What to plant in an Arizona Garden
Gardening in Arizona can seem like a tough concept, especially if you grew up in other parts of the United States. The summer months in Arizona are rough! They should actually be treated like winter months, as in it is not the time to sow seeds. The good news is that you can do some planting in the spring months. You just have to first choose the right vegetables and then follow the tips below to know what to plan in an Arizona Garden.
If you are ready to create your garden in March, the following are some of the best things to plant:
- Beans (snap)
If you are ready to start planting your garden in April, these are the best options for your spring Arizona garden:
- Beans (snap)
- Peas (southern)
- Summer Squash
It’s all about the location
Finding just the right spot to start your garden is the first key to success. Ideally, you want to start small to ensure you picked the right real estate. You want your garden to receive enough sunlight, but not too much either. It is a fine balance.
You should aim for your plants to receive about 6 hours of sunlight per day. Ideally, you want your plants to receive morning sun and afternoon shade. You probably know firsthand just how scorching hot the Arizona sun can be in the afternoon. You can even plant additional trees around your garden for more shading opportunities.
As stated above, you want to start with a small garden in Arizona. Growing a garden here can be finicky and you do not want to waste your resources. Even those with superb green thumbs can find this climate to be tricky. A good place to start is with a 4X4 bed. Many nurseries and home goods stores have these beds already pre-built and ready to go.
Being thoughtful about the choice of soil is also very important to the success of your garden. The soil is what gives nutrients to your seeds and will determine the flavor of your veggies.
As you probably know, the native soil here is not very sufficient. Therefore, it should be mixed with compost, and/or gardening soil. At a minimum, you only want to use about 20-50% native soil.
How much water should you use in your vegetable garden? Most of your vegetables in your garden need to be watered at least one foot deep. You can use a ruler or other device to measure how deep your water is. Keep in mind that overwatering your garden is just as harmful as not watering it enough. If your plants receive too much water, they can lose oxygen. It can also result in diseases to your plants and the surrounding vegetation.
You want to have the most basic gardening tools available to you. This includes a shovel and a spade. Also just as important are a spading fork, hoe, wheelbarrow and rake. Additionally, you may want to purchase gardening gloves and knee pads.
Other fun tips for gardening in Arizona
Once you get your garden initially setup and hopefully growing, there are other fun things you can do to enhance your garden:
Get the kids involved: what better idea than to get the kids involved with the garden? You can get them their very own kids sized gardening tools and even designate a specific area of the garden just for them. Allow them to participate in the whole process, from planting the seeds to watering daily and eventually, eating the final product.
In addition to vegetables, you can grow flowers in your garden as well. For example, Marigolds are one of the best flowers to grow in your garden because not only do they grow well in the Arizona heat, they will also be beneficial to your vegetables. Other good options include Impatients, Zinnias, Sunflowers, Pentas, Petunias, and Violas.
When trying to decide what to plant in an Arizona garden, it can be challenging. Having a successful garden is just as challenging as deciding what to plant. By starting small and taking baby steps can really help you determine how exactly to make your garden grow.