50+ Desert Garden Ideas
50+ Desert Garden Ideas. One of the key ingredients to having a successful garden in the desert is mulch. The desert soil does not have and does not retain mulch. The reason for this is the hot, intense heat. So you must add mulch to the soil for the plants.
For a vegetable garden, add mulch every time you plant a new crop. We add 1 bag of forest mulch to our raised boxes between plantings. When we first set up our boxes we took regular Arizona soil and mixed mulch with it about 50/50 ratio.
The good quality about the Arizona soil is that it has a lot of clay in it so it helps retain water but because of the clay, it makes it hard for the plants to extend its roots. The mulch helps break up the clay. I was asked once if you should use just straight mulch in your raised bed. No, the mulch does not hold water very well, in the summer you plants would suffer.
For planting bushes and trees you want to dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball. Again, mix mulch with the existing soil and put it around the new plant. Tap down the soil to eliminate air. Make a well around the new plant to help retain water. Now the plant has soft nutritious soil to grow in.
Next, you want to put mulch on top of your soil, this helps retain water. Did you know that crushed granite rock is considered mulch? So if you are putting in a desert landscape, the 2-inch granite cover helps maintain the moisture in the soil. In an annual flower bed, put shredded bark or forest mulch. Replace it regularly because the hot sun breaks down bark quickly.
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