What to Grow
The most important thing to keep in mind is what you and your family love to eat. Luckily, the vast majority of vegetables thrive in our climate when given the proper care. Some popular favorites that are easy to grow include carrots, onions, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, radishes, sugar snap peas and green beans. A good rule of thumb for beginners choosing seeds is that the shorter the gestation time, the more successful it will likely be. For your first attempt, it might be a good idea to stick mostly with plants that gestate within 60 days. Once you’ve gained a bit of experience, there’s really not much you can’t grow here in the Valley. From watermelons for your summer barbecues to citrus perfuming your yard in winter, there are very few varietals that are off-limits..
Choosing When and Where
While most vegetables need a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day, here in the desert Southwest the bigger concern is too much sun. Try and find a spot for your garden that gets good morning sun but is also shady in the afternoon. In terms of size, it’s best to start small; you can always expand to a larger garden later, and you’ll actually get a second opportunity later in the year as most vegetables have two growing seasons per year in Arizona. For most seeds, planting anytime between November and March works out well; just keep in mind that frosts can happen as late as the end of January/early February, so you’ll need to keep plants covered if you plant them before the last frost.
The Importance of Soil
The drawback to gardening in Arizona is that you’ll have to compensate for very poor soil quality. To have thriving, vegetable producing plants, you’ll want no more than 20-50 percent native soil – the lower the percentage, the better results you’ll see.. You’ll need to mix the native soil with compost and gardening soil. If you’d rather bypass the soil problem altogether, you can plant in a raised soil bed – this process does not require native soil and helps ensure your soil is up to the quality needed to give your plants the nutrients they need. Here are instructions for building your own soil bed or you can buy a kit.
What Else Should You Know About Gardening for Luxury Housing in Arizona?
Have fun! Check out Pinterest for a host of great ideas about designing and growing your Arizona garden, and give us a call to find out more about creating the perfect home at which to build your garden.