Hot, dry, desert gardening?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by andiplus8, May 14, 2020.

  1. andiplus8

    andiplus8 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have experience gardening in the desert? I'm in West Texas, so this is not a high desert where you have vegetation growing. Even the mesquite are few and far between and they only get 3 to 4 feet tall.
    Any help would be appreciated. Not even putting them in pots in the shade is working.
    TIA
     
  2. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    do a search on zuni waffle gardens. I'm a lot further east but on rock. Lots of wind and sun here. I do a modified version of this.
     
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  3. Mish

    Mish Well-Known Member

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    Are you adjusting for seasonal differences? A lot of us in the hot southwest plant things at much different times than people in more temperate climates and treat the dead of summer like winter (stop planting/expecting things to grow). Are you trying to grow directly in the ground or in raised beds with imported/improved soil?

    If you give some more information, like exactly what you're trying to do that is failing, there are a few of us on here that might be able to give some advice.
     
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  4. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO Be powerful. No other option exists. Supporter

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  5. stacieh

    stacieh Member

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    The sun is brutal where I garden as well as the heat (zone 9). Right now the only thing thriving are tomatoes & jalapenos I planted in Feb / March that have had time to establish themselves. Also, my okra does really well in the heat. When temperatures get higher than 90 degrees the beans tend to drop their flowers and not make any beans. My bean plants are pretty much done.

    The good thing is we can usually plant everything again in late August or early Sept and get another round of tomatoes and peppers. I usually use transplants, so they have a head start since the days get shorter.

    I have really better luck with my fall / winter garden growing lettuce, radish, turnips and a few cherry tomatoes. I have to cover everything from a freeze every once in awhile, but not often.

    I'm seriously considering investing in shade cloth for my garden; I think it will help tremendously with the sun scalded bell peppers. This maybe something you want to look into as well.
     
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  6. Mish

    Mish Well-Known Member

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    I've been considering this too. I can deal with the scald spots on the peppers but I end up with way too many stewed-on-the-vine tomatoes come late summer.
     
  7. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You could stagger plantings by height. A row of peppers with a row of okra on the west side of the peppers for instance. Peppers between the tomatoes. Corn west of tomatoes. Shade cloth or structures is good in the southern states. They don't call it the sun belt for no reason.
    I have peppers in large pots on the front patio. It is on the east side of the house and the house is shaded in the morning with a live oak. The patio gets direct sun for about 2 hours a day. The pepper production isn't as great there, but I put the pretty peppers there. Some pots are on the south side of the house. There they get shade early morning and late afternoon. The tubs are on the north side of the house. Just far enough out from the house to be in full sun. They require the most water by far. Usually put 5 to 10 gallons on them a day. The AC condensation is caught in a 5 gal bucket right there by them so I use it to water.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  8. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    andi, go to TAMU Hort . A&M has lots of info on there, Aggiehorticulture has guides and all kinds of information. Should have mentioned that to you earlier.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
    stacieh likes this.