Master Gardener David Shropshall will be teaching residents the best desert gardening practices to achieve crops like the pumpkins he’s growing at home. On Friday, Aug. 16 you can join Shropshall at the Mesquite Library from 1-3 p.m.
The University of Nevada’s Cooperative Extension Programs, in conjunction with Clark County Library provides gardening classes on the third Friday of each month that are free to the public. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

The University of Nevada’s Cooperative Extension Program in conjunction with the Clark County Library offers free gardening classes on the third Friday of each month.

The program is meant to teach homeowners and industry professionals to save water and adopt environmentally friendly landscape and gardening techniques.

Master Gardener David Shropshall will be discussing the types of Legumes that thrive in the desert, when to plant certain varieties and continual care up to harvest.

Shropshall Has been gardening in the Southwest for 15 years along with certification from the University’s Master Gardener Program and says that you can’t garden in the desert the same way you’d garden in Cleveland, Ohio. Certain plants will never grow in the desert and some will thrive here like no others, the key is finding the right crops to plant and when.

With the help of the class, you can overcome those challenges and unique growing conditions of the desert; questions are encouraged. Gardening in the southwest isn’t difficult, it’s just different. You almost must unlearn what you know about gardening as it relates to timing and understand that here in the desert, Mother Nature is on a different schedule.

Most vegetables will thrive in the desert but leafy greens such as spinach and Kale along with lettuce, cabbage and broccoli and root vegetables do best when planted in cooler weather, right after the last frost.

When temperatures reach over 80-90 degrees and are without much moisture, pollen in the plants’ flowers dries out before it can fertilize the blossoms of tomatoes, peppers, corn, eggplants, squash, beans and melons.

Shropshall can tell you all about the minerals that are found in desert soil, how to water your plants and provide good sun protection and how to improve and amend the native soil.

You can easily increase the amount of vegetables that your garden will produce with helpful tips and tricks from Master Gardener Shropshall; just ask him about his 8 ft. tall tomato plants.