Can You Dig It? with Daniel “Why Virginia Is Ideal For Growing All Year Round”



Why Virginia Is Ideal For Growing All Year Round
Hands down, Virginia is the perfect place to garden. If anyone told you otherwise, they’re lying. Virginia has an ideal combination of climate, rainfall, sunshine, and soil making it not only a great state to live in if you’re a human, but also if you’re a plant.

Most people will tell you that somewhere else is better for gardening. These people are wrong.

Virginia has 4 essential gardening characteristics that make it easy to plant year round!

  1. We have a Temperate Climate with plenty of warm months and relatively mild winters.
  2. We get plenty of reliable Rain throughout the year which you can always supplement with a rain barrel or garden hose.
  3. Sunshine? We got it – the longer the days, the better for growing but it’s not a dealbreaker.
  4. Virginia Soil is rich in nutrients and great for growing and you can grow just about anywhere.

But what if those fail? Easy, its 2017 we’ve got plenty of solutions.

What if it’s too hot or too cold for an extended period of time?

  1. If it’s too hot give your plants an extra watering. This helps them handle the stress and the evaporation will cool them down a bit.
  2. In the colder weather use mulch. It traps heat in colder weather and helps keep soil temperatures and humidity levels stable.

Daniel’s Tip: Mulch is free! Apply shredded cardboard, newspaper, or egg cartons around your plants leaving about an inch away from the plant stems. Straw (never hay!), aged, shredded leaves, dried grass clipping, and compost are all great mulches. You can buy mulch at any hardware, gardening supply, or landscaping supply store. I personally recommend Pete Rose for large purchases and Home Depot for smaller needs.

Note both the handsome use of straw mulching and native flock of the rare “garden flamingos.”

What if we have a drought? Or a flood?

  1. A rain barrel is a great way to provide nutrient-rich water for your plants while saving on water bills. (Looking to buy a rain barrel? I recommend Home Depot for new or Craigslist for used.)
  2. Raised beds are great in Virginia because they allow excess water to drain out. Your plants get water but never too much.
The standard “Big Blue” rain barrel holds 55 gallons which is plenty for up to 5 raised beds.

What if it’s too sunny?

That’s not a thing. Plants love sunshine. Some more than others. Intercropping taller, bushier plants like peas and tomatoes with more sensitive plants like lettuces will provide shade in hotter weather

What if my soil isn’t great?

Getting your soil tested in Virginia is cheap and easy. If for whatever reason your dirt isn’t working out you can always buy bags of good gardening soil or compost around town to fill in a raised bed of supplement your yard.

Need a Soil Test? Virginia Tech offers very affordable, very reliable tests. Learn more here.

A few beds will provide plenty of food throughout the year.

Long story short the conditions are ideal, supplies are easy to find, and it’s always a good time to grow here in Virginia. So … what are you waiting for?

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