From Desert Dry Wash to Organic Vegetable Garden in One Season

Dry Wash into Organic Garden - Spring 2012 - Maureen Gilmer
Spring 2012: The garden in February 2012 – just prior to final fertilizer application with protective bird netting and straw bale barriers against voracious rabbits.

Last year my desert dry wash was nothing but porous sand and decomposed granite. They said I’d never grow organic food there. I had one year to build this ground spring planting season. Here’s how I solved the problems and grew this fabulous 10′ by 20′ organic vegetable garden using Black Gold products…

Increased water holding by tilling in organic matter from Just Coir and Garden Compost.

Introduced microbes and nitrogen with Black Gold Earthworm Castings.

Lined each planting hole with Black Gold Waterhold Cocoblend Potting Soil to help the root zone remain moist enough for seedlings to get a good start.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I can’t keep up with all the food so it’s shared with friends and neighbors. Thank you, Black Gold for turning my desert into an abundant organic garden.

Dry Wash into Organic Garden - July 2012 - Maureen Gilmer
July Garden: By July the tomatoes had grown as tall as I am and the peppers are just beginning to ripen along with lemon cucumbers, eggplant and squash.

About Maureen Gilmer

Maureen Gilmer is celebrating her 40th year in California horticulture and photojournalism as the most widely published professional in the state. She is the author of 21 books on gardening, design and the environment, is a widely published photographer, and syndicated with Tribune Content Agency. She is the weekly horticultural columnist for the Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs and contributes to Desert Magazine, specializing on arid zone plants and practices for a changing climate. She works and lives in the remote high desert for firsthand observations of native species. Her latest book is The Colorful Dry Garden published by Sasquatch Books. When not writing or photographing she is out exploring the desert on her Arabian horse. She lives in Morongo Valley with her husband Jim and two rescue pit bulls. When not writing or photographing she is usually out riding her quarter horse.

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