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anyone know what i can grow in southern nevada in winter?

i ran across something yesterday saying that i could plant strawberries in the fall. i was very excited about this!

the only time i will garden here is winter because the waterbugs we have here are attracted to every tiny bit of water they can find. i have a true phobia of roaches/waterbugs, so winter it is.

our winters are cool, windy and dry. in fact, we just got our 3rd for 4th day with rain in it for the YEAR. in the winter the average temp is in the 50s (can be lower and the nights are quite chilly), but the wind can be brutal.

i want to do container gardening starting this fall. can i do strawberries in my climate? how about tomatoes? what other winter veggies fruits?

since i have not grown anything but herbs since i was 11, i am almost starting from scratch, so i would LOVE any info that can be offered, however, if this is not the venue for this (if i need more info than can be offered here), does anyone know a site i can go to? like organic gardening for dummies? lol.
 
stephanie~ wife to my hero, mom to my 5, gardener someday
I can't tell you what to grow, but I just wanted to share with you an awesome book I found. It's called Month-By-Month Gardening in Louisiana. I have found it to be very handy in letting me know what I can plant and when. I looked it up and found that they do make one for nevada called Month-by-Month Gardening in the deserts of Nevada. Thought that would kind of help you in figuring out what you can grow in fall/winter to give you a starting point I guess.

anyways, I hope this helps you out some. Good luck!
 
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thanks, duckfish! that's perfect! i'll look it up!
 
stephanie~ wife to my hero, mom to my 5, gardener someday
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I've been playing with semi-desert gardening for a number of years now, and it is not at all like gardening in the rest of the country. Every single plant gets very stressed by the heat, the cold, the wind and the extremely low humidity. The only plants that do well are those that like such conditions, which means native plants, those local to your area, or from other, similar climates.

Fruits and vegetables do not like desert climates, at all, and you will need to work to make them grow. Asking for advice on these forums will mostly be a lesson in futility as I have discovered, simply because soils and everything else are totally different in the desert. Microorganisms are lacking in desert soils, the dirt itself doesn't have much in the way of decomposing material so the soil is poorly lacking in just about everything considered good for a vegetable garden. Weather is brutal, and plants struggle.

That said, there are ways to garden that do work, and there is a nifty book with the best pointers I have found to address these issues, called "Desert Gardening, Fruits and Vegetables" by George Brookbank. In that book, the author talks of combining organic methods, with other to make gardening work. On my own, I discovered many of his suggestions by trial and error, and the loss of many plants.

If you can eliminate the wind and dryness, plants will possibly do well. That means lots of organic material added to the soil which will hold water, mulch, drip lines beneath the mulch, and taller plants or fencing to block wind, or a hoop house shelter. If your winters freeze, or almost freeze each night, most vegetables will die, except those that are cold tolerant such as roots and cole crops.

Fruit trees may grow, but will take a lot of tlc. Pick up that book, the author has a huge amount of good info in it, including a lot of organic gardening techniques, mixed with more traditional methods. The combination, I have found, works well in the desert.

As for specific plants that might grow, try onions, peas, potatoes, broccoli and related cole plants, and various root crops. Lettuce may work too. You will have to irrigate A LOT. The mulching which will hold in water may attract the very insects you dislike, but you could always use baits to try to kill them. Other insects will come to your garden too, as it will be an oasis of green edibles in an otherwise bleak place. Other vegetables might grow, but some of the plants you mention need daytime temps up around 70-90. Some vegies need nighttime temps around 50 or higher. If your winter temps are in those ranges, you should be able to grow tomatoes too, along with summer squash.

As for growing in containers, that will work, provided the containers do not sit in direct sunlight on a 90 degree or hotter day. The plastic will get so hot that roots will cook.
 
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Didn't natives grow chilis, corn, beans and squash in the deserts of the American Southwest? You could look into varieties that are suited to your growing conditions.
 
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thank you, mcat. i will look up that book. i am talking about gardening only in the winter when the bugs are not out. you think container gardening will still attract them?

matt-choo, you are right about things that would have had to be planted here. unless there were not any natives living in this exact area. the only thing that grows here naturally that i can see is tumbleweed and cactus. lol.
 
stephanie~ wife to my hero, mom to my 5, gardener someday
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt-choo:
Didn't natives grow chilis, corn, beans and squash in the deserts of the American Southwest? You could look into varieties that are suited to your growing conditions.

...............
wannabegreenthumb,

This book "Gardening the Arid Land"
by Robert Gerard might help you.
I don't know if your public library has a copy ?
...........
Also "drip irrigation" and "misting with timers" in meeting the needs of the veggies
in various combinations and schedules might help
the veggies and conserve your water.
......
You might also consider "shade cloths".
..........
I don't know how the country of "Israel"
is solving their gardening challenges.
.........
Good Luck
Good Growing,
bill in socal
 
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thanks, bill! i'll look that book up! and drip irrigation does sound like something very suited to this area.
 
stephanie~ wife to my hero, mom to my 5, gardener someday
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You're welcome.
...
Good Luck,
Good Growing,
Good Eating,
bill in socal
 
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In Israel there are all sorts of garden climates. Some plants are grown in fields, but there is a lot of greenhouse growing. They also experiment developing plants tolerant of salt water.

This year is a "shmita" year in Israel and a lot of farmers are giving their land a biblically commanded rest. Farmers who do this always get a greater harvest to make up for it in following years. This year, a frost hit in an area bananas are grown. The trees were all killed up to and around the farm of a shmita observer. All of his bananas were fine.
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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