Best Garden Plants For Virginia in 2023
Virginia Woolf's Garden: The Story of the Garden at Monk's House
National Wildlife Federation(R): Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife, Expanded Second Edition (Creative Homeowner) 17 Projects & Step-by-Step Instructions to Give Back to Nature
Native Plants of the Southeast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 460 Species for the Garden
Tough Plants for Southern Gardens
The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife (How to Create a Sustainable and Ethical Garden that Promotes Native Wildlife, Plants, and Biodiversity)
Mid-Atlantic Gardener's Handbook: Your Complete Guide: Select, Plan, Plant, Maintain, Problem-Solve - Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C.
Mid-Atlantic Month-by-Month Gardening: What to Do Each Month to Have A Beautiful Garden All Year
Best Garden Plants for Virginia
Mid-Atlantic Getting Started Garden Guide: Grow the Best Flowers, Shrubs, Trees, Vines & Groundcovers (Garden Guides)
Virginia Trees & Wildflowers: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Plants (Wildlife and Nature Identification)
Wildflowers of the Western Chesapeake: Washington DC, Maryland & Virginia: A Guide to Common & Rare Native Species (Quick Reference Guides)
Historic Virginia Gardens: Preservations by the Garden Club of Virginia
Historic Virginia Gardens: Preservation Work of The Garden Club of Virginia, 1975â€“2007
Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist's Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia (Southern Gateways Guides)
The Pleasure Gardens of Virginia: From Jamestown to Jefferson (Princeton Legacy Library)
Gardening in Montana: Tips for Success in Growing Things in a Harsh Climate
Listed are three strategies I employ to have a successful garden in MT each year.
Nearly all of Montana has alkaline soil. What this means is that either you must try and raise the ph of the soil (meaning to make it more acidic) or try and limit yourself to plants that can thrive in an alkaline soil. Having a soil that is too alkaline presents a problem in that it "ties up" soil nutrients and prevents them from being accessed easily by the roots of the plants. A good idea before you get started with trying Gardening in Montana is to have the soil tested for its ph level. You can buy test kits at most home improvement centers. By adding Sulpher to the soil you can raise the ph to a more acceptable level. I use granular tablets that come in a 50 lb bag. These tablets dissolve in water so they gradually ease into the soil. It is a good idea to add these long before you begin to work the soil so that the soil has time to absorb them. Most of the soil that you will encounter in MT is clay like in structure. This is both good and bad. Clay soils have a lot of nutrients in them and water is slow to soak in. But because of its density it's hard for the plant to be able to access all of the nutrients. This means it is a good idea to try and amend the soil. You can do this by adding compost and things such as soil pep which will help break up the soil. I would also recommend rototilling the soil before planting to further this process. Now that your soil is ready you can begin with the next phase.
In selecting plants for Montana it is important to keep in mind what you are going to put the plant through long winters, strong winds, drought, and heat. Most nurseries have helpful staff that should be able to help you with your plant selection. You will also find that in most gardening books there are lists of plants for MT that should be able to survive here. I recommend Sunsets Western Garden book. It has each region in the West broken up by its climate zone and I think it does a better job than most books of pin pointing an exact region of a states exact climate. We are blessed with a nice warm growing season with plenty of sunshine. Plants that seem to do well here are hackberries and lilacs, annual vegetables and flowers and wind tolerant perennials. To help get your plants through the winter you can add mulch around them and provide them with extra water.
The growing season in MT is from 110 to 140 days long. Since we have such a short growing season it is important to get off to a good start before the season is upon us to insure success. By getting plants started indoors about three weeks before the last frost you can get a jumpstart on things. I like to buy seeds and peat pellets and start my plants in a nice location next to a window indoors. It is important to cover them with clear plastic and place them in a sunny location. Once they start to grow I move them under a shop light. Shop lights are great because they use very little energy and seem to do a good job of getting things going. The key is to place the light very close to the seedlings otherwise they won't get enough light to grow. In about three weeks you should be ready (if weather permits) to transplant your seedlings outdoors. It can be a good idea to do this gradually, meaning maybe putting the seedlings that you have in a container outside for a few hours the first few days and then bring them inside so that they can begin to adjust to natural sunlight. Now you are ready to begin Gardening in Montana! Good luck!