Gardening in Arizona – An Adjustment

rock-flowersHaving grown up and lived in the Midwest for a number of years, one of the adjustments we had to make when we moved to Arizona was figuring out how to take care of the yard.  Many people who don’t live here, think it is easy – just have some plants and a lot of rock in your yard and only water the plants.  Not so….

Differences Between Gardening in Arizona versus the Midwest and other areas

  1. Yard and Garden care must be done year round.  There is no dormant period during the winter or summer.
  2. Weeds find ways to grow in the rocks and hard soil regardless of the heat or rain.  You’ll have to decide if you will pull them by hand or spray.  Many people chose to spray.
  3. Planting times are different.  If you have a vegetable garden, some plants should be put in during the fall, some in January, and there are a few that may make it over the summer.
  4. Citrus is the zuchinni of Arizona.  Many people have way too many oranges, grapefruits, and lemons.  They’ll bring it in to work, try to give it neighborhoods, put it in a box marked free in front of their house, you name it.
  5. I miss having flowering bulbs come up in the spring.  We do have some other nice spring flowers.  I particularly like the California Poppies that many people have masses of in their yards.
  6. A bonus is that there are no squirrels to steal your tomatoes.  As a side note, I think there are squirrels at higher elevations in Arizona.
  7. A surprise to me was that roses do well here and some people have very nice rose gardens.
  8. I’ve had fairly good luck with herbs in a garden or in pots – at least during the winter.  It is too hot for some to survive the summer.  I’ve had good luck with lavender being outside year round.

I’m hoping that some of you will add to this list.  I’m not a master gardener and would be interested in other peoples insight into yard care and gardening here in Phoenix area.