Gardening in very dry soil

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You certainly have challenging conditions. Without some improvements to the soil, you’ll have a hard time with any common garden plants.

You are gardening in an area called the Dry Interior Zone, and, in addition to dealing with the climate, you have very poor soil. If you can “pocket plant,” that is, create individual planting areas by digging holes and amending the gravelly soil in each spot with well-rotted manure or compost, you’ll have better luck.

Please see the plants I suggested for a reader living in Hedley, BC. If you can’t improve the soil or keep the plants watered during the first few summers, I suggest you stick with very drought tolerant plants, such as ponderosa pines and junipers.

Maybe you can improve a small part of the garden each year, learning what works – both techniques and plants – as you proceed.