One of the most relaxing things you can do for your property – also one involving vigorous exercise, and one that can add real value to your property – is to work on the garden. As temperatures move into and hover in the mid-50s and 60s, perhaps it’s time to look at planning or sprucing up your landscaping and gardening in Truckee this year. As many know, some of the preparations would be well underway at this point.
As do a lot of high desert areas, gardening in Truckee can present some climate, soil, and water challenges. The soil is heavy, chalky, and consists largely of calcium carbonate. The main factors that will affect your garden include:
- Soil, as already mentioned
- Temperatures that change rapidly, fluctuating a great deal between day and night, and obviously, throughout the seasons
- A short growing season, with a late killing frost
- Dry winds, and low humidity
- Very high intensity sunlight
- Water restrictions & drought regulations
None of the above is mentioned to discourage you; in fact, you’re encouraged to get your garden going, plus there’s help available, as will be mentioned later. If you understand the conditions affecting the area you live in, and that there may even be microclimates in place (as there is, for example, in Truckee Regional Park, where the Truckee Community Garden is located), you’re well on your way to getting a good start.
You may want to do the work yourself. A labor of love. Some may want to outsource the work to dedicated landscaping companies who specialize in planning, planting, and maintaining your garden. If the work isn’t something you want to do, or if you’re perhaps a seasonal owner, the experts may be the way to go. Call us if you want a reference to a reliable company.
For all gardeners, here are a few basic starter tips that will help you plan or landscape your garden. If you already have tomatoes and peppers seeded indoors, the time to take them outdoors will be mid-May. Vegetable lovers, you may have already planted spinach, lettuce, carrots and other good veggies in early or mid-April. Some of the flowers that may have already seen their way into your garden could include Viola and Dianthus. As the last regular day of frost occurs around mid-May, the burst of spring to early summer gardening can take place right after.
While it’s best to check with your local nursery for suggestions that will be tailored to the amount of sunlight or shade your garden receives, the moisture factor, and so forth, here are a few suggestions (of many possibilities):
- Fuchsia is adapted, and works well in medium to dry soil
- Cinquefoil is native to the area, working well in medium to wet soil
- Large-leaved Lupine is native, tolerates partial shade, and grows in wet to medium soil
Plants need a good deal of irrigation while getting established. And as gardeners already know, plants are grouped according to their sunlight and moisture requirements. Again, the experts can help you plan out or even maintain your wonderful garden. For more ideas, why not visit the Truckee Community Garden’s page, the Truckee Demonstration Garden’s Facebook page, or stop by local companies such as Villager Nursery or Rock & Rose Nursery, who are experts in gardening and landscaping.