Category Archives: Desert

Planting area

In an effort to be more sustainable in the desert, we removed the grass that covered our front and back yards a couple of years ago.  We covered the remaining clay soil with rock and xeriscaped.  Many of our plants and trees are on drip lines under the rock to minimize evaporative losses.  In doing this, we save an immense amount of water every month.

After much discussion, we decided to build raised garden beds in the west side of our back yard.  The west side of the yard was selected because there is a concrete block wall on this side that will shade the beds from the harsh afternoon sun.  Raising the beds accomplishes two things.  We can fill the planters with good compost.  The second really important factor is all but maybe one of our four-legged critters will be kept out of the beds on their ever-continual quest for lizards.

This is the area we set aside for our raised garden beds.

Planting Area

The area is large enough for four 3′ wide x 11′ long x 2′ high raised garden beds, 2 to the south side of the ficus tree and 2 to the north.  To start this adventure, we built the 2 beds on the south side of the tree.

South Raised Beds

New Territory!

I have stepped into new territory, in more ways than one.  I am gardening in the desert AND I am blogging about it.  I have been resistant to both activities for far too long!

Let me explain… I have had gardens in many of the places I have lived.  These have all been places where you start looking at seed catalogs in January, sometimes earlier, and then start planning your garden before the snow melts.  As soon the the snow melts, you start turning the soil, preparing the earth.  Here, in the desert, it has been quite a challenge for me to wrap my brain around doing this same process when it is 110 plus degrees outside.  It just doesn’t make seasonal sense.

My resistance to blogging has been the perceived lack of human one-to-one contact.  There were two things that change this perspective:  1. Listening to Seth Godin speak about the importance of tribes in one of his TED Talks; and 2. wanting to share my experiences with desert gardening with more people than just those I see on a day-to-day basis.

So, here I go with both of these endeavors!