Starting a Garden Diary

Purpose of this Blog

For now, I’m going to turn this website into a diary of my gardening in the desert. In doing so, I might be able to become more dedicated to both my garden and my writing. Additionally I’ll be able to get in a little photography. All three are my passions but in the past, it seems I neglected one or more them at the expense of paying attention to another.

This past year I neglected my garden but I took some wonderful pictures on my various trips. Now my garden looks sad.

A Little Bit about my Garden

My approximately two acre garden is part of an 18 acre farm located in the Nevada desert.

This picture is deceiving. The foreground is an irrigated alfalfa field. My garden has desert soil and a desert climate that required lots of supplemental water unless I plant desert adapted plants.

This picture is deceiving. The foreground is an irrigated alfalfa field. My garden has desert soil and a desert climate that required lots of supplemental water unless I plant desert adapted plants.

From the picture one may be deceived into believing it isn’t located in desert but that greenery you see is an alfalfa field that must be irrigated every couple of weeks to keep it green and producing hay throughout the growing season. Our average annual precipitation is only 4″. This past year I doubt we had 2″. We are in a prolonged drought that started about four years ago.

My garden’s soils are of about pH 7.0 to 8.0 and very low in organic matter. In some patches of my garden, the soil has a white crust of salt at the surface. At one time in ancient history my garden and the surrounding community were at the bottom of a very large inland sea.

I’m not entitled to water my garden with the superior quality irrigation water from the Newland’s Irrigation Project which delivers surface waters from the Carson River and Truckee River combined. Instead, I must use well water, which is higher in salt content. Fortunately, it is of acceptable quality with a pH of only 7.6.

Right now, my garden is a disheveled, eclectic mix of desert adapted native plants and non-native plants you might find at garden center. It’s also full of weeds. Particularly some escaped noxious weeds from the alfalfa field that I don’t have total management control of.

I’m working on a plan to renovate my garden to something that is more manageable and more water thrifty.

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