When you’re planning you’re landscape in the desert, one of the best things you can try to do is to also plan on eating it. With water being at such a premium, many homeowners are planting landscapes that can also serve as organic gardens which will produce nutritious, chemical-free food while making their homes and yards look colorful.
The concept of organic gardening in landscape design is incorporating gardening into the environment to maximize and improve the garden soil’s structure, texture and health. This also maximizes the health and production of developing plants in the landscape without using pesticides, fungicides or synthetic commercial fertilizers.
Organic gardening’s goal is to produce fresh, quality food with more vitamins and minerals that tastes better and gives more energy and an overall feeling of well-being. There’s also no plastic packaging, no plastic bags, and even small gardens can produce a lot of food. It’s actually better to concentrate plantings together to save on water usage, especially in areas where water is scarce and using a drip water system is very efficient with little evaporation.
The mantra of organic landscape gardening is don’t plant food not grass, water is too precious. Eat your landscape. It is also good to only cut the weeds, not pull them, because pulling disrupts the soil integrity. Instead use the weed trimmings as mulch which helps retain moisture. It also helps to place domestic flowers with native wildflowers which provides a choice for insects to pollinate and insects to feed.
Don’t plan an organic garden or landscape in rows or in a single crop. Instead group similar plants together because they will not all mature at the same time. Planting a single crop or monoculture can lead to disease and can drain the soil of nutrients. A garden can also be planted in complementary crops which will benefit each other like tomatoes with basil. Planting things together allows the plants to help each other. This symbiosis of the landscape means there is a close relationship between the various plants. This is very helpful where water is hard to find. Keeping mulch over the plants and on the ground helps retain as much of the moisture as possible.
The organic garden landscape is actually a pretty disorganized look for a garden, but it is serving a greater purpose. Keeping as much of the moisture in the desert as possible is essential for the environment and producing food as part of the landscape serves a dual purpose. If you can think of weeds as your friends, this may be the type of gardening for you. Weeds are actually very good indicators of a soil’s health and are very good homes for a great many insects that are beneficial for plants.
Organic gardening is one way to get your food as pure as possible. It also helps the environment because there are no chemicals being added to the soil or air surrounding the garden nor is anything leaching into the water table. Combining this pure form of gardening with creating food from a desert landscape seems to be a perfect partnership.