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trying first garden

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hoping to get a little help from the real pros. My wife & i are thinking of starting our own samll garden. We live in Bullhead City, AZ where most of the summer its at least 110 everyday. Also the ground is very hard & old river bed. My question is when should I plant & do I need to do somehting to the ground first?
post #2 of 8


Hello RealTorTerry,

I would suggest building some raised beds which will allow you to control the water input using drippers if you want and also allow you to add really good soil. The beds can be mended on a yearly basis ( we add 1 bag of cow manure and about a third of a bag of Peat) You can add as many boxes as you deem needed. Here are a few pics of our garden as an example. These were taken during the spring, its way grown now.

And we even have one of these!! YIKES!!!!

We can plant here in Utah a week or two before mothers day.

Good luck

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks, is the manure & peat what i should use as a staring base
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
how deep should the boxes be?
post #5 of 8
Hey Terry.

18 or so inches would be plenty. The manure and peat or compost out of our compost bin are what we add every year to supplement the soil. We filled the boxes initially with good top soil from a local nursery. Also google square foot gardening, its a popular way to grow plants in a small area. There are lots of book written on it and plenty of info to be found. We dont really use this method but be aware that its out there.

post #6 of 8
I think raised beds would be a good way to go.
Having lived in Arizona I know the soil isn't prime planting soil. Buying enough dirt to fill the raised beds could get expensive so you can always try to find free dirt/compost and mulch.
Another idea that would take a little while would be to begin changing your ground into good soil by adding manure/compost, working it in and after a year you should be able to plant in the soil. Just remember that some things you would plant (even tomatoes) will need to be planted deep. When you put maters in the ground it is recommended to bury about 75% of your plant.
Do you have any compost piles going? We have 2 compost bins and 3 piles here. Great way to get premium soil and great way to rid yourself of kitchen scraps (no bones, no dairy and no animal fats) but any veggies/fruits, egg shells, dryer lint, even human hair can be composted.
Make sure your garden will have plenty of shade. Lots of plants won't produce fruit if the temperature is too high and you don't want to lose any plants or fruits to sun scald.
ALX has lots of gardening experience, I'm sure he'll be along eventually to offer some advice.
post #7 of 8
I make my own compost.Peat moss is worthless in my opinion.Start a veggie scrap pile from your table scraps.You should plot the sun path on future garden and plant accordingly.Obviously peppers can handle alot of direct sun, but plants like tomatoes just stop when overwhelmed.Build your soil and as mentioned raise beds with organic matter give you food for crop and drainage etc...

You can use manure.I dont anymore cause all the local horsefarms load the animals up with anti-biotics etc and most passes thru them...uggghhh
When i have used animal manures i composted it hot.I use thermometers ......I have never bought manure or compost- don't trust it.

If your dedicated to this- P.M. me and i can give you some source links to desert growing that i have found reputable etc..
post #8 of 8
What he said. You need to know the sunlight requirements of what you're planting. peppers will do fine in heat, as lonf as you water them. I use a drip hose for my peppers.
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