Zone 9 is one of the most difficult zones to grow tropical gardens in because it is so dry and hot. You need lots of water, but not too much! If you have ever lived in Florida or other warm climates, then you are familiar with these conditions. Even if your climate doesn’t match up exactly with those extremes, you can still benefit from knowing what’s out there for growing tropical gardens in zone 9.
The first thing you’ll want to do is learn about the different types of soil in zone 9. There are many kinds of soils available for tropical gardens, and each type will suit its own needs. Some require less care than others, so you might be able to grow them without any special attention at all. However, some varieties are better suited for certain conditions than others.
For example, some species may thrive in very wet areas while others prefer drier conditions. Soil types vary depending on where you live.
Soils in zone 9 are generally made up of sand, silt, clay and organic matter such as leaves and grass clippings. These materials tend to hold moisture well, which means they’re good for tropical gardens. However, some tropical plants don’t like having their roots sit in water for long periods of time. So even if you have a lot of water, you may want to look into the types of plants you’ll be growing before you decide on a soil type.
Some plants grow better in certain types of soil than others. Also, the type of soil can make a big difference to how quickly your garden grows. For example, if you have sandy soil, it drains water very quickly. Clays tend to be very moist, which is good for plants that like to grow in swamps and marshes.
The two most common types of soil you might want to consider are sand and clay. Each has its pros and cons.
When choosing a type of soil, you should consider how much water the plants you want to grow will need. If you have sandy soil that drains water very quickly, then you may want to water your plants more often than you would with clay soil.
Clay soil is known for being very good at retaining moisture, which is perfect for some plants. It can also be good for filling out your raised garden beds if you don’t add any other type of material. So if you choose to use a container rather than a wood or concrete bed, clay soil can make your life easier because you won’t have to water as often.
Soil is not the only material you can use for your raised garden beds. You can also make them out of wood, concrete or bricks. While these materials may not be as soft and nurturing as good old dirt, they do have their advantages. Many people like to make raised beds out of materials that don’t require any kind of soil at all.
Instead they use things like pebbles, sand and small rocks as the “soil.”
For example, let’s say you want to start your tropical garden in a location that doesn’t get enough sun to grow anything. No problem! You can always put your garden into a wooden box. The plants still get access to everything they need because the box is black.
Yes, you read that right. A black wooden box will act like a mini-greenhouse. Your plants will grow just fine as long as the sun hits the outside of the box.
You can also use materials like plastic to build your garden if you want something that’s a little sturdier. Just keep in mind that the plastic or wooden boxes will hold heat more than metal, so you may need to make a little vent in the top to help release some of that heat on warm days.
Raised garden beds aren’t just for people who live in colder areas, either. Even if you live someplace like Florida where it only snows a few times a year, a raised garden bed can be a good idea. For one thing, they’re easier to keep clean. Just because it doesn’t snow where you live doesn’t mean you don’t get muddy or dusty conditions just because of all the rain you get.
Raised beds can keep your plants out of the mud and dust so you don’t have to worry about contaminated soil (and having to clean it out).
How do I get started?”
The great thing about raised beds is they’re fairly easy to make. For the most part, you can build them any size and shape you want. You can even make them in any kind of material you have on hand. If you need new materials, though, don’t worry. Most home improvement stores sell wood in several sizes for cheap.
So, let’s say you’ve decided to build a 4 foot by 8 foot raised bed garden. (You can build them any size you like, but this would be a good size for a family of four or someone who really likes to eat fresh vegetables and fruit. Of course you don’t have to build a raised bed that’s four feet wide. You could make it three feet wide if you want, but you’ll need to plant the same amount of plants in it so that it doesn’t look weird.)
To build your raised bed, you’re going to need:
(6) 2″ x 6″ x 8′ boards (for the sides)
(2) 2″ x 6″
Sources & references used in this article:
Area, shape and isolation of tropical forest fragments: effects on tree species diversity and implications for conservation by JL Hill, PJ Curran – Journal of biogeography, 2003 – Wiley Online Library
Apples by J Janick – HortTechnology, 1999 – journals.ashs.org
“Garden hunting” in the American tropics by … Council (US). Panel on Underexploited Tropical Plants … – 1975 – National Academies
Physiological ecology of tropical plants by P Baggett – 2008 – Timber Press
Tropical soils and soil survey by OF Linares – Human ecology, 1976 – Springer