We've just returned after being gone for six days. Apparently the wind blew
while we were gone. There are new sand dunes in the back yard. The door
threshold was half an inch thick with driven sand. It musta blown like a
I live in Southern Utah, near St. George. We are surrounded by sandstone
and dunes. Beautiful stuff, just sandy.
We want to cultivate a garden this spring, and to plant trees and plants.
What do we need to do special to help our new plants in this sandy
environment? I want to make a shadecloth barrier for the garden to lessen
the direct sun, and perhaps to help break some of the sand from settling in
on hard won cultivated soil.
You'll probably get lots of advice about adding compost, mulch, etc., but in
the long run I'd suggest you're best off to live with the environment you
have and first concentrate on plants that are native to your area. Your big
box stores will carry a lot of plant that are marginal at best for your
specific climate, but a good local nursery, or your local extension service,
can give you information. There's also a booklet, Utah at Home: Landscaping
with Native Plants, from the Utah native plant society, that should have
good info. There's also a list of suggested plants from the University of
Utah at http://www.hort.usu.edu/PlantGuide/index.htm .
Thanks for the tip and site. I learned years ago when I lived in Louisiana
that the best place for plants (vegetables) was the local feed stores, as
they got the species that the University CoOp and state had developed for
that region. I had the best luck with those varieties, although there were
a couple of exceptions.
I know that when we get ready to plant and do some work that I will go to
the local Star Nursery and talk to the people there. Thus far, they have
helped us a lot with irrigation equipment, and suggestions on fertilizers,
and all. They seem like a knowledgeable bunch.
We live in a very transitional area due to elevation, and I know there will
be some good stories and some flops. Good news is that there are lots of
things that grow good here, even with the sandy soils. The pioneers did it
here with just the things they had to work with. Hand tools. Animal
manure. Nothing special.
It's been a long time since I had a garden. That was in Lafayette,
Louisiana. I'm looking forward to the coming season.
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