany and biology. Plants are selected for their adaptability to the soil type and weather conditions of the specific area. If the gardener starts from seeds or adapting existing plants, they enter the field of plant propagation, genetics, and plant potential. When a plant fails, it is often the result of selecting a plant that is not well suited to the local conditions. Buying plants not suited to an area is an expensive waste.
After the garden is developed and planted, the gardener begins the often tedious garden maintenance tasks, and the potential work and money savings can begin. Fertilization and plant feeding are chemistry applications as all plants need access to sixteen essential chemical elements to reach their true potential. As complex as this issue appears to be for many people, it is surprising when the gardener does the math. Most of these sixteen elements are naturally available and of little concern, but five or six require regular addition. The temptation is to buy a standard mix of chemicals and spread them massively. The cost for chemicals is expensive since much of this will be wasted and will run off to create problems elsewhere. Basic math will show that the amount of plant food is usually measured in teaspoonfuls per plant or perhaps a cup for a whole area.
Finally, calculating the amount of water needed for a garden can dramatically reduce the owner’s water bill as most gardens are over-watered, and the runoff is wasted. That becomes even more important as the conservation of freshwater is becoming more critical in many areas.
To be an active gardener requires an understanding of a lot of different elements. Underlying all of these are the basics of science and math that many people groaned about in school. But with some introductory study and understanding, a home gardener can use these tools to bring their garden to its full potential and save time, effort, and money in the process.