vegetable gardening

Successful Elements for Desert Vegetable Gardening

Desert vegetable gardening is a truly challenging hobby for the avid gardener. Southwest gardeners will be the first to tell you that desert vegetable gardening has its biggest dilemma in the weather. The weather is predictable, it’s hot, hot, hot!

But after accepting this fact of nature, buying a good farmer’s almanac and following these guidelines, your desert vegetable gardening experience should be a success. Success however depends on the planning of your vegetable garden. Your planning begins with the best possible location, the best soil preparation and the care after the planting of your vegetable garden. Desert vegetable gardening is not impossible and can be quite fun when following these guidelines.

Preparation of the Garden

Desert vegetable gardening starts with raised beds. Find your ideal site and begin mulching and raising your beds. Surrounding your raised beds with a wood frame is also a good idea. Next be sure that furrow irrigation is implemented. Once you have your beds raised, the irrigation should be simple to accomplish. Desert vegetable gardening should be irrigated every 7 to10 days when the temperature is below 100 degrees. Irrigation needs to be done twice weekly when the temperature goes over 100 degrees.

But also remember, desert vegetable gardening plants need less water in the cooler season. After your plants are well established and they are showing proudly in your garden, fertilization is the key. Desert vegetable gardening depends greatly on a well balanced fertilizer. Your local extension office will be happy to guide you through the mixtures for your specific area.

Additional Hints for the Garden

In order for your vegetable garden to be a success your tomatoes and peppers will need additional protection from the intense desert sun. Also, be sure to soak corn, beans, peas and squash before plantings as this will hasten their germination. The majority of desert vegetable gardening success stories have begun with transplanted seedlings versus seeds. The overall success rate in gaining beautiful vegetables is overwhelming when using seedlings.

Desert gardens fare much better when planted in spring and late winter. It is no surprise that desert vegetable gardening does not do well under the hot summer sunshine. Vegetable gardening in the Southwest is not much different than anywhere else except, of course, for the climate and water situation. Once you have tackled these two elements, your desert vegetable gardening experience should be quite a pleasant one. Your vegetables will be large and strong and your garden will be ready for next year’s planting.


Related Items

desert vegetable gardening
In the desert, fallen leaves and other organic matter mostly dry up and blow away instead of turning into rich hummus. Veggies need rich, well-drained soil, so desert gardeners need to amend with lots of compost before planting. Crumbly soil is best for planting. You can dig organic matter into your existing soil, or create a raised bed.Read more
Desert Gardening: Ideas for Your First Veggie Garden - Lowe's
Vegetable Gardening in the Desert By Katie Jensen; Updated September 21, 2017 Double the fun and double the vegetables--that's what you get with vegetable gardening in the desert. Almost any vegetable will grow as long as there is sufficient water available and some protection from the sun during the hottest part of the day during the summer months. Vegetable gardening near Phoenix, Arizona was a practice of the Hohokam Indians when they inhabited the Valley of the Sun from 300 to 1400 CE.Read more
Vegetable Gardening in the Desert | Garden Guides
Successful vegetable gardening in the high desert takes effort but is rewarding. Growing food in the high deserts of the American West is a challenge until you learn how to modify your microclimate. Not only is the high desert incredibly dry, it’s often windy, which can be a larger problem than drought. Hot or cold dry winds draw moisture out of leaves faster than the roots can replace it. If you don’t resolve the wind problem, you’ll find little success.Read more


Gardening Tip #14

When gardening, many people will opt for decorative grasses or shrubs. Monkey grass is an all time favorite, especially for a sidewalk. These will gardening plants can be for looks, can act as a border or fence, and can be used for privacy. Shrubs are easy to take care of and add a defining look to any yard or garden.