Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Caught a Caterpillar

Lots of holes in the leaves of green bean and cabbage plants. I caught one little caterpillar mid-feast, but I didn't have it in me to kill him after his photo-shoot. So, he was placed in a leafy plant in my yard that grows wild and has plenty to spare. Hope he likes it there.
In the past weeks, I gave the green bean plants two tomato cages to help keep them up. I also had a friend give us some mulch/wood chips and I layered them around the larger plants to help keep in moisture.
Everything is growing so fast.

Green Bean plant eaten by caterpillar

Other green bean plant with first bean
The hungry one

Zucchini and cherry tomato
Compost Cantaloupe
Green Bean Flowers

Lettuce Varieties
Snap Peas racing upward
Tiny green onions
Butterfly in flight from citrus tree to citrus tree
First day to see both tortoises out of their hole in a few months

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My garden today. 
I'm working on getting my old sprinkler hose and timer working to use on days that I can't water the garden by hand. I need to fix the hose connection and add a few more sprinkler heads and it will be great! All the seeds are growing, even those planted before some flooding rains. I love this time of gardening when each time I come out I see growth.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Replanting Seeds, Flooding & Growth

In the past few weeks, very few of my planted seeds grew, maybe I let them dry out, I didn't think so. The cabbage and green beans grew fine.
So I re-planted lettuce, spinach, cilantro, green onion and peas. I planted my tomato transplants as well as a purchased cherry tomato plant. I also planted zucchini and carrots, but that same day the heavy rains came (Sept 27th) so I'm not sure how the seeds will handle the flooding. We have had record breaking rains this September and the citrus trees are happy, but the gardening has been tricky. Cats pooping in my garden has also caused me some frustration. With my garden area larger than previous years, I don't have netting large enough to cover it all and keep them out.
My compost has some lovely plants growing with yellow flowers.
Today I planted Marigold seeds in two sections of the garden. The estimated days until bloom 30-50 days. We'll see how they grow!
Our family is getting excited as our citrus grows larger, we know that citrus time is only a few months away!
Here's how our backyard is looking.

Bush Beans

Compost Pile


Thursday, September 11, 2014

September Planting

It was very fortunate that my procrastination and I delayed planting. This past Monday, our area was flooded with over 4 inches of rainfall. My garden area was a foot under water. Unfortunately, many had it much worse than I and their homes were beyond damaged by flooding, roof problems and fallen trees. Our desert wasn't prepared for that much rain all at once.

The soil was good and ready for the seeds I planted today. 

Sugar Daddy Pea
Green Onion
Organic Cilantro
Mesclun Gourmet Greens Mix (Arugula, Romaine, Kale, several Lettuce types)
Romaine Lettuce
Organic Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
Crisphead Lettuce
Green Bush Beans

I also placed my growing tomato seedlings out in the garden area to start acclimating them to their future home.

Soaking Peas and Beans overnight


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Garden Growers Helpful Documents

Here are the documents from our Garden Growers Meetings.
Information on Soil Preparation, Pest and Weed Control, Composting, Planting Times in the Arizona Desert climate, etc. I will add future documents to this post as well.

Long Awaited

It's seems so long since I was a gardener. Pregnancy and my sweet children have topped my priority list for several seasons. I'm very excited to dive back into the dirt and grow some food for my family (and for sharing). 
I started a Garden Growers group for the families of my neighborhood, mostly those from church since I know them. I hope that others from the community are able to catch wind of it and be a part of sharing knowledge, providing support and sharing harvests. 
After each meeting we have with the garden group, I type up all the topics discussed and send out a informational document to all those who are interested. Those documents are now available for viewing and download on this blog. They are very informational for desert gardeners. 
My fall gardening season began with my husband and I shedding some sweat getting our garden area from weed-and-dirt status to fertile soil status. We added steer manure (purchased at Lowes for $1.09 a bag - 18 bags), removed the bricks from our past gardening layout, dug out the grass, removed as many roots as possible and roto-tilled. I also have a spot designated for composting so I can use that soil in the future to enhance my garden. 
A few weeks ago, my two-year-old and I planted four varieties of tomato seeds for later transplant into the garden area when the weather is less hostile.
In the next weeks, planting additional seeds in the garden area is on the agenda.
More to come!