Hello, Attempting Desert gardening

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Mike H., Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Mike H.

    Mike H. Member Premium Member

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    Location:
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    Hello SSC team,

    I've been watching video's of Mark for Months now. After weeks of trying to figure out how to get a raised garden going my wife and I have come up with an idea of using pallets to make a raised garden. For this reason I thought well Mark has inspired me and given so much I would like to give back with our build (which hasn't started yet). I hope I can build a garden half as amazing and I'll do my best to document and share and I am certain learn form this great community. Thank you for being here I can't wait to learn and grow from all of you.

    Oh by the way I live in the Arizona Desert in America.

    Mike
     
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  2. AndrewB

    AndrewB Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Welcome Mike.

    I've seen a few really nice Arizona gardens, look forward to seeing yours.

    Pallets work well for raised beds, as does old roof sheeting with stakes either side of it to hold in place.
     
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  3. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Welcome to the forum, Mike.
    We live in a warm temperate area, which has made it tricky for me regarding planting climate zones. I've worked out to follow the arid planting guide in the summer months, and the temperate on for the winter months. In between it is a bit of each, so I record everything I plant or sow in a book, as well as how it went. I should get it right in a year or two, lol.
    Looking forward to seeing your pallet beds.
     
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  4. Mike H.

    Mike H. Member Premium Member

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    Darren,

    Good idea. I'll be sure to use your wisdom for planting. Also, smart to document what woks and when. Thank you.
     
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  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Looking forward to see the build Mike! Welcome to the forum - sorry I didn't upgrade your membership to Premium earlier but been busy on YouTube etc etc... :)
     
  6. Kasalia

    Kasalia http://retired2006.blogspot.com.au/ Premium Member GOLD

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    Welcome Mike, I too have been very busy, we use pallets as well for other things. Cheap and easy, good luck with thebeds.
     
  7. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I got hold of two pallets to build a compost heap, for all the stuff that's slow to break down in the bins, like the corn husks and leaves, and the pumpkin vines. Coming into winter, pallets are hard to come by; people like them for free firewood.
     
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  8. AzaleaHill

    AzaleaHill Member Premium Member

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    Mike, I built a very productive garden whilst I was living in Phoenix. The key was to use biochar.
    - it adds carbon to the sand and clay that passes for "soil" in the desert.
    - it adds an immense amount of water retention. Char holds its own volume in water.
    - it attracts earthworms which are almost nonexistent in the desert.
    - it doesn't burn up in the sun like compost does. Once you put it in, it is forever.

    I made my own in small batches in my backyard BBQ/campfire tray. (It took a year and several cases of wine for me and the missus to supervise the process.)
    Just burn wood until the yellow flames are done and dump the coals into a bucket of water. You can crush the big pieces by hand but it is easier to let it dry for 3 days and then run it through my Toro blower-vacuum.

    I also use a mycorrizhia additive which helped with water/ heat tolerance.

    Oh, BTW, raised beds don't work very well in the desert. .. they get too hot in the summer and in much of Arizona many crops grow through the winter without too much help. Actually, sunken beds work better because the rain drains into them.

    What ever you do, remember, shade cloth is your friend.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  9. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Azalea, I even use shade cloth here in SE Qld during the hot summer months.
    It keeps the soil cool & the leaves don't expire too fast in the 110F/42C degree days.
     
  10. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I like you already AzaleaHill!!
     
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