Gardening in Arizona can prove a challenge since the soil is mostly sand. Since sand has no nutrients it will have to be amended with decaying organic matter. Compost can be the answer to most of your soil issues in Arizona.
Digging in or adding 2 inches of compost on top of the soil will result in more water in the soil and less watering–another highly important consideration!
You can grow veggies in raised beds or containers for greater control over soil quality and wind protection.
Hot and Sweet Peppers
Peppers grow very well in Arizona. They prefer the cooler seasons of the spring and fall. Plant them in early March from nursery stock (if you can find them) or sprouted seeds indoors in the winter to transplant in early March or continue to continue to grow them in containers. Feed peppers plenty of food-water-soluble fertilizer or organic compost–because they are hungry plants.
Rosemary, Oregano and Dill are extremely easy to grow in desert climates. Rosemary requires very little water and loves the sun. Grow in pots or as a bushy groundcover as part of the landscape. Dill has been categorized, as a weed in Arizona and it will grow anywhere and everywhere even if you don’t want it to. Oregano needs some light shade and weekly watering to thrive. Of course many herbs will grow well indoors in pots on a windowsill or in a sunny room.
Did you know Arizona is the tomato-production capitol of the United States? People and pests alike love tomatoes so they are best grown hydroponically because lack of soil eliminates pests. If you can grow them in containers, the risk of insect infestation and disease is greatly reduced. Remember, any plant grown for its fruit requires at least five hours of sun each day. The Maricopa County Extension Office recommends the addition of reflective material around container plants: aluminum foil, white-painted surfaces or marble chips.