You can make your gardening life a lot easier by simply choosing the right plant for each spot in your garden.
Gardening can seem difficult, plants get too much sun or too little. They get too much water or too little. They get besieged by bugs or disease. A plant can sometimes be too big or too small for the spot it is occupying. Plants succumb to dogs and kids running wild. In short, a lot of things can happen to challenge your plants, but you can make your gardening life a lot easier by simply choosing the right plant for each spot in your garden. This is often referred to as right plant, right place.
The whole concept behind right plant, right place is that if you choose plants that are well-suited to the location where they are planted they will perform well with limited additional input. Plants that are well suited to their site will establish quickly, they will have a healthy root system, and be healthier plants. Healthy plants will be much better equipped to withstand problems than those who are struggling with an environment. Think of it a bit like Goldilocks, while you can eat porridge that is too hot or too cold, or sit in a chair that is too big or too small, or sleep in a bed that is too hard or too soft, just right is a lot better.
Healthy plants growing in ideal conditions will be less likely to become diseased. The same way we are less likely to catch a cold if we are well-rested and healthy. Healthy plants are also less likely to be adversely affected by insect damage. If a few insects munch on healthy plants, the plants are likely to shrug off the damage and keep on growing and flowering. If unhealthy plants are munched on by insects, the plants have less energy to deal with the invading pest and will be more adversely affected.
So how do you make right plant, right place work for you? It is really very simple. First you want to evaluate your local conditions, not just for your garden, but the general environment. Do you have long, hot, humid summers? Are they hot, but dry? Is it milder with cool nights, even when the days are hot? Do your conditions tend to be wet, dry or somewhere in between? Also think about what plants grow in your area naturally. If you are in the prairie states, logically prairie plants will automatically be well-suited to your environment, which is not to say that there isn’t a whole host of other plants that will also do well for you. While I think it is good to consider native plants, you don’t need to limit yourself to them.