Growing Food in the Desert
Times are changing. As we tumble forward at the speed of light in the digital age, it becomes more important than ever to slow the pace for a moment and make room for outdoor activities and meals with the family. Tending to a vegetable garden is one of the most rewarding traditions you can carry on to your children.
With two long planting seasons, Arizona is a great region to create a space in your backyard where you can enjoy growing different types of crops.
Although we live in a pretty hot desert, you can grow more crops here than most people think is even possible. It also makes fun memories and delicious meals with your family. Citrus trees help to create an edible landscape with dappled shade to help protect smaller plants from the afternoon sunshine.
Tomatoes, from bite-sized Super-Sweet cherries to two-pounder heirloom Cherokee Purples, will be sure to liven up your garden and your plate. You can also grow peppers, squash, and melons in every color of the rainbow. Just imagine the joy that comes from lighting up your family dinner and holiday spreads with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and herbs that all came from your soil and hard work!
Your urban farm will be beneficial for your wallet and health. It will also be something the entire family can participate in and enjoy together, even the kids!
An excellent activity for kids to do is to be in charge of watering the garden daily. This will help them learn where food comes from and how to grow it. They can also learn more about soil health and check out the cool worms hidden in the dirt! Kids will be able to see their hard work grow daily and eventually get to enjoy the food they grew with their own hands too.
There's no doubt it will help them eat more veggies, too! Seeing the payoff of their hard work is something that will stick with your kids for a lifetime.
There are a few key things to be mindful of when growing vegetables in Arizona. In a place where there is so little rainfall, keeping up on your watering schedule is the number one priority for healthy trees and plants. Irrigation systems can help immensely with this task.
Another thing to keep in mind is how much sun exposure each plant will need. The sun can be brutal in this region, so a simple install of some shade cloth makes all the difference.
Pests on Your Trees and Plants
Remember to inspect your garden daily for any pests or abnormalities so you can nip them in the bud before they cause real problems to your crop.
Remove Ripe Fruit and Damaged Fruit/Branches/Foliage
Check your plants often and remove any fruit that's ripe and ready to be picked and any plant material that seems unsightly. This will help your plant focus their energy on producing food more efficiently.
Planting some colorful flowers such as Marigolds, Pentas, Poppies, and Autumn Sage will increase your yield by keeping pollinators happy and coming back for more in your garden.
Last but not least, be sure to fertilize your garden! This step is crucial. Our desert soil is very barren, so once those roots soak up all the good stuff, it's time to add some extra food, so they are getting the nutrients they need to grow strong.
Click here to see all the fertilizer products we have to offer for all landscapes.
Moon Valley Nurseries has everything to get you started today.
Here at Moon Valley Nurseries, we have everything you need to get started on your flavorful family adventure. From the perfect starter plants to the premium organic soil and fertilizer, to the friendly and knowledgeable nursery professionals happy to help you grow, we've got you covered!