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soil type

Posted by beaver007 5B NE (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 25, 07 at 10:47

Ok a while back I hopped into this forum so I can help the Inlaws with the NV gardening thing so I shall start with the questions.
Describe your soil type the best you can, I know most of you use raised beds but I want to know what the native soil (if you can call it that) is like?
Please feel free to chime in with other Pahrump gardening knowlege like average day light time, Length of growing season, Last average day of frost and first average day of frost, When do you consider it safe to start planting. What plants do the the best. What would you call an average plant that everybody plants. Please dont list plants that need over the normal protection in the winter the inlaws wont go that far remember they are retired.
I have gone to a few web sites and done a little reading but your personal expierences are way better.
All info is good info at this point and I know NV has different zones I am wanting Info for the Pahrump area, so let me have it dont be afraid to be long winded (im not)
Thank you I look forward to doing alot of reading.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: soil type


I live in Las Vegas about an hour from Pahrump. I can tell you that here we have different soil types depending what part of town you are on. In our old house we had a thick layer of caliche about a foot down but I havn't seen any at our new old house. We have thick clay type soil here while it was more gravelly at our old house. I suspect Pahrump will have some variety too.

One thing I will guarantee is that the soil will be very alkaline. I don't grow stuff in raised beds in imported soil but I do amend our clay with a lot of horse manure and sand and gravel to loosen up the clay. I add soil sulfer but generally I think it is much better to just grow plants that tolerate alkaline soil and there are a lot of great ones. Generally plants native to the southwest including texas, arizona and california are going to handle the soil fine.

I used to grow a few plants like pyracantha that don't like the alkalinity and would get chlorosis every year and I'd have to treat with iron but that gets old. Now I'm enjoying all the great plants that thrive here without me having to amend like crazy in order for them to survive.

Good Luck, Maria

RE: soil type

  • Posted by beca 8b-NV (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 28, 07 at 13:17

Hi Beaver

Well, you asked for it so here is my thoughts about gardening in Pahrump. (I'm taking a deep breath...LOL....okay here is my opinion) Some people laugh at that thought but you can garden out here. Our soil is described as mineral soils that are low in organic matter & nutrients. They are somewhat alkaline and many are saline; as well...and you know this doesn't help with growing anything. Also clayey & very poorly drained. Some areas have caliche soil which needs to be taken out and replaced with compost,etc. I have native desert plants in my yards...the holes were dug and soil was replaced with cactus soil mix.
Pahrump does have Masters Gardening Program too-I will get the phone number for you later (can't find it for some dumb reason now).
Our growing season is about 265 days...1st average day of frost is the early November and our last frost is usually in early March. Winds are the biggest problems you will need to build strong protection for your plants too.
Pahrump is zoned 8A. I just noticed I have us in zone 8B...hmmm. We are in the south end of town at 2965 elevation. My plants that are in the ground include are red yucca, texas privets, rosemary, lavender, mulberry trees, salvia, joshua trees, a palm tree (think it's a Mexican Blue), russian sage, pomergranete, desert willow tree, apple, appricot, and peach trees. Also have an olive tree, chaste tree, mondel pine trees.
I have raised beds for my vege garden and a small half moon rose garden. I grow tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, lettuce (romaine and spinach), herbs (basil goes crazy out here), cucumber, cantelope and more I can't think of.
I also have alot of container pots full of roses, pansies, bulbs (tulips, crocus, daffodil),etc...I have honeysuckle and virginia creeper vines growing on my fence.
We have a drip system in the yard. It's used mainly in the summer when it is blazing HOT, HOT, HOT out here.

FYI: I bought a wonderful book called NEVADA Gardener's Guide by Linn Mills & Dick Post. It is very informative and has really helped me in every area of gardening here.


RE: soil type

Thanks for all the info, Now thats the type of information I like to read, That will really help.
I will look for the book. Thanks again

RE: soil type

  • Posted by beca 8b-NV (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 4, 07 at 17:41

Your welcome!!

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