If you have ever had a garden, you know that it is not always sunshine and daisies. That is to say, there are difficulties that inevitably come with attempting to keep a healthy garden throughout the year. This is especially true in a climate that can be as harsh as the one in Phoenix, Arizona. The good news is that there are many methods that are easy to employ to greatly increase the health and aesthetic of your garden.
Focus on Species that Thrive Locally
While you are not restricted to species that occur naturally in the area, it is always a good idea to plant a good amount of vegetation that thrives in the natural conditions of your area. This ensures that your garden will be healthy, all the while reducing the amount of work that you have to put into your garden. It is a win-win. Plants that grow very well here in Phoenix include peppers, green beans, desert marigold flowers, and countless more.
It All Starts with the Soil
If your soil is not of high quality, then you are guaranteeing yourself a lot of work down the line which will likely be met with minimal success. Start by using fertilizer along with organic matter with the soil before planting. This will guarantee that the soil can hold nutrients well. Nitrogen and phosphorous are the most important components of any fertilizer before planting. Finally, make sure the soil is not wet when you are working with it, as dry, crumbly soil is the best for planting, harvesting, etc.
Do Not Overwater
Since rainfall is uncertain in the valley, many people tend to overwater their garden. The simple rule of thumb in watering is you do not want the soil to be wet, but rather, damp. When water begins to pool in the soil, it restricts the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the root zones, thus hindering growth. During hot periods, you should soak the soil around one time per week.
Take Early Steps to Combat Weeds
You can spare yourself a great deal of pain and suffering by thinking about mitigating the effects of weeds today. The easiest and most effective step is mulching around your plants. Putting a layer of mulch around your plants creates a buffer between them and the weeds, preventing the spread of disease and slowing weed growth. Mulch can consist of anything from leaves and wood chips to newspaper and cardboard.
Regardless of what type of garden you are growing, these are good first steps for improving its health and its beauty. There are plenty more ways that you can cultivate a better garden without spending all day working on it. Doing your own outside research is a great way to boost your gardening skills. Happy gardening!