High Plains/Desert Type Gardening

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by H Diamond, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. H Diamond

    H Diamond Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2014
    Anyone on here successful at gardening in hot windy and VERY dry climates? Our humidity really never gets above 20 in the summer unless it's raining (usually in the teens and single digits). The wind blows almost every day and it's usually in the 90's.
    I come from central Illinois, and would have considered myself a decent gardener. Then I moved to SE Colorado and can't grow anything to save my life, lol. Any tips?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are some good gardeners on this forum, don’t take this wrong. But you might want to check out this forum. It’s a sister site run by the same people that bring you this forum. There is even a link to get you over there down to the right. We are a fairly small friendly community over there and spend a lot of time joking around but we get more serious when we need to. It’s a bunch of good people and some have experience that can really help you.

  3. H Diamond

    H Diamond Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2014
    Thank you :)
  4. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2013
    Tempe, AZ
    Oh it's an entirely different ball of wax than gardening back east ain't it? I have the same problems as you, except here there are extreme high temps on top of usually single digit humidity. Our summer highs are around 115 and it rarely gets below 90 for months. At least our winds aren't as bad.

    In ground gardening is difficult because of the caliche in the soil making it as hard as cement. Adding LOTS of soil amendments is a must. Locating the garden where it can get morning sun and afternoon sun helps, as well as using buildings or other structures as wind breaks. Also, when planting seeds and directions call for hills you do the opposite, you dig your garden below the ambient soil level to conserve water and keep your plants from drying out.

    Container gardening is out unless you use huge containers, which is what I do. Anything less than 20 gallons is too small a pot. I use many 30-50 gallon pots, some of which were pond components, stock tanks or half barrel liners. Just make sure it has good drainage or make it have better drainage by poking holes it the containers. Bigger pots don't dry out as fast and help insulate roots from the heat. The best thing about pots is you can move them according to the season to get more shade, sun, rain or whatever you need for the plants.

    Regardless of if the plants are in the ground or pots in summer I water EVERY day! Sometimes twice a day if I have seeds to germinate. Whether watering in-ground plants or containers you will have to soak the soil. You can't just sprinkle a little water on top and expect your plants to thrive. Remember the plants you put in below the soil in dips or troughs? They make watering easier, you just flood the troughs and none of the water goes to waste, it goes right to your thirsty plants.

    Search to see if there are any gardening organizations in your area. They can help you with your questions and may offer classes or mentoring.
    1 person likes this.
  5. My soil here in AZ is sand, so I use planter boxes. I also water 2 times a day unless we get a good rain. Some things I've planted in the ground but dug a trench and filled with potting/top soil then put in my seeds. I had a good crop of cucumbers,
    zucchini, beans and tomatoes last year.

    I now have more planter boxes in the garden area, I put together from scrap wood, that I need to fill with dirt before I can plant this year.
    I hope I have another good season with enough produce, to can in the fall. Since we have to haul our water I'm also hoping for plenty of rain.

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