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Monday, February 16, 2009

Gardening in the Desert

There is so much information about "Gardening in the Desert" that I never knew existed. I cannot post everything (of course) about desert gardening and landscaping, but I will post a lot of wonderful online resources. Thank you to Natalie, Kimberly & our guest speaker Brandy for LOTS of great information!!

Gardening with Kids

Kids Gardening has a wonderful website with an email newsletter than you can sign up for.

Gardening with Kids has great tips on getting kids started with gardening.

  • Give your child some space; literally! Kids loving having spaces that are all their own, whether it`s their own desk area in the house, or the tent they've created with chairs and blankets in the family room. The same is true for gardening. Dedicate a small plot of the garden just for them. Put a fancy border around it, perhaps purchase one of the stepping stone making kits found at crafts stores in which they can mold their name and make their hand print.
  • Let them join you at the nursery. Let your kids know you value their opinion. Ask them which kinds of plants, flowers, and vegetables they like. Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't.
  • Give them (limited) choices. While you're at the nursery, ask them if they'd like pansies or petunias, marigolds or zinnias. This will give them the feeling of power without letting it get out of control.
  • Remind them money doesn't grow on trees. With older children discuss the budget. Let them help select seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery - and turn it into a math lesson. Let your child do the money calculations; they can tell you when the money runs out.
  • Let your child do what he will (especially if you have a preschooler). Let him dig, explore, play with bugs. You may be tempted to steer your child in another direction (like actually watering or weeding his garden), but this is a great way for your child to explore this exciting new universe.
  • Plan, plan, plan. If you have older children, say 8 or 9 or older, let them plot out their own garden on paper. Provide him or her with graph paper, pencils and seed catalogs. Give them a group of flowers and vegetables from which to choose, and then let them draw out their garden.
  • Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having her own little shovel, her own gardening gloves, and her own watering pail. And don't forget those bright colored rubber boots.

Vegetable Gardening

A few gardening/planting tips (for Las Vegas):

  • Remember: just because our nurseries sell it, doesn't mean it grows well here.
  • Typically vegetables like location, timing, sandy loam soils, good drainage, deep watering and fertilizer.
  • There are Warm Season vegetables and Cool Season vegetables - just follow the planting times here from Linn Mills (Review Journal Columnist). Master Gardeners also has a Warm Season list and a Cool Season list.
  • If you have $1.00, spend .90 on soil and .10 on seeds.

A couple of great books to have:

  • Western Garden Book by Sunset
  • The Edible Garden by Sunset

Helpful websites:


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