Category Archives: Plants

Not just chickens…

I know it seems that all aspects of our lives have stopped to watch Chickens.
14_0202 KohlrabiJust look at this beautiful purple kohlrabi!

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Seeds are coming UP!

WOW…  a little earth, a little water, and some sunshine, and MAGIC!

We have sprouts in the garden beds already.  No matter how many times I am witness to this process, it amazes me in its wonder.

Seeds are in!

This was the weekend we planted the beds. As I mentioned before, all our seeds are organic and/or heirloom varieties purchased from Botanical Interests.  I was going to tell you a lovely story about the artist who illustrates each of the varieties of seeds…  But, of the seeds we purchased for our garden, almost all of the packets noted a different artist.  Now I think that is pretty cool!

It’s still pretty warm here, 105+ degrees as the day time high!  Yes, we are ready for the heat to end…  At this time of year, I try to remind myself that it’s no different than being in snow country in the spring, when it warms up a bit and then you get hit with another snow storm.  But, I digress…

Here’s our garden plan.  We planted quite a few different vegetables and a few herbs, some of which I have never grown before.  We planted the Fava beans along the back concrete block wall with all of the other seeds planted in the front of this bed.  In the very front of the bed (east side), there is one row of Marigolds to deter pests.

Garden Plan

We planted Nasturtiums in the very front (east side) of this planter.  I love Nasturtiums!  The locations for each seed was based on the companion planting guidelines I could find.  Fingers are crossed X X

Let the watering begin!

OK, I feel like a kid in the candy store or maybe the young guy on the commercial where he says, “I’m too excited to sleep!”  I just received an email from the seed company saying our seeds have shipped.  Two more days and we fill the raised beds with compost… and then it all really begins!  This means i have a couple of days to figure out our planting plan – sketchbook, here I come!

Seeds

We ordered seeds today!  We ordered from Botanical Interests because we could select seeds that are without GMOs, organic, heirloom, drought tolerant, and can take full sun.  We also looked at Seeds of Change for many of the same reasons, but their seeds cost a little bit more.

Now to figure out what to plant where.  I’ve been looking at companion planting charts and soil pH requirements.  I found a great short article about companion planting at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service’s website page.

What to Plant?

It’s almost fall…  well, at least in many parts of the country but here!  Here, the daytime highs are still hovering around 100 degrees plus.  Some of the only ways to tell it’s fall is the palpable excitement about double digit temperatures (OMG, it was only 99 today!) and Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is back.  And, if you’re up early enough in the day, the mornings are a little cooler – the nighttime lows are dropping below 80 degrees (like last night, it was all the way down to 79).

What this is all leading to is planting guides.  When gardening in the desert, all of the “typical” when to plant guides are meaningless!  The best planting guide for our region that I have found so far comes from the work and experience of Matt Suhr and Greg Peterson at the Urban Farm.

Based on their chart, we are looking at planting beets, fava beans, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cilantro, fennel, kale, radish, swiss chard, turnips, scallions, onions, parsnips and spinach.  Next step – figure out if we have enough room to grow everything!