Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

June, 2006
Regional Report

Web Finds

Native Seeds/SEARCH
The nonprofit Native Seeds/SEARCH is a great source for desert-adapted agricultural crop seeds. If you can't visit their Tucson retail store, their Web site also offers food products, native crafts, back issues of their newsletter, and descriptions of their projects. Check out the Adopt-a-Crop program if you'd like to help preserve seeds.

Clever Gardening Technique

Waffle Beds
This traditional planting method helps young seedlings get off to a good start. Instead of planting on raised mounds, which can dry out and erode readily, sow seeds in indentations in the ground, similar to the multiple squares of a waffle. Make adjoining beds 1 or 2 feet square and 4 to 6 inches deep. The indented waffle shape shields seedlings from drying winds while moisture (traditionally monsoon rains) collects or can be directed into the basin shape. If your soil is loose enough, a plastic nursery flat pressed into the soil works well as a template for the waffle shape.


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