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How Vinyl or Cedar Fence Installations Can Be Used to Create a Microclimate

April 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 197

The atmospheric zone where the climate is different from its surrounding area is known as a microclimate. They can range in size and can be naturally formed in the environment (such as bays, valleys, basins, etc.) or can be created in order to preserve materials on display or in storage (such as in museums).

Gardeners can also create a microclimate in their backyard by carefully placing a cedar or vinyl fence installation and arranging the surrounding plants. The purpose of placing a vinyl or cedar fence installation is to help make an area in a garden cooler, wetter, or less windy.

How to Use a Fence to Create a Microclimate

Creating a successful microclimate involves careful planning, such as where to build your vinyl or cedar fence installation, the manner in which you do so, the types of plants you will have, and so forth in order to enjoy a fruitful garden year-round. Keep in mind that your cedar or vinyl fence installation will affect the amount of sun and your plants receive.

1. Know the temperatures in your yard. By placing a thermometer and rain gauge in each microclimate in your backyard (such as the shady, cool, and damp areas under trees or the warmer and drier areas near fences) and noting the temperature reading twice a day for at least two weeks, you will be able to familiarize yourself with the different temperatures found in your backyard.

2. Make a map. Note the location of your home, surrounding trees and shrubs, outbuildings, your vinyl or cedar fence installation, and other structures. Then mark the different microclimates you have found in your backyard. Then you can indicate where shadows are cast by the fence, trees, and other large objects. It may be a good idea to include some note regarding the direction the winds prevail.

3. Learn more about the plants that you want to grow. Knowing the amount of sun, spacing suggestions, watering needs, and ideal growing conditions of plants you want to grow is important.

4. Use the sunny side as a mini-greenhouse. You can lean an old window or use a clear sheet of plastic against the side of the fence to create a cold-frame. You can then plant perennials under the covered area.

5. Place fragile plants and train new trees on the sunny side. This will help protect them from the wind. Incorporating a Plexiglas overhang onto the top of a cedar fence can help early-blooming fruit trees.

6. Use the shady side for cool-season crops, peas, lettuce or brassicas. On the shady side of a cedar fence installation, hang a shelf and line it with pots filled with seedlings. This method helps seedlings acclimate to the weather without getting scorched.

7. Plant a garden in a small yard by creating a sub-microclimate on the shady side. On the side of the garden bed that is farthest away from the fence, place stakes. Then place eyebolts towards the top of the fence, align them with the stakes, and tie twine around each stake and corresponding eyebolt. Climbing plants (like peas or beans) should be grown near the stakes and trained to grow up the twine, which will create shady spots for plants that need it. Shade-loving plants (like lettuce) should be grown closer to the fence.

Fence lines can create their own microclimates which makes them naturally productive gardening areas. Keep an eye on the plants that flourished and struggled along your vinyl or cedar fence installation and make adjustments as necessary.

Visit our website to read more about how to create a microclimate in your backyard using a cedar or vinyl fence installation. www.RicksFencing.com, one of the Pacific Northwest's largest decking and fencing retailers, offers design, service, and installation of fencing and decking as well as advice for creating a flourshing garden using these materials.

Source: EzineArticles
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