Gardening in Hot Dry Climates

Gardening in a dry, hot climate is always an adventure. Too much sun. Too little water.  And soil that has almost nothing going for it.  Your drought-tolerant garden, however, can be much more than sizzling hot rock mulch* scattered with pines and scrawny bushes. As a Certified Master Gardener I will show you how to create a beautiful hot, dry desert garden landscape.

Create a Mediterranean Garden  
Rio Grande Fax Tex Ash autumn
Learn which big beautiful trees, like this Fan Tex Ash,  grow best in hot, dry climates.

You will find that it is definitely possible to create a Mediterranean-style retreat around your home with fast growing, leafy green trees and palms in garden rooms. You can find more information about how to make shady havens surrounded by green hedges and fabulous drought-tolerant flower borders.

And if replacing your entire lawn is in your plans, I have many suggestions for how to do it starting with low water usage perennials and ground covers.

Plant a Desert Style Landscape 

Further away from your house, you can plant a drier, more desert-like xeriscape landscape with cactus, ornamental grasses, acacias, mesquites and other desert plants.  Better yet, you can create a useful and attractive hot dry garden while using water wisely.

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* How hot is rock mulch?  When the outside air temperature is 100 degrees, the surface temperature of the rock mulch in the sun around your home, particularly on the south and west sides, may easily be over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. (65 degrees Celsius).  The new artificial turf, being promoted as water-wise, may also be hotter than 150 degrees.  It is as if your home is sitting in an oven!

But a green grass lawn will remain relatively cool in the low 90s.  If, however, you don’t want a lawn, consider replacing your lawn with a water-wise ground cover, such as a low, spreading shrub, Acacia redolens or Lantana, to help reduce the temperature of that super-heated rock mulch.  Not to mention how ground covers can help reduce your air conditioning bills!

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