You’ve achieved your dream landscaping project in your front and back yard, of which you’re certainly happy about, yet, there’s still a vacant space. Probably, the next thing you’re going to ask yourself is what to do with that unused area that could benefit you without the need to worry about relocating or adjusting your landscaping.
In case you’re wondering about that, then the answer would be – building a garden. It might not always be the case, though, aside from an unused area out of landscaping, there are other reasons why you should start a garden like, it’s your personal preference, you want to live and eat green, a twist on your space, or you can have any possible reason.
Moreover, growing a garden in your backyard is not only beneficial in terms of organic harvest, but also it offers health benefits that you may not know of. You can either have a fruit or vegetable garden of your choice. However, growing a garden in the high desert poses a great challenge, but nobody said it’s impossible.
There are ways on how you can build a high-yielding garden despite the hot, dry, and windy conditions of the high desert community, including Victorville. Learning the secrets of a fecund garden can guarantee a bountiful harvest.
Set A Positive and Can-Do Attitude
Gardening in the high desert is unpredictable and challenging, however, as long as you have patience and possess a can-do attitude, you don’t have to fret. Not all gardeners have succeeded the first time they tried gardening, most of them encountered failure along the way and in case you happen to be in the same situation, just don’t quit and be optimistic.
Embracing failure means that you are willing to learn from your mistakes and let those mistakes guide you. For example, plants that thrive in spring may not always be as flourished during fall or the other way around. Hence, if you’re a beginner, being an optimist and patient are the most important values to possess.
Keep your eyes open for learning by listening to other gardener’s tips and experiences as well as browsing local catalogs or asking local suppliers for tips. Plus, keep in mind that you have a lot of work ahead of you, just take one step at a time.
The key to everything, including a successful garden is a well-designed plan. You have to determine what you are going to grow, how much space (width and height) the plant will take up and the length of time your plants require to flourish.
Using a graph paper, sketch your garden so you know what spacing you need to thin each crop in order to avoid overcrowding. Where you will make succession plantings as the season moves along, should also be included in your plan.
In choosing your plants, whether fruits or vegetables, you have to identify the fruits and vegetables that flourish in high desert climate. If you’re going to build fences or walls to protect your crops, you must follow the development standards implemented by the local authorities in Victorville. Your plan should also undergo the checking and approval from the Development Department.
Choose The Perfect Location
Plants need sunlight to grow and thrive in Victorville soil, and that’s not going to be a problem. Being a member of a high desert community, there are 289 sunny days per year in Victorville, California, hence, you have to choose the perfect location where your plants can highly benefit from the exposure to sunlight.
Once you’ve chosen the location, the next thing to do is to determine what plants do well with each other and group them intelligently. Here are few tips you can consider:
- Place each plant in their spaces beforehand to get a general idea of how it will look.
- Find a pattern that suits your tastes and desired effect, stick the crops in the ground and water well.
- Allow adequate spacing between plants to avoid issues with overcrowding later.
- Avoid taller plants to shadow smaller plants and compete with each other for sun exposure or nutrients.
Utilize your space wisely by not overcrowding but encourage mature plants to touch once they reach maturity. By doing this, you are allowing your garden to produce the most food per square inch. Plus, consider a diversity of types of plants to grow in your garden.
Of course, there should be a variety of greens, root crops, fruits, vegetables, and you can even add grains. For this, you have to research about the best plants that flourish in Victorville soil, considering the soil type, climate, and the wind.
It’s important as well to plant crops, fruits or vegetables that you eat regularly or include in your dishes. Most importantly, you have to follow a pattern when you plant and group them accordingly. Here are few examples of plants you can grow in your garden:
- Root Crops – Beets, Carrots, Parsnip, Rutabaga, Globe Onions
- Leaf Crops – Brussells Sprouts, Cabbages, Cauliflower, Broccoli
- Vegetables – Beans, Cucumber, Eggplant, Pumpkin, Pepper, Squash
- Fruits – Figs, Pomegranate, Almonds, Apricots, Apples
Perform Good Soil Preparation
One of the most important factors in growing a successful garden is having a good soil. So, before you start digging and planting, execute good soil preparation.
This task can be a little difficult in the beginning, but you just have to work very hard for it. The first step you have to take in soil preparation is digging out square foot by square foot and aerate the soil below with a pitchfork.
Moreover, as part of soil preparation, you have to keep your soil aerobic and microorganism friendly. Aerobic soils are those that are dominated by oxygen-loving organisms, which for the most part are those that are beneficial to garden plants.
Having said this, it’s imperative that you ensure that the soil is well fed with organic material and use compost as much as possible.
Nurture Your Soil
Right after you’ve managed to execute good soil preparation, it’s time to nurture your soil. The soil in the high desert, specifically in Victorville, is known to be full of sand, gravel, and clay, hence it must be amended.
Just like in landscaping, it’s imperative that you conduct a soil test. It is one way to determine what minerals are lacking or abundant in your soil as well as its level of acidity. You have to gather soil samples and take it to the nearest testing lab, then wait for the results.
Once the results have been derived, amend your soil with organic matter, such as compost from your own pile or from your local nursery. You can make your own compost out of dried leaves, grass clippings, wood bark, vegetable or fruit peeling, etc.
Also, adding fertilizer can help nurture your soil. Pay attention to what your crops need–some need way less nitrogen and more phosphorus, or the other way around. You can determine these once the results of the soil test have arrived. Might as well ask local suppliers, gardeners or centers for expert advice.
Applying mulch to your garden soil is highly beneficial. It keeps weeds under control, protects the soil surface and the base of your plants from the elements, and holds moisture in the soil.
It also eventually breaks down into soil nutrients. Aside from that, the high desert community including Victorville has high regards for water conservation and spreading mulch is one of the many factors which can help you achieve it.
Now, it is useful to apply mulch to the top of the soil around the plants in your garden. Wood chips, shredded bark, and sawdust are just a few of the many types of mulch you can use for your garden. Remember, use mulch under a rock layer or cover with landscape netting to reduce erosion.
Use Efficient Irrigation
The climate in the high desert is widely recognized as incredibly arid which greatly affects plants at their roots, and their ability to draw water in through their leaves. Hence, it is imperative that you optimize the amount of water your garden plant receive by installing an efficient irrigation system.
Drip irrigation is a series of small hoses that allow water to literally drip slowly into the ground around the base of the plant and down into the root zone. It is advantageous in terms of supplying one to four gallons of water per hour directly to the soil and there is little water loss due to evaporation.
In connection to this, it’s highly important that you know how much water your plants need especially when the season changes. You can set up an automatic timer to ensure that your garden follows a regular watering schedule.
Finally, you can achieve a high-yielding garden by contemplating on the techniques we’ve mentioned above. All the cards have been laid and there are no more secrets to unravel. Your majestic and prolific garden is already within reach and there are no shortcuts so batter stays on track and be patient.
Eventually, you’ll get there and don’t be afraid to experiment. Our base knowledge of growing plants organically is still in its early stages, and a whole lot of space for progress, so, always keep an open mind. Yes, gardening in the high desert community such as Victorville can be challenging, but hey, the secrets have been revealed and all you have to do is start today. Then, be willing to share your experience with the world!