Do-It-Yourself Desert Gardening & Lanscaping

by Editor on June 10, 2013


Those that are new to a desert landscape may find it extremely difficult gardening in hard clay surrounded by prickly plants. With springtime well underway, no doubt the itch is getting strong to get growing once again.

Begin by setting a goal for yourself. Perhaps you’d like to plant vegetables in the desert or just start off with a few flowering plants or herbs. It usually pays to start small. While you plan, look at some local gardens to get some inspiration.

Be sure to have all the materials that you are going to need for your project; these necessities include sunscreen, gloves, and a hat that provides sufficient coverage. A shovel and a hand trowel are also important – everything else you can buy as you go.

In southwestern deserts there are typically two growing seasons – fall and spring,which means that March and October are generally great months for planting. But the truth is, you may plant something virtually any day of the year if you have the know-how.

Knowledge of gardening demands knowing and understanding soil. Clay-based, alkaline soil isn’t ideal for most gardens, but it’s great for growing desert plants. So if you’re hoping for vegetables and flowers, you’ll need more nutrients – organic matter. Blend native soil with compost in equal measures. You can buy good soil from a nursery if you’re using small containers, but never buy soil for houseplants and use it outdoors.

If you’re new to a desert region, as much as you don’t want to underestimate the watering needs of your desert garden, be equally aware that overwatering occurs frequenting among newcomers. With that in mind, try to only purchase plants that are adapted to the local climate. The lure of tropical plants that are beautifully displayed at home-improvement stores have been the bane of many new desert gardeners.

For the gardener who is serious about the craft, you may opt to take a master-gardener course. Finding a course in desert gardening will give you a knowledge of desert soil, desert adapted plants, watering needs, regional pests, and much more.

Ultimately, you must not be afraid to fail, since your greatest achievements result from a willingness to give it a go. There is much to be learned in desert gardening as in life, which is commonly through trial and error. Be aware, however, that you’re likely to wind up with a lot of dead plants before you come to understand which ones need afternoon shade and which need amended soil. But remember, experimenting is part of the pleasure.

If you feel that your home would look much better with a desert landscape, be sure to turn to home improvement and gardening magazines and websites for advice, how-to guides, and inspiration. Getting started is the hard part, once you get the ball rolling, you’ll have transformed your yard into a desert oasis in no time. On the same note, if you don’t have the time or energy to do the job yourself, consider hiring professional gardeners to do the job, as they can likely do it in a matter of days.

About the Author

My name is George and I enjoy sharing all things to do with residential construction, including where to find the best Phoenix custom home builder, landscaper, and interior designer to match a project’s needs.

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