The Valley of Hartley is not an easy climate to grow plants in – hot summers, cold winters, strong winds, frosty springs, erratic rainfall – variations in soil types….and changing boundaries in climatic expectations.
Yet some people have created paradisal gardens in places you’d never expect.
Here are some hints to growing in this area which may be useful – especially if you’re new to the valley.
Winter Gardening Tips from Grant Maundrell, Landscape Architect
Going into winter it is a good time to learn from the hot dry summer we have just had. We have had some good autumn rain but that alone won’t prepare us for another dry summer. Now is the time to mulch your gardens and start to build up organic matter in the soil. Remember to use a mulch that has a variety of organic material in it. With evaporation levels dramatically reduced in winter, it is much easier to decompose organic material despite the slower decay rate due to lower temperatures. This is simply because the moisture is held in the mulch and soil and not baked away as it can during a dry summer. This moisture brings the soil to life which is of benefit to plants directly but furthermore it will recharge soil moisture to a useful depth. That way, going into spring and summer, you have the moisture levels to take advantage of a rise in temperature without heavy watering. This among other strategies can drought proof your garden but it requires preparation in anticipation of dry events not a reaction to them. May 2014