“I live in the low desert of southern Arizona. The sun and heat are brutal in the summer, which is 6 months long. What are the pros and cons of using grow bag containers in this environment? Doesn’t the black fabric increase the heat in the root zone?” Jacqueline of Casa Grande, Arizona
Answer: I agree that black fabric grow bags would be a poor choice for low-desert gardening. The bags would heat up and lose water in a snap, even if filled with good soil that holds water. If you’re interested in gardening in containers, opt for very thick, light-colored ceramic pots. Light, reflective pottery, or stone, containers will help keep roots cool and hold water in. You might also consider creating raised beds or gardens made with hefty natural stone. Stone holds water very well and stays cool underneath–helping to protect plant roots. Using top-quality water-holding potting soil is also recommending. Both Black Gold Waterhold Cocoblend and Black Gold Natural & Organic Ultra Coir potting soils get top marks for water-holding ability.
If you are interested in vegetable gardening, I suggest that you read our blog about high desert vegetable gardening by Maureen Gilmer. She uses straw bales to protect her vegetables from the high desert heat and drying winds. The method works wonders for her.
Here some more of our blogs for western gardeners.