Container Vegetable Gardening in Hot / Desert Climate
The reason why I am on Arizona forum is because I felt Arizona's climate was similar to the climate I live in. I live in Saudi Arabia - in Al Khobar. I compared the weather chart - monthly averages - of Phoenix to that of Al Khobar and found that on an average monthly Phoenix's temperature is like 5-10F lesser than the average monthly temperatures that we have over here. This pattern hold on for all the 12 months. So I thought here would be all the people who I can learn from.
I am a beginning gardener. Never done any sort of gardening before. I dont have any garden space but I do have a roof where I get 8 hours of sunlight in summer and 7 hours during other times. I receive sunlight from sunrise to around 2 pm. after which the area gets shaded because of a tall building just besides my apartment.
I have read a lot of books and am aware of quite a number of things like containers, pot sizes, soils, fertilizers, etc. etc. But thats about it. No practical experience. Further the internet and the books that I have read are more catered towards USDA zone 3-8 and the severe weather zones are rarely touched upon, if at all. As an example, I felt watering and fertilization needs in those zones are titled towards being conscious of over watering and over fertlizing whereas in hot climates like ours, our concern would be under watering and under fertlization.
My preferences are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, garlic, ginger, corriander, mint. I would also want straw berries, if possible.
Tempratures are falling now a days gradually. The highest tempratures are 100-102F during between 12pm-1am and the lowest goes to 70-75F. gradually this is going to reach to 65-70F high and 45-50F lows in January. After which it will begin to climb back and reach the current levels back in End April/Early May.
Also one major problem over here is that I have limited options for potting soil and fertilizers as the local market is not developed enough to have all the stuff that is readily available in the US. A few local brands of potting soil and fertilizers. The local nursery guys are also not so well educated enough to guide any vegetable container gardener. They may know something about house plants and a bit about outdoor gardening but not much (infact anything) about container vegetable gardening.
Just wanted to get some help in this respect. Would highly appreciate any guidance.