Avid Southwest gardeners see August as a time to enjoy the beauty of summer annuals, the bounty of a summer garden harvest, and the shade of the early morning or late afternoon. Southwest gardeners also mark August as the traditional beginning of the fall vegetable garden. Some fall vegetables should be planted by seed as early as mid-August: squashes like acorn, butternut and Hubbard; zucchini; melons like “Crenshaw,” honeydew, and casaba; fall sweet corn; tomatoes; peppers; and green beans. And September marks the beginning of the fall vegetable planting season — the most abundant season in desert gardening. So, preparing the garden’s soil is on every vegetable grower’s August checklist.
Everyone wants their yards to look their best, have lush and beautiful plants year-round. Summertime, though, seems to make us all wilt, plants and people alike. But, even though it’s hot and humid this month, your plants can thrive and stay healthy by understanding a few basics: what is plant heat stress, how do you know your plant is stressed, and what do you do when your plants have been affected?
Each year as the monsoon season descends upon us, we see too many trees uprooted and ruined by poor preparation. With the proper planning and practices, this can all be avoided. Take time to inspect and make certain of the following preventive measures.
Use of container and raised bed gardens is a practical and ever
popular choice with many homeowners. Integrated around your outdoor
living areas, they add warmth and character to areas that could
otherwise be hard and uninviting. Also, backyards are now typically
smaller than years ago; therefore, containers can make an excellent
patio garden. They'll add greenery, architectural interest and
structure to the patio and around the yard. Container gardens also
lend themselves to the renter, as well as the homeowner. Raised bed
gardens also add architectural interest and structure to an area
and they can also be a practical solution for gardeners with
The holiday season brings a flurry of preparatory activity in
the home to give it that extra pizzazz for this special time of
year: clutter gets cleaned up, the holiday decorations are set out,
centerpieces and tablecloths are changed, garland swags and wreaths
Many of us move to the Valley of Sun from other places and don't
understand how the desert climate changes the way we plant
vegetables and flowers. Plants that grew back home may not grow
here, so follows are some helpful tips to make gardening
If you have hard, salty ground that most everyone in the Valley
has, start with First Step Soil Acidifier to lower pH and open up
and soften the soil. Add a product called Great Big Plants. Mix 3
to 4 ounces per gallon of water to get the microbial (good bugs)
count up in the soil so they can process the nutrients. This is an
organic fertilizer that contains a microbial culture. The amount of
nutrients in it is sufficient for several weeks. Then be sure you
make an early application of phosphorus and potassium. You need
phosphorous for flowering on anything that blooms, like peas. Use
6-20-20 to boost flowering. Green leafy vegetables and root
vegetables, such as carrots and beets, need higher nitrogen
fertilizer, such as 16-8-8 or 15-15-15, which are medium release
and last for one to two months. The rate is about 3/4 pounds per
100 square feet.
Ahwatukee Girl Scout Troop 470 is participating in a project to earn the gold award by creating a garden for Early Language Learning and Arts (ELLA) Studio Preschool. The goal of the garden is to create a sustainable project that can teach kids about nature.