LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Spring is in full bloom, and whether you have a green thumb or kill every plant you touch, it is possible to start gardening in the desert climate even if you only have a small space. 

Cait B. Smith’s business, Porch Pepper Project, offers tips to get plants growing. She grows, sells, and educates others on growing their own food in small, desert spaces. She posts frequently on social media and her blog. She also has a book that sells for $21.

Smith’s love of gardening came full circle in 2021 when she launched her own business. Her mother owned a plant nursery in Michigan.

Cait B. Smith developed a love of gardening as a child. (KLAS)

Smith recommends planting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers during spring to the summertime and advises connecting with other gardeners for tips. 

“Soil is the most important part in creating life above the soil,” Smith said.

Kitchen scraps such as banana peel, eggshells, and carrot tops can be used as compost to help grow plants. She also sells grow kits that come with four different seed varieties and pots for $25.

As for how to keep the plants alive once they bloom, Smith said water conservation plays a hand in their longevity. 

“The biggest mistake new gardeners make is being a ‘smother mother’ with water,” Smith said. 

She said to create your own compost, use organic materials or mulch such as wood chips to allow for less watering. “Make that soil into a sponge,” Smith adds. 

Smith also suggests trimming leaves for maintenance and planting a companion plant to ward off insects.

“The smell of a basil plant will deter pests from touching our tomatoes and will make the tomatoes taste better too.”