With cooler temperatures here at last, now is the time to plan and plant our vegetable gardens with cool-season edibles!
Some vegetables, such as lettuce, will need protection from freezing temperatures depending upon your microclimate, but many, such as kale and Brussels sprouts, actually grow sweeter with a kiss of frost.
Lettuce Mesclun Spinach Kale Mustard Collards Radicchio Sorrel Swiss chard
Broccoli Cauliflower Cabbage Chinese cabbage Bok choy Brussels sprouts Rapini
Carrots Radishes Beets Turnips Parsnips Rutabagas
Garlic Shallots Onions Green onions Leeks
Strawberries Peas Snap peas/Snow peas Fava beans Fennel Asparagus
For more about selecting, planting, caring for, and enjoying edibles in the desert garden, visit our blog: "The Cool Season: Edibles"
Your planting design is going to help you (and/or your landscaper or gardener) with the prep. How? Because a well-thought out design takes the guesswork out of your project. You have your square footage, you know exactly what's going in and what's coming out. Plants are sited in the best situation. Structural and hardscape elements are installed first.
Irrigation is an important part of the preparation phase. Using your custom planting design you and/or your gardener can easily configure and install the irrigation system.
If renovating, existing plants or rock may need to be removed. Depending upon the plants selected, planting areas will likely require preparation with soil amendments.
Fall, not spring, is actually the best time for planting in the Vegas Valley. Why waste money constantly replacing plants that fail or never really look right? With your well-thought-out design and customized plant list in hand, feel confident that your efforts will yield the best results not just now, but also in the years to come!
Desert globemallow Sphaeralcea ambigua
Flowering perennial used as a small shrub (about 3' X 3') with flowers in shades of orange and pink. Cut back after flowering (but wear gloves to protect skin from fine leaf-hairs that could be irritating).
Firecracker penstemon Penstemon eatonii
With bright red tubular flowers in early spring, firecracker penstemon is a must for those who enjoy hummingbirds in the garden.
Creosote Larrea tridenta
A medium to large shrub that brings the fragrance of desert rain right into your backyard! Deep, infrequent watering is the key to growing this tough, beautiful plant.
Desert milkweed Asclepias subulata
The perfect vertical accent for sunny hot spots, and like all milkweeds, supports monarch butterflies!
Apache plume Fallugia paradoxa
The flowers are pretty on this medium to large shrub, but still more interesting are the feathery seed heads that follow. Blowing in the breeze, they seem to glow when backlit by the sun.
I advocate for the use of native plants in home landscapes partly because one couldn't ask for more carefree and beautiful plants than the trees, shrubs, and perennials already adapted to our extreme summertime temperatures and lean, alkaline soils here in the Mojave Desert. By opting for native desert plants instead of thirsty lawns and non-natives, homeowners save not only water, but time and money as well.
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What to do, when to do it, what to plant, when to plant it in the Las Vegas valley garden. Our free e-zine, 'Designer's Notebook,' delivered to your inbox 4X a year.