10 Fruits and Vegetables Perfect For Your Grand Junction Garden
One of the biggest challenges about living in a desert climate, is growing a proper garden. Luckily, in Grand Junction, we have two large rivers running through the area, and we have established a lot of greenery here. However, we still live in a warm, dry climate. Here are some fruits and vegetables that do very well in the dry Grand Junction Climate.
Any form of hot pepper is going to do just fine in the desert. They are easy to grow and take care of, just make sure they don’t get too much sun (sun scalding is still a thing).
Green beans are pretty straight forward, plant them, water them, and soon you will have green beans. They can come in bush and vine variety, so just make sure you ask someone, if you do have a preference.
Okra is seriously one of the toughest plants in the area. Okra is very heat tolerant, just add some water and you’re good to go.
Asparagus is another plant that grows rather easily in Grand Junction. Its best to plant it in spring, or early summer. There are a few things to note, though, about asparagus. They tend to grow better in slightly cooler climates, so you’ll need to make sure they receive plenty of water. In addition, it can take a few years for the plant to really start producing, but once it does it can yield years of production, definitely worth the wait.
You need to plant your Quinoa directly into the soil. Make sure you clear all weeds from the area before you plant. When Quinoa is first growing, it can look a lot like weeds, so be careful not to weed you quinoa. Grand Junction’s climate works fairly well you quinoa, just make sure it gets plenty of water.
These are also known as prickly pear. They grow naturally throughout the Grand Junction area, but you can also find seeds to plant your own. The red fruit bulbs on top of the cactus are very sweet and tasty, they actually remind me of a kiwi. Just make darn sure you get all of the cactus needles (the little orange ones are hard to see and they are mean) off before you stick it in your mouth.
Pomegranate is another tasty fruit that you can grow in the Grand Junction area, just make sure you give it space and a lot of water. I’ve heard that you can surround the plant with foil and plant it in a spot with lots of sun, to cut the growing time in half. I’ve never done this myself, just some tips I’ve heard. Pomegranate does extremely well in warm climates, which makes it perfect for spring and summer growth here in Grand Junction.
I’ve grown some really large watermelon in Grand Junction, during the summer. The biggest thing about planting watermelon, is to plant early. It takes at least 80 days, which means you should try to plant them by mid spring, so you have a harvest late summer. Watermelon are very tough, and do well in the dry, Grand Junction climate. Just make sure they have lots of love and water.
Zucchini, Yellow, and Acorn squash are always going to do just fine in our dry, desert climate. In fact, in the past few years my garden has yielded some of the largest zucchini I’ve ever seen. Because a lot of our soil is actually clay, it’s still a good idea to purchase some planting soil.
Tomatoes can do exceptionally well in the Grand Junction climate. There are two good seasons for growing tomatoes in Grand Junction, March - June and September - November. You can grow them any time spring through fall, but those are the best seasons. Make sure you have tomato cages, as you can run into problems otherwise. What you might not know about tomatoes, is that they are part of the Nightshade family, known as Solanaceae. This means that the tomato leaves can be extremely toxic. So don’t eat the leaves!
I’m no expert gardener, but I do know that all of these listed plants and veggies grow very well in the Grand Junction area, if you take good care of them. Good luck and happy planting (and eating!).