Friday, October 19, 2012

Time To Plant Gardens In The Sonoran Desert

October in the Sonoran Desert means the start of a very long and productive growing season in the garden.  I have already planted garlic, green onions, carrots, beets, and lettuce.  I am planning on planting peas, tomatoes and potatoes very soon.  Most of these garden plants should grow through May.  Only tomatoes and potatoes will require a little frost protection if it does freeze this winter.  Typically I find at my house it freezes about two out of every three winters, but never for more than a few hours at a time.  I normally do not grow tomatoes during the winter but am giving it a try this year.  If they survive through the winter they should produce heavily March through July.  I am also planning on planting potatoes above ground in straw and compost, I'll post more on this at another time.  The earlier everything is started the more productivity we can get out of the garden.  If we wait a week or two it will be to cool for plants to grow very quickly, greatly reducing productivity.  If we start earlier, the bugs eat everything.  I am still trying to find a good solution to bugs eating all my new sprouts.  

We have had two years of drought which has been rather hard on gardening here.  This summers monsoon season broke that drought at least for the near future.  Fortunately, it is expected that this will be an El Nino winter, which often means more rain for the Southwest.  Even with irrigation it always seems that the garden grows best with rain.  

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