Most people believe that a desert garden consists of just landscaping rocks and cacti, but the desert is as filled with variety as any other environment.
Traditional landscaping in the desert requires enormous maintenance and is a drain on precious natural resources.
Those living in the desert should consider using native plants in their landscaping. They should also consider the type of desert soil that exists in their area. [Desert landscaping]
Desert soils are generally not conducive for a good growing environment due to the lack of nutrient rich soils, especially in the desert southwest of the United States.
In this geographical region, the soil is underlined with a hard, solid layer of calcium carbonate, or lime, called caliche.
Located just a few inches to a few feet under the soil surface, caliche makes it extremely difficult to plant anything with deep roots, especially trees because the deep roots require drilling through the caliche for growth and good drainage.
Sometimes a simple drilling is not enough as often times there are several layers of caliche and drilling is just not feasible. In these cases, creating ‘chimneys’ might be good enough to provide good growth and drainage.
However, most likely than not, a full caliche removal is warranted if you want to plant your tree or large bush, especially if they have large root balls. The full removal of the caliche and the replacement of good organic soil is the only way to be able to plant the trees.
The problem of planting in desert soils with caliche is solvable. It will just take a little hard work to remove the calcium carbonate and to rework the soil for good growing conditions.
Some of the best types of trees that would be suitable for these conditions are native plants that are drought-tolerant.
They include species such as Pomegranate, Bottle tree, Fig, Citrus, Desert Ironwood, and Sweet Acacia.