Do you long to grow a lush, luxurious garden...but live in a hot, dry climate?
Desert gardening comes with its own unique set of challenges. Here are some tips to get you started.
The desert can be a beautiful place, full of majestic canyons, stunning sunsets, and exotic wildlife. But the things that make it so unique (all that sun and very little water) are exactly what make desert gardening so difficult.
At Arcadia Garden Products, we believe that everyone should have access to a garden, no matter where they are. And that includes harsh, difficult climates like the desert.
Of course, there are pros and cons to each zone, but a hot and dry climate can be the most intimidating. There are several factors to consider when planning your desert garden. You need to look at access to water (obviously!) the quality of your soil, access to light (no problem there!) and exactly what you want to grow.
Let's take a closer look at each of these to help make your desert garden spectacular!
Water is the most essential item that you will need for your plants.
All living things need water, but in a desert habitat, water is even more crucial. With a scorching sun and dry heat, plants will need adequate hydration to replenish what the sun evaporates away.
This doesn't mean "turn on the hose and keep it on." (You'd hate to pay that water bill!) You'll just have to take your plants' water levels into extra consideration.
What options are there for this?
Self-watering planters and globes are great if you’re going to be away from your plants for long periods of time. We also recommend our all natural coconut liners. Not only are they a sustainable source, they retain moisture and allow for proper circulation and drainage.
Coupled with our PSW pot collection, you’ll be well on your way to properly hydrated plants!
When planning your garden, it is important to look at your soil content. And the best way to do this is to test it first.
If you're not using potting soil, test your ground soil to see its levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (essential components to quality soil).
Most kits also test for the pH balance of the soil. Some plants do best in acidic soil, but most prefer alkaline soil. (Coco liners have a neutral pH, so they won't upset the delicate balance of your container gardens!)
Each vegetable/fruit/plant has their own range of what is optimal for them. When choosing plants to sow together, make sure to research the best nutrients and conditions for each. This will ensure a prosperous garden!
For example: herbs generally need less nutrients in the soil than vegetables. If vegetables are your main garden item, you can plant the herbs separately in one of our small planters. This helps keep the soil separate and is also good for small spaces.
It may seem odd to address light in a desert climate but it is very important to pay attention to how long plants are exposed to the sun.
The pro here is: you’ll never lack in light!
Plants need sunlight to survive, but how much is too much? Six to eight hours is the recommended amount. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can burn and/or kill your plants.
For desert gardening, find a place that gets the plant's recommended amount of sunlight. And remember, you can also put up shade when needed. This shade is affordable and covers a large area.
Short on space? One of our attractive planters can help! These are made of recycled materials and are half the weight of normal planters, so you can easily move them to a shaded area as needed.
Although it would be great to grow any fruit, vegetable, flower, or foliage in any location, your plants will do best in their preferred climate.
For example, apples don't thrive in Florida and pineapples would freeze in Alaska. In the desert, the easiest option is to select native plants that naturally thrive in your climate.
Succulents, cacti, and local wildflowers are great options that won't require much looking after. Some good vegetables and fruits for desert gardens are melons, watermelons, corn, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and cabbage.
If you'd like to choose from a wider variety of options, determine what gardening zone you live in and select plants to match. Seed packets usually feature a color-coded legend for the zones the plant will thrive in. This is what you will use to determine what grows well in your area and when.
Succulents, of course, grow very well in desert climates and do not require a lot of watering. They're also extremely trendy!
We always recommend doing a lot of research for desert gardening (or gardening in any climate). The important thing is not to get discouraged. Success sometimes depends on trial and error...or even luck. We recommend a good informational book to help you navigate your climate and garden.
Once you have laid out where you want your garden and started planting, be sure to add some decor like these birdbaths. Not only do they add a cosmetic appeal to your garden, but birds are natural pollinators and will help keep your garden healthy and bountiful! (They'll also appreciate a drink!)
Gardening is no simple task. And the harsh climate can make desert gardening even more difficult.
But with the right research—and the proper watering tools, soil nutrition, light, and plant selection—you will be well on your way to a fruitful desert garden!
And if you can't stand the idea of tending to a garden in the heat of the day, consider moving your garden indoors! With our collection of PSW Pots, you're sure to find a stylish recycled planter that complements your existing decor and helps your plants to thrive!