While it is not
difficult to grow a garden in the desert, it can be challenging. If we don't
get an early summer and the nights warm up enough then, with enough water,
anything can be grown. These photos are from 2007 which was also the year of
the rats and mice. We had a bumper crop of cucumbers and argonaut squash. We
were giving away two plastic bags of cucumbers every two days and one of the
squash weighed in at 40 lbs.
CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO ENLARGE
The 2008 garden was a disaster, I decided to build a Geodesic Dome over the garden area. We had friends over to help build the dome after I had cut and bent the 3/4" conduit to proper size and angles. I found a calculator on a website where you put in the diameter of the dome you want to build and it gives you the length, angles, and number of pieces of whatever material you use to build the dome. http://www.desertdomes.com/domecalc.html-select the type of dome you wish to build and go to the calculator. Anyway, we got it built over three days time (mornings only) and we covered the bottom 2/3 with white plant cover material and planted many plants. Before I was able to stake it down, we had a weekend of very high winds (70 MPH on Saturday) which moved the whole dome about 2 1/2 feet. We pulled it back into place and everything was fine until Sunday when the northerly winds reached 75 MPH and the dome took off like a frisbee and scraped across the garden, flattening everything in its' path except some tomatoes and beans. I spent the rest of the summer dismantling the dome and cutting and bending replacement parts that were damaged. But this spring I rebuilt it in a new location and we found dog stakes at Walmart that had chain links welded to them and were about 2 1/2 feet long. We also put plant shade material around the base about 9' up.
The angled conduit had to be drilled on each end and were bolted together to make the final dome. The clips we used to hold the cloth on wouldn't stay on when the wind blew, so we went to the 70% shade green material and used cable ties to hold it to the conduit.
This year we expanded the main garden and moved the dome to virgin soil which has proved to be very fertile, see the large radish below. The main garden produced a 9.4 lb cantaloupe
and a 498 gm tomato. The corn was the sweetest Iíve ever tasted. The main garden tomatoes are really coming in now (Oct 17) and the dome tomatoes are turning red now.