Sandy soils

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 big dog.
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.
Tips appreciated.
Steve
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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 .
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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.
Steve
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