Veggie garden in the desert?! Help
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Barns, Boarding, and Farms > Farm Forum

Veggie garden in the desert?! Help

This is a discussion on Veggie garden in the desert?! Help within the Farm Forum forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Soil in the desert for a vegie patch

Like Tree12Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    07-08-2013, 10:18 PM
  #1
Yearling
Veggie garden in the desert?! Help

Disclaimer: im on my tablet until dh sets up the office so this may have some obnoxious errors.

Ok so we just moved back to so Cal, Nuevo specifically. I want to grow a garden to cut food costs and to eat healthier. My hubbys aunt hears this amd wants me to go organic, for health purposes. Ok, great.

However, unlike PA, where my last garden was, its a flat out desert here. Its really dry and the soil is hardpacked and looks devoid of organic material.

So where do I start? Web suggests rototilling the desired area, spreading manure, tilling that under and letting it sit for a few months. Would 1 month be sufficient if the manure isnt fresh?

Is there another better or faster way?

The entire area doesn't have to be organic.

Here are pics of what im working with. All the old horse/goat or whatever poo was from previous tenant.. we havent cleared everything out yet.


     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    07-08-2013, 10:49 PM
  #2
Started
Hmmm I'm not in an arid area, but we are almost pure sand. So I'd think similar theory's may apply.

I'd definitely till or plow the current ground and add as much organic material as possible. If seasoned, I'd be inclined to till or plow again and plant.
Another option for now to get plants going while you try to improve the soil would be growing in containers of some sort. Even plastic drums cut in half. Should support some plants to get the ball rolling. And are easy on water.
And as far as watering, a drip system may be to your advantage there. Slow constant water, and you can cover the roots areas to prevent evaporation.

Just some thoughts from a guy in Indiana lol.
Posted via Mobile Device
demonwolfmoon likes this.
     
    07-08-2013, 11:19 PM
  #3
Green Broke
If I were working with that soil, I would give up gardening!

But I have a plan.
It will be more expensive in the beginning but so worth it in the end!

Make a raised bed and buy some soil.
I use 8x8x16" concrete blocks, I buy them off Craig's list for 50 cents to a dollar.
I make my beds either 16' or 32'.
16' is 12 blocks on each side and four blocks on the ends, two rows high = 64 blocks.
32' is 24 blocks on each side and 4 blocks on the ends, two rows high = 104 blocks.
You can make the rows any length but I would keep them 4 blocks wide, any wider and you can't reach across, any narrower and you can't get two rows of larger plants in your beds, like peppers and eggplant.
Also stagger the blocks on first and second row.

Now for the hard part, see if there is a composting place in your area.
Mine is St louis compost, they sell mulch to top soil to garden blends to cow manure compost. I buy the Garden mix.

St. Louis Composting, Enriching the Soil - Naturally - Since 1992. 636-861-3344

Another place to try is a material supply co.

Kirkwood Material Supply, Inc.

I also add some bagged rice hulls and bagged cotton burr compost to the soil to help in aeration of the soil.
Every year I add a little compost to the beds to keep them from compacting. The beds do need a bit more water and a bit more fertilizer than in ground beds. But you can get drip irrigation and be very water conscientious.

But anyway I would fill the beds with bought soil, If you get soil from a composting place, there are no weed seeds and the ph has already been checked, the sides of the beds are great to sit on when you need to weed or plant.

I love mine!

DSC01714.jpg

DSC01712.jpg
demonwolfmoon likes this.
     
    07-09-2013, 08:47 PM
  #4
Trained
Wow, yeah I agree with Taffy!

Excited you are going to go for it though!

I would also recommend building a shade structure with cloth or even putting up a shaded hoop house.
Posted via Mobile Device
demonwolfmoon likes this.
     
    07-09-2013, 08:53 PM
  #5
Yearling
I love all the ideas. Shade would def help the plants from burning up. Its over 100 here today. I can't convince myself to leave the house! God only knows how im going to get a job and exist out in that heat, let alone grow plants!
FlyGap likes this.
     
    07-15-2013, 09:28 PM
  #6
Trained
Hey girl,
Found this article and thought of you!
Straw Bale Garden
So how I would start your garden, then allow the straw to compost and develop your beds.
demonwolfmoon likes this.
     
    07-15-2013, 09:36 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGap    
Hey girl,
Found this article and thought of you!
Straw Bale Garden
So how I would start your garden, then allow the straw to compost and develop your beds.
whoa that's crazy...I would have never thought of that! I may start yp a few experimental bales using compost from craigslist as soil. It would work good for some of the organic mcrops, probably.

One thing I noticed: the horses turned the water on last week and it spilled across the yard in a river.
Two rays later some sort of seedlings are sprouting. So...that crappy looking dirt supports some life. Maybe just not to the level of veggies. ;)

I have a bunch of seedlings in the kitchen and a giant handful of seed packs that I want to plant. Its starting to make me itchy lol
FlyGap likes this.
     
    07-15-2013, 10:09 PM
  #8
Foal
Other than raised beds, don't let the ground go fallow. Grow a cover crop- I believe clover, alfalfa or rye is popular, but anything would work. Alfalfa and clover would fix nitrogen into the soil. With cover crops, you turn them under before they get too stemmy, and they compost within the ground.

Get cozy with any coffe place, and ask for their used coffee grounds. You could also get used egg cartons, which are good for retaining water. Other than taht, look up water gel. You mix those into the soil, and they expand 400x with water and distribute it as needed (or so they say. I use it to feed crickets.) Talk to any other horse, cow, goat or chicken owners in your area, and they might be glad to have manure taken off their hands.
Growing heirloom plants that are drought resistant would also help.

Won't help the garden specifically, but set up a water catchment system. The water collected could be used to water your garden during dry times. If you're in a really dry area, just a 55gallon will suffice. (Pro tip: Set it up on concrete blocks and put a spigot in it.)
Cheap raised beds idea: used rail ties, pallets (pallets have 1001 other uses too)
demonwolfmoon likes this.
     
    07-15-2013, 10:17 PM
  #9
Yearling
Kotori, It's horribly dry here. Not sure a rain barrel would help! I did however buy some seeds...still gotta order some alfalfa. I wanted to experiment with it and see if it was even feasible to grow it here! I'm sure that even if the experiment patch fails, it couldn't but help the underlying soil! =)

I wonder if people offer free pallets on craigslist around here?
     
    07-15-2013, 10:24 PM
  #10
Trained
I say talk to your Ag extension office. They can provide you with information on growing in your local area and most will provide free, or for a small fee, seminars on growing gardens or crops :)
demonwolfmoon likes this.
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My first Herb/Veggie Garden AnalisaParalyzer General Off Topic Discussion 24 05-04-2013 10:16 AM
Horse veggie patch. What should i grow?? Cane Toad Horse Talk 2 03-23-2013 07:40 AM
Veggie Oil Despensers starlinestables Horse Health 6 01-30-2012 11:34 PM
Veggie oil? billieglenn Horse Health 3 07-29-2011 03:43 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0