The Secret to Desert Landscaping

There is no doubt that desert landscaping is challenging. Deserts receive very little rainfall. The soil in a desert tends to be rocky with few nutrients, and lastly, the weather fluctuates from extremely hot to extremely cold. Creating a delightful desert landscape, however, is not out of bounds, especially if you follow these helpful tips.

Preparation is key

First, preparation is the key to a successful desert landscape. There are three strikes against you at the onset: weather, soil and water. Know your particular climate. There is a big difference between the soil in Southern California’s high desert and its low desert. Asking local professionals and nurseries is a solid way to find answers to your specific questions.

For example, drainage may be a factor in your landscape, making the construction of raised beds essential rather than digging holes in the ground. The lack of nutrients in soil can also present a problem. If the soil is known to be affected by sodium salts, a particular course of action needs to be taken to counter the detrimental effects of the mineral. Sometimes desert soil is known to be devoid of all nutrients, so a certain amount of mulch or compost and other additives may be necessary.

desert landscaping

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/magical-world/2672038399/

Get Familiar with Desert Plants

Second, become knowledgeable about cacti and tumbleweeds. There are hundreds of varieties that bloom and flower in stunning ways. Some cacti can even provide the dual purpose of being useful outside the garden, like aloe. Although cacti are legendary for their ability to survive in a desert, most cacti do present a problem where drainage is concerned. By being cognizant of this challenge, you can depend on cacti to thrive in the temperature extremes with no problems and little watering.

Another valuable tip is to take a trip around your area and discover what plants are native. Native grasses, shrubs, trees and wildflowers will have already adapted to their climate and therefore be easier to grow and maintain. A walk around the block may be all you need to discover wonderful additions to your garden. Perhaps a local hike would be even more eye opening and informative to what can already blossom in the harsher conditions of your home.

Be Creative

Next, when it comes to desert landscape, a little creativity is in order. This kind of gardening is not simply digging holes in the ground and dropping in seeds. Experimenting with raised beds, hanging plants and potted plants can add a good deal of versatility to the landscape. Adding walls can provide a great space for vines to creep up and bloom as well as all important shade to keep partial sun plants safe.

Consider your Water Sources

Lastly, saving water is key to the desert garden. If possible, before you strike ground, you want to create a drip irrigation system which is aimed at the roots of the plants and uses far less the water than conventional sprinkling. This type of system is expensive, so another way to save water and money is to create your own system that harvests rain water. Step by step videos and directions can be found with a search on any internet search engine.

The Garden Gate and A Z Landscape Maintenance can provide you with many desert landscaping ideas that are ideal for the Tucson, AZ desert environment.

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