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Successfully Growing a Garden in La Quinta, CA

In La Quinta, gardens can be more than succulents and cacti. But Coachella Valley’s arid desert location and low precipitation levels make it a tricky place for the uninitiated to cultivate a garden. Below are several essential tips that will help you grow and maintain a lush and thriving yard in the desert. 

Invest in Soil Penetrants

Soil in La Quinta is typically slow draining, with thick layers of silt or clay. This can be detrimental to plant growth, especially after a watering session. With all that build up, you’re essentially forming a crust. To make sure the soil drains property and roots get both all the water and air they need, get sulfur-based penetrants. These are commercially available in most gardening stores in the area. Another thing you can do to ensure moisture drains is to set your plants higher than usual. 

Create a Better Growing Environment with Mulches and Additives

Another must-have of any La Quinta desert garden are additives and mulches. These can come in the form of ground bark, cotton seed hulls, compost, as well as gravel. While penetrants made of sulfur compounds prevent the soil from sealing up, mulches and additives help retain just enough moisture to keep your plants happy. 

Mulches and additives are not only good for your plants— it can be good for your water consumption (and wallet). Since enough moisture is retained, you won’t need to constantly water your plant beds. Moreover, weeds are less likely to grow when the soil has been mixed with additives.

Group Your Plants According to Sun Exposure Needs

Not all plants have the same heat and exposure tolerances. Some thrive in cool and shaded areas (even in the desert) while others love (and couldn’t live without) direct sunlight. To better manage your garden, it’s best to group plants according to their specific heat and exposure needs. 

You can start by finding a compass and establishing the four cardinal directions. South and west are the areas where sun- and heat-loving plants will thrive. East, particularly against the side of a building, is recommended for plants that are heat-tolerant plants that prefer indirect light. Finally, north is best for plants that require shade or have limited heat tolerance. Adding some form of protection is also highly advised.

Set Up a Gardening Calendar

There’s more to desert gardens in La Quinta and Coachella Valley than succulents and cacti. If you know when to do what, you can grow deciduous fruit trees, roses, warm-season flowering annuals such as zinnias and periwinkles, and more. Imagine all the fragrance and colors such a garden will have!

This month-to-month planting schedule should help you get started on your desert garden. As for general gardening tasks, such as retrofitting, pruning, and maintenance, this guide by the Coachella Valley Water District recommends activities– just scroll to the second half of the page.

A home with an established and healthy garden is not only beautiful to look at, but a worthy long-term investment especially in La Quinta, CA real estate. Find more similar tips by browsing the blog. To learn more about homes for sale in La Quinta, CA, call Kathleen O’Keefe Galigher at 760.567.7822 or leave a message here.