|A Master Gardener's guide to
gardening in a hot dry climate
a dry, hot climate is always an adventure. Too much sun. Too
little water. And soil that has almost nothing going for it.
Your drought-tolerant garden, however, can be much more than
sizzling hot rock mulch* scattered with pines and scrawny
Create a Mediterranean Garden
You will find that it is
definitely possible to create a Mediterranean-style
retreat around your home with fast growing, leafy
green trees and palms in garden rooms. You can
enjoy shady havens surrounded by green hedges and
drought-tolerant flower borders.
FanTex Ash 'Rio Grande' , above, is
one of many
that thrive in hot gardens.
Thank You! The Nevada Master
Gardener program recommends
the Hot Gardens website.
Plant a Desert Style Garden
Further away from your house, you can
plant a drier, more desert-like xeriscape garden with cactus,
ornamental grasses, acacias, mesquites and other desert plants.
Better yet, you can do it all while using water wisely.
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* How hot is rock mulch? When
the outside air temperature is 100 degrees, the surface
temperature of the rock mulch in the sun around your home,
particularly on the south and west sides, may easily be over 150
degrees Fahrenheit. (65 degrees Celsius). The new artificial turf, being promoted as
water-wise, may also be hotter than 150 degrees.
It is as
if your home is sitting in an oven!
But a green grass lawn will remain relatively cool in the low
90s. If, however, you don't want a lawn, consider
replacing your lawn with a
water-wise ground cover, such as a low, spreading shrub,
Acacia redolens or Lantana, to help reduce the temperature of
that super-heated rock mulch. Not to mention how ground
covers can help reduce your air conditioning bills!
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