Vegetable Gardening in Northern Nevada & How to make a Raised Garden

After just about killing ourselves over those bloody junipers and planting the lilac and weeping cherry, I’ve turned my sights to the back yard and making my raised vegetable beds!

In the very back of Sunset’s WESTERN LANDSCAPING BOOK, pages 404-405, in the Materials and Techniques chapter, there is a section on Building A Raised Bed.

Raising your garden above the ground can solve some of the most frustrating problems gardeners face. An easy-to-build bed makes it possible for plants to thrive where soil is poor, wildlife is hungry, or the growing season is short. And if you need easy access to your plants – due to a disability or simply to eliminate back-bending labor – you can sit on the edge of the bed and garden in comfort.
Fill the bed with the best soil you can. Good soil means that plants can be placed closer together, making a small area more productive. Line the bottom of the bed with wire screening to keep out pests, or fit it with a PVC framework for bird netting.
A raised bed can be any size, but if its more than 4 feet wide it will be difficult to reach the middle from either side. If the sides will double as benches, build the frame 18-24 inches high.

We have a small backyard ~ with a huge front and side yard. So much rearranging of the landscaping to do! OY! Here’s what I have to work with out back ~ The soil that has been turned was going to be sod…but I’ve decided to put pavers there instead. The compacted ground area behind will be where the raised garden bed will go. Behind those rocks is a an area of about two feet wide to the fence…that will be where I plant the corn.

A couple of weeks ago The State of Nevada Employees Council had an Open House at The Joe here on campus and I signed up for a lot of information from the University of Nevada's Washoe County Cooperation Extension office. I used to be in 4-H out in Washoe Valley…so I knew they were loaded with great information. I highly recommend them for all us in Northern Nevada and the Eastern California area! I posted a link to all of their free publications below.

Here are some of the pamplets I asked for:
Vegetable Varieties For Northern Nevada
A Quick Guide to Composting
Nevada Soils – Worth the Toil
Urban Forestry Tree Planting Practices for Nevada
The All Seeing, All Knowing, Lawn Care Manuel for Northern Nevada
Roses for Reno and the Northern Nevada/Eastern Sierra Area
Spring Planted Bulbs Boast Beautiful Blooms
Hardy, Drought-Tolerant and Moderately Salt-tolerant Shurbs and Vines for Northern Nevada
Seven Ways to Make Your Trees and Shurbs Drought Resistant


The Vegetable Varieties for Northern Nevada is four pages long and gives a list of all veggie varieties that are great for planting here with the planting dates. Great comments on which are better for canning, yields, rust resistance, maturing, indoor growing, storage values, disease resistant, most popluar, etc.

ps: For all of you in the Reno/Sparks area…or those of you who will be in town on May 17th ~ at the Washoe County Extension Office on Mill Street there will be a plant sale that morning. πŸ™‚

9 thoughts on “Vegetable Gardening in Northern Nevada & How to make a Raised Garden

  1. Hi!
    My dad made me a little raised bed last summer for my first small garden! It was WONDERFUL! And I don’t know if I was lucky, but I didn’t have any pest problems! I wish you the best of luck!! πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening in Northern Nevada ~ Sparks (Google / Sleepy Cat Hollow) « Container Gardening

  3. Congratulations for this inspiring publication. As I am keeping a blog on desertification, drought and poverty, I republished the most important part of the text, which could certainly inspire rural people in the world’s drylands to follow your advice. Thanks a lot ! Willem Van Cotthem

  4. We used to have permanent raised beds like the ones you’re planning to make. We had 3 beds. Our biggest pest was slugs, but we solved that problem by putting copper tape around the edges of the raised beds. We now have two very large garden spaces. Most of the plantings are permanent. They are hooked up to a drip irrigation system that we run in the summer. We do have an area inside one of our gardens for seasonal vegetables. Both areas have to be fenced to keep the deer out.

  5. Thanks for the link and the tip about the plant sale. This will be my third year gardening in Fernley. I built a raised garden box last year and it did so well I’m building two more this year. Good luck!

    • I lived in Fernley for four years…we were about 3 houses west of the post office on McCart St. Our backyard backed pasture land and we had great soil. Everything grew pretty well out there, especially the pumpkins. Good luck with this year’s garden!

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