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The why and the where determine the what

Hello Everybody!


This week I would talk a little about pre-planning your gardening/growing experience to ensure better success.

You are already ahead of the game by reading about gardening in Las Vegas, but let's explore that a little bit more.

First question (and yes this is navel gazing but it does help), why do you want to garden/grow plants/vegetables/herbs/fruits?

I grew up visiting my grandparents in Kansas and every summer they would grow huge gardens and can/preserve their harvests to enjoy during the winter.  My parents had gardens, ( it was the '70s so it was the thing to do) but it gave me at that young age a connection not only to my roots but also the pleasure of knowing that you have grown that. Home grown tomatoes really do taste better, and so do home grown figs and peaches.

 When I have surveyed my close friends they want to grow things for a multitude of reasons;  the frequent food recalls of fresh fruits and vegetables due to contamination, wanting to know exactly what they are eating, wanting their child to know where food comes from (not the store, from the ground!), the opportunity for their child to experience the joy they did with gardening and playing in the ground (not in the caliche, but in amended soil that will actually grown something). Food allergies and GMOs also come into play for many friends, and my foodie friends want the opportunity to grow food so that they can have the expensive and rare fruits and vegetables for the price of growing the plant.  Still  others are wanting to prove to themselves or a significant other that they can keep something alive ( you know who you are). Still others have looked at the gardening magazines ( I call it garden porn) and want that lifestyle that they see in the magazine, the ability to go out and enjoy their yard/garden/apartment patio.

This brings us to the where.  Where do you have to grow things? Is it a large back yard or side yard? is it already landscaped and you will have to remove some of that, or did you move into a home that had the front yard desert-scaped and the back yard reminds you of some pictures you remember from the Lunar landings? If your back yard has no landscaping you will need to think about raised bed or in ground growing, and irrigation.  Based on my personal experience raised beds are the way to go, and we still had to rent a jackhammer and trencher for irrigation and digging holes for the fruit trees.

If you live in a place with a zero lot line (no back yard) or an apartment and want to grow a vegetables you might want to look at a hydroponic tower that can stay on your patio, or look at a garden box you can rent at one of the community gardens. (I will be adding a resources tab soon with a list of the community gardens where you can rent garden boxes and a link to hydroponic towers) There are also fruit trees you can keep pruned back and trellised or espaliered. They are a good way to grow fruit in small spaces.  

Let me know why you would like to grow things, and what challenges you are facing.  I will do my best to help you address those challenges, or help direct you to some awesome resources we have in town.  Next up will be questions that came up in a gardening party I had for some friends at my home, and questions I get on the blog.