Vegetable gardening in Arizona has challenges. Gardening tips that may work in other climates, often don’t apply to gardening in the low desert of Arizona. Yet, growing a successful vegetable garden in the desert is absolutely possible and soon enough you’ll be preparing your salads from your backyard garden!
Benefits of vegetable gardening in Arizona:
-Ability to garden outdoors year-round.
-Abundant sunshine – necessary for all living things.
Challenges of vegetable gardening in Arizona:
-Extreme heat. A few vegetables (okra, Malabar spinach, Armenian cucumbers) tolerate the heat and continue producing. Some die, and others go into dormancy only to take off again when the humidity of late July or August sets in.
-Low humidity. Many desert-adapted plants such as cactus, succulents, and plants with waxy leaves are adapted to less humidity. However, most vegetables and garden plants need more moisture in the air to grow well in the low desert of Arizona.
SUCCESSFUL GARDENING TIPS
Take advantage of microclimates in your yard:
-Some parts of the yard will be warmer or cooler than others. Use those areas to your advantage by growing plants whose requirements match up to the specific microclimate available.
-Notice in your yard which areas receive the most sun and shade during different seasons of the year. Learn the sun requirements and heat tolerance of different plants. Consider adding shade parts of the garden that need it during the hottest times of the year. Take advantage of the shade provided by larger plants to interplant different crops.
Water your Arizona vegetable garden correctly:
-Vegetables and fruits do not produce well if they are stressed. Problems in the garden can often be traced back to watering – not enough, too much, or inconsistent water. Plants become stressed and are more prone to diseases and insects.
-Spend time in your garden each day. You will notice the watering needs of your plants and be alerted to issues with your watering system.
-Water in the morning. Wilted leaves at midday don’t necessarily mean a plant needs water; always test soil a couple of inches deep to see if the soil is dry before giving droopy plants more water. They will probably recover once the sun goes down.
Looking for a new yard to start your garden? Call me today!