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How to Garden in Arizona

Believe it or not, it's possible to have a beautiful garden in the desert. Arizonians can create luscious gardens filled with flowers, vegetable or trees with the proper planning and care. Here are some things to keep in mind when you want to garden in Arizona:

  • Know your seasons The growing seasons in Arizona's desert climate are different from the seasons in other parts of the United States. The desert has only fall and spring for growing seasons. Each season is appropriate for different kinds of plants. Summer is like the winter for most Midwest gardeners -- it's not the time for planting [source: Felt].
  • Plant the right crops Some crops, like carrots, spinach, and sunflowers can be planted from seeds and grow readily throughout most of the year. Other crops, such as tomatoes, peppers and asparagus can also grow successfully, but only if transplanted from baby plants that have grown past the seed stage [source: Young].
  • Find a good location Look for a level area with loose and well-drained soil. Bottoms of slops or hills tend to take longer to warm up, so avoid gardening there. Also, find a place protected from strong winds. Keep away from busy roads and other sources of contaminants. If possible, plant near an accessible source of water to make irrigation easier [source: University of Arizona].
  • Allow for plenty of sunlight Vegetable plants love getting six to eight hours of sunlight a day. Don't plant in areas that are too shady or shadowed [source: Felt]. Plant tall and trellised crops toward the north end of your garden, so they don't block the sun for shorter plants [source: University of Arizona].
  • Fertilize Test your soil to see how much fertilizer you need before planting. Different crops need different amounts of nutrients, so do your research and make sure your soil has the right nutrients [source: University of Arizona].
  • Irrigate Vegetables need about an inch (2.5 centimeters) of water a week while growing. It's fine to water once a week during dry periods, just make sure to wet the soil to a depth of 12 inches (30 centimeters) [source: University of Arizona].