I woke up early yesterday; impatiently waiting for the sun to come up so I could get out in the garden. A few high clouds made for a beautiful sunrise. As I was waiting, I made cookies that I’ll post later this week.
I love playing in the dirt. I guess that’s the farm girl in me coming out. Fresh produce is so good. It seems wrong to pay over $2.50 for an 8 oz. bag of salad spinach. Salads are a summertime staple at my house. Who want’s to heat up the kitchen when it’s 100° in the shade? Better get my salad fixins in the ground now.
Gardening in Arizona is somewhat a challenge. As I remember, Iowa gardening was so much easier. Till the ground; plant the seeds; pull weeds now and then; water if it doesn’t rain; then sit back and watch it grow. The soil was rich with nutrients. As my dad, a life long farmer, said about Arizona when he came to visit, “This ground ain’t good for nothing. Too rocky to grow anything.”
Over the years, I’ve tried various methods with limited success, gardening in bags (soil got too hot and cooked the roots), gardening in tubs (had great tomato plants, but the fruit didn’t set), and rows (planted & replanted several times. Darn chipmunks and kangaroo mice kept digging up and stealing the seeds. If something did sprout, the rabbits got it.) Our backyard is enclosed by 3′ chain link, with chicken wire around it and overlapping the gates. The rabbits hop over the fence like it’s not even there. We put up blocks in one corner to help with the critters and the hot summer winds.
Well, a garden is possible – if you cage your area and enrich the soil by adding peat moss, compost, perlite, etc. into the ground. I have a small garden area and plant in a modified square foot format. Each year, we continue to add garden soil and compost. Eventually, I’ll get the soil where I want it.
Onion sets, radishes, carrots, green beans, spinach and romaine lettuce hit the dirt yesterday. Today, we’ll be expanding the garden a few more square feet on the left side of the wall for full sun. Zucchini and yellow squash have to been in full sun to avoid aphids and they don’t mind the high winds. Tomato plants, zucchini, yellow squash and cantaloupe are on today’s agenda.
I’ll provide weekly updates on my garden, perhaps more often after it starts to grow.
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