The desert is dry and generally hostile to plants. Most deserts have an average rainfall of only a few inches per year and the humidity is uncomfortably low all through the year. Watering a desert garden depends on the type of plant and soil type. Use more water during the summer.
The desert's temperature averages over 100 degrees F during the summer and averages 30 degrees F during the winter.
Desert soil lacks fertility and is high in salt; native plants have adapted to these conditions. Leech salt out of the soil by flushing the soil with a large amount of water to carry the salt away.
Amending the soil with organic matter improves soil structure, helps drainage, benefits soil microorganisms, holds moisture and adds nutrients to the soil.
Planting your desert garden in a raised bed benefits plants by placing the growing area higher than the surrounding ground.
Use seedling transplants that were started indoors to give your plants a head start before the heat of the summer hits your garden.
Use a mulch of straw or cloth to control weed growth, conserve water and lower soil temperature by about 20 degrees F. This helps counter the issues of planting in the desert.
- Becoming a Desert Gardener
desert gardening, desert landscaping, information on desert planting
About this Author
Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.