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Posted: 6/12/2009 2:00:54 AM EST
Hey everyone, I'm new here and to gardening.

I live in Las Vegas and seem to have a hard time getting a consistent answer as to whats best to grow in the summer here in the desert. Within a few weeks average daily temps will be well over 100 degrees, so what should I be focusing on growing?
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 8:13:20 AM EST
Cactus.....
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 8:18:11 AM EST
Seriously though. Tomatos but you would have to water at night only. Peppers are also a good choice. I guess just about anything that is not a cool crop such as beans, or peas.

Yes I konw it looks like I'm from TN but I lived in Riverside/San Bernardino for 20 years before I moved.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 11:04:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/12/2009 1:00:12 PM EST by Winn]

Hopefully BedHead will see your thread and chime in here for you ... IIRC, she's somewhere in (or around) southern NV.

Link Posted: 6/12/2009 12:50:15 PM EST
I don't think that tomatoes will complete polinization if the temp is over 80 something degrees. You'd have to drip irrigate and mist them at night I bet.

We usually have several 100 degree days, but we get a whole lot more water than y'all do, so please take the following suggestions with a grain of salt;

Peppers would do fine.

I grew tomatillos last year and they did pretty well when it got hot here. The plants get big. Be forewarned.

Okra likes the heat.

Watermelons seem to do OK here in the heat, but they need alot of water (obviously).

Will agave grow where you're at? You could make your own tequila....
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 1:05:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By Colby:
Will agave grow where you're at? You could make your own tequila....


I looked into this when the giant one my parents brought spawned dozens of little ones. It's WAY harder than I'd like it to be.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 4:45:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/12/2009 4:46:02 PM EST by ColonelHurtz]
You can't do much about the ambient temps but you could try some stuff under a floating cover for a little shade.
Get your leafy stuff in early.

All of the cucurbits in addition to cucumber, including summer and winter squash, melons, and watermelons should do great too.
All beans (other than cool season lentils, garbanzos, favas), including green beans, lima beans, dry beans especially the drought-tolerant tepary bean (native to Sonoran Desert).
Also various relatives of tomatoes, the tomatillos, ground cherries (like a small sweet tomatillo), and such.

Chilies, obviously.
Corn.
Eggplant.
Mediterranean type herbs like Rosemary and Oregano.

You are really going to have to be religious about watering, whatever you grow.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 5:18:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
You can't do much about the ambient temps but you could try some stuff under a floating cover for a little shade.
Get your leafy stuff in early.

All of the cucurbits in addition to cucumber, including summer and winter squash, melons, and watermelons should do great too.
All beans (other than cool season lentils, garbanzos, favas), including green beans, lima beans, dry beans especially the drought-tolerant tepary bean (native to Sonoran Desert).
Also various relatives of tomatoes, the tomatillos, ground cherries (like a small sweet tomatillo), and such.

Chilies, obviously.
Corn.
Eggplant.
Mediterranean type herbs like Rosemary and Oregano.

You are really going to have to be religious about watering, whatever you grow.


Great call on the eggplant! Whenever I've grown those, I end up getting sick of eating them.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 8:36:03 PM EST
Prickly pear and tumbleweed, of course!
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 6:43:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 6:59:57 AM EST by SINCE_1829]
I reside in New Mexico, similar climate to that of Nevada tho not quite as harsh. Watering daily or as needed will make it nearly possible to grow
most anything. I have a sprinkler system with a special zone for the vegetable garden that does a mist spray pattern which simulates rain.

I currently have the following planted and flourishing:

Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Green Beans
Onions
Cantaloupe and Watermelon
Various spices

For fun try planting some Sunflowers, they grow like mad in the Southwest sun!

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:05:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 12:06:54 PM EST by Mak]
You have to plant veggies early in the spring. The heat of summer kills them. It is too late now if you temps were like they were in Tucson. I grew peppers. Stuff like Rosemary will really grow, they used it for hedges in AZ. Mellons grow great but everything has to really be watered alot. If you have the summer monsoons then water harvest to cut your watering bill.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 2:56:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 3:01:21 PM EST by Kitties-with-Sigs]

Originally Posted By m4a3xm15:
Cactus.....


I was gonna say that.

Sorry. It couldn't be helped....

I'm thinking shade cloth is your friend––even in spring, for some of the more delicate stuff. And a mix of soaker hose and sprinkling, if you've already got sprinkler systems going. I'm guessing your watering times might need to be varied a bit so you're not watering right in the hottest part of the day in the summer sun.
Kitties

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 3:55:23 PM EST
I shade my garden with the same stuff the nurseries use. The plastic tarp with the holes in it, whatever it is called. You can get it at Wal-Mart. It comes in different colors depending on the amount of shade it provides. I also take advantage of shaded areas around the house and fence line. Shading helps protect the leaves from the sun’s rays and helps keep the soil from drying out too quick. Around your A/C unit there usually is a wet spot, try and rout the water to a shady spot to some of your plants that need a lot of water. Okra, squash, cucumbers, and peppers do well. I have better luck with grape/cherry tomatoes than full size varieties. I think it’s because the fruit doesn’t take as long to ripen so they are not exposed to the extreme heat and sunlight as much, I could be wrong though. Don’t discount cactus. I have a prickly pear that put out a lot of fruit and we eat the pads too, their are called napalitos. There are several ways to make them.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:20:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 7:03:33 PM EST by Winn]
Originally Posted By Kitties-with-Sigs:

Originally Posted By m4a3xm15:
Cactus.....


I was gonna say that.

Sorry. It couldn't be helped....

I'm thinking shade cloth is your friend––even in spring, for some of the more delicate stuff. And a mix of soaker hose and sprinkling, if you've already got sprinkler systems going. I'm guessing your watering times might need to be varied a bit so you're not watering right in the hottest part of the day in the summer sun.

Kitties


Why (other than evaporation issues) would that be bad, or is that the main/only reason


Link Posted: 6/16/2009 7:11:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 7:12:46 AM EST by Kitties-with-Sigs]

Originally Posted By Winn:
Originally Posted By Kitties-with-Sigs:

Originally Posted By m4a3xm15:
Cactus.....


I was gonna say that.

Sorry. It couldn't be helped....

I'm thinking shade cloth is your friend––even in spring, for some of the more delicate stuff. And a mix of soaker hose and sprinkling, if you've already got sprinkler systems going. I'm guessing your watering times might need to be varied a bit so you're not watering right in the hottest part of the day in the summer sun.

Kitties


Why (other than evaporation issues) would that be bad, or is that the main/only reason




Well, I'm totally guessing about the environment there, since I know nothing about the area, but you can actually scald plants by watering in the heat of the day in the hottest part of summer even here. Without shade, you can scald plants in a greenhouse, even with the plastic or glass between you and the sun, if it's in the summer heat. Outside in the blazing sun is WAY worse. The water on the leaves heats up and acts like a magnifying glass for the sun and ta-da––you've got scald. Ground watering is the best for these situations, or if you're using sprinklers, watering fairly early in the morning so it has time to dry a bit before the full strength of the mid-day sun hits it. But as I said, I don't know that area or its idiosyncracies.

Sprinkling does kind of help to dissipate the heat, on the other hand, as it evaporates, and helps to kind of temper the extreme heat of the air by "wetting the air" in a microclimate around the plants. But my guess is that it's so dry and hot where the OP is that this technique would be kind of like trying to cool your yard with a car air conditioner. In a drought situation here, the plants just can't take the heat no matter how much you water the ground. I figure he faces this type of plant stress all the time. So gardeners in more arid climates ––well––they have to approach almost everything a little differently––with shade cloth, for instance. Someone in this thread mentioned that they even sell shade cloth in the wal marts out there. Not here. That's a specialty item you have to get from greenhouse suppliers, usually.

Okay the truth is that in a climate that's very dry, the water you sprinkle might evaporate so fast that scald would not be a problem. But here, it is an issue if you water at the wrong time of day in the heat of summer.

How's that for meandering all around the fact that I have no clue?



Link Posted: 6/16/2009 8:28:17 PM EST

Very smoooth ...











And in reality, quite helpful as well.

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