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Landscaping in Vegas

I recently moved to Las Vegas from the East coast. My house has no landscaping save for an overgrown Mexican palm. I would really like to landscape but I have no idea how to handle the plant-deadly combination of sun, heat and lousy soil. I have gone to several gardening centers but the choices are overwhelming when you don't know what will grow with what and what you have to do to give the plants a fighting chance in the first place.

To add insult to injury, the old sprinkler system was torn out and the access points from the front to the back of the house were concreted over so getting a water line to the back of the house is majorly problematic.

All I know a this point is that I would like to use a drip irrigation system and I don't want a 100% desert landscaped yard - there is enough sand outside of my home, I'd like to bring a bit of green into my environs.

Any suggestions out there?

Re: Landscaping in Vegas

1. First stop for you is the city or your water company: see if they offer rebates, incentives, promotions, discounts or plans for 'native' landscape.

2. Second, start reading landscape books, articles on line, etc, and get yourself familiar with what grows and what doesn't grow in your area.

3. Third, Get some advice at local nurseries, contractors, gardners. Some garden centers offer plant guarantees and free replacement.

4. If you don't have any water source outside the house, don't worry - you can tap into the main water supply line to the house.

5. As for the back yard, you will bring water through landscaping pvc schedule 40 pipes from a manifold that you will have in the front. It will be easier to hire a pro for your irrigation system, if you are clueless.

6. As for your soil, you can enrich it with different potting soils, amendments and fertilizers fit for your plants.

7. You can have lots of green plants around you, so your yard doesn't look like a desert, at very reasonable cost.

8. Just do your homework.

Re: Landscaping in Vegas

We recently moved to Phoenix from the east coast and had the same concerns, minus the paved over watering system.

We found the three best sources of information were a good local nursery, the library (books on xeriscaping), and the botanical garden. Ours has bi-annual plant sales which are great.

Vegas is very similar to Phoenix regarding weather and soil, plants. We found the palms on the property such a pain to maintain that we removed them. we now have mesquite and palo verde trees, hopseed bushes, emu bushes, flowering vines. All green and all florish in the environment. My personal favorite is a prickly pear cactus.

You won't get the green the east coast has, so you probably should rethink your approach to landscaping in the desert. I can tell you it is most definitely not brown. We have lots of different, flowering plants that are well adapted to the environment.

You will need a drip system, but read up and, as mentioned already, do your research. Having a desert garden bloom is really cool, but it takes work.

Good Luck

Re: Landscaping in Vegas

Very useful points from John here.

Let me just add that drip irrigation system has a short life in desert conditions. Sometimes rodents even chew the lines. That's why I suggested sch 40 pvc pipings.

Send photos when you finish...

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