When starting a home garden, there are many factors to take into consideration. You will need to plan for sun exposure, determine the proper soil to use, and so much more. Are you and your family ready to plan a home gardening project? Take a look at these home gardening tips to help you build a garden that you can enjoy for years to come.
Pick a Spot for Your Plot
You’ll want to choose a spot that will protect your plant from the wind, which could rob the plants of moisture. If you have trees or bushes in your yard, you may be able to use them to provide afternoon shade for your garden. An alternative to in-ground gardening is planting in containers. Containers are not only movable, but they also allow you to keep your plants happy because the soil is contained in a single area. Additionally, you can also use a hoop house that uses a plastic roof over bent metal or PVC tubing. They offer a controlled environment that can provide wind protection, humidity control, and insect control.
Mind the Sunshine
Once you’ve chosen the perfect gardening spot, the next thing to consider is the sun. Most desert cities have abundant sunlight, and most fruits and vegetables can handle hours of it! When you select the plants you want to grow, check the label to see what kind of sunlight they require. They will typically be labeled “full sun” or “partial sun.” This will help you determine where to place them in your garden. Your local nursery staff is a great tool too! Ask questions about the plants you plan to purchase and get home gardening tips to help your plants thrive.
Set the Right Foundation
The soil you grow your plants in will provide the much-needed nutrients to help them grow. While the hard desert soil in Southern Nevada makes it difficult to plant, a mixture of native desert soil and planting soil is recommended. Experts also suggest incorporating some organic matter/compost to help build fertile, healthy garden soil. Additionally, you’ll also want to put mulch around the base of your plants to keep the soil and roots cooler, as well as prevent evaporation. Examples of mulch materials include wood chips, shredded leaves, and straw — the soil under an ample layer of straw could be up to 20 degrees cooler than soil without mulch.
Don’t Forget to Water
Water is often the most challenging aspect of gardening in a desert climate. In Southern Nevada, drip irrigation is the preferred method and can be designed to deliver water where and when you want. The benefit of this technique is that the water is delivered directly to the plants’ base and not wasted on the pavement, empty land, or leaves. Watering practices like this allow for minimal water waste and keep your water bills low while you do your part to conserve this natural resource. Here are a few tips to help you avoid a spike in your water bill:
- Water your plants in the early morning or late evening – this allows the plants ample time to absorb the water and avoid evaporation.
- Keep an eye on your irrigation system to avoid wasteful leaks.
- Stick to one long soak as opposed to several shorter ones throughout the day.
- Carefully water the plants by hand or use a scheduled drip irrigation system.
Keep in mind that water recommendations vary based on the specific makeup of the soil and what types of plants are being grown. You should regularly check the soil to ensure it feels like a “well-wrung-out-sponge.” If the roots are sitting in soil that is too wet, the roots could stop working.
Decide What to Plant
When selecting the plants you wish to include in your home garden, you will need to consider maintenance needs and your climate zone. The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s Planting Calendar for Las Vegas can help you identify the best time to start planting fruits and vegetables in your garden. Some great choices include tomatoes, kale, squash, and soybeans. Herbs also make a great addition to any home garden. Consider adding sage, rosemary, thyme, or oregano into the mix. Not only are they fragrant, but they can also be added to just about any dish for some added flavor.
Starting a home garden is the perfect opportunity for you and your family to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables that come right from your backyard. Are you searching for a new home where you can build a garden and show off your green thumb? Take a virtual tour of move-in ready homes at Inspirada to help you find your dream home today!