Thursday, April 10, 2008

Success and Failure in the Garden

I got an email from Greg Peterson (The Urban Farm) about a class at the Downtown Market that sounds interesting. I will try to go and post notes here. If you don't already know about The Urban Farm, check it out and get on the mailing list. It was a class by Greg that really inspired me to transform my few citrus into an orchard. The Permaculture Guild has a calendar keeps an online calendar with this class and others.

Class Info:
On Saturday, April 26th from 10:30 to Noon, Doreen Pollack will teach the first of her monthly "What to do in Your Garden this Month" classes designed to demystify gardening in the Valley. This class will be held on the last Saturday of the month with tips for the following month.

Ever wonder when to plant seeds versus transplants? When to fertilize? What needs fertilizing? What plants do well in the garden in the summer? What should I do in my garden NOW? This monthly class will cover all this and more.
Stop in to find out what to do in your garden monthly. Each class is different! You will leave with valuable tips to maximize your time, energy, water and money. Gardening in the desert can be simple and fun!

Bring paper and pen for notes. An outline of the course is available for students.

There is a suggested donation of $10 per class.

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Several people have commented (off the blog) on how nice the garden looks. These people however are not only kind, but not from Arizona so they don't realize that it could be a lot move vigorous and luxuriant with growth than it is by this time of year. My neighbor has already given me fresh tomatoes and he has had lettuce for months.
The shot above is of my especially pitiful flower bed. At the bottom right, pushing up the thyme plant, you may be able to see the mushrooms that are thriving. Sigh. This must mean I am over-watering even though none of the seeds I have planted have come up. I put in a few transplants and lots of nasturtium and cosmos seeds and not a single seedling has poked up.

Meanwhile the 4 nasturtium seeds that I planted in the pansies are growing tall and the transplants in the pots are healthy.

The squash continue to do well, at least two of the three plants are producing and two of the cucumbers are blooming like mad.
The zucchini are slowing growing, not really seeming as strong as expected.
I planted 2 bean transplants and they are growing although the bottom leaves keep getting crispy. Must put up the cages for them.
I have an area that is 4' x 8' in the east raised bed that I devoted to seeds of lettuce (mesclun mixes), radishes and carrots. Below is one of the very few seedlings that have appeared.

Next time I try this I may have to cover the soil to help keep it moist. I do think that birds are ketting some of them. And I think the 'soil' is too coarse. This is the fine stuff that was added later when I could not get anything to grow in the big woody mulch-like stuff that I started with.
I absolutely love Double Delight Roses and I searched and searched and could only find one this year. It was not a healthy plant, lots of mildew and the buds had lots of aphids. But I bought it anyway and planted it in a big container with lots of compost. The smell is wonderful although the flowers do not look quite as usual for a Double Delight, maybe because it's been pretty chilly so far, Once this flush of blooms passes I will cit off all the diseased leaves since the new leaves are all healthy.
I'm still learning to use the camera. This is attempting to show a blossom on the Olallieberry bush which has grown like crazy since planted a few weeks ago. I put it in a very shady area. I do have a Brazos blackberry in a pot that I bought this week and have yet to transplant. It is supposed to take heat better than the Olallieberry.
The Aprium (a plum-apricot cross) has a few fruit.
This is one of the miracles, a melon plant growing from a seed. I planted just a few melon seeds in the orchard area and they have all sprouted.
The artichokes keep producing new leaves while the bottom leaves get crispy. I don't know if this is expected.
It's been extra cool this year. Spring was delayed about three weeks. The year before we had a late hard freeze. I have had a few eggplant transplants die and the peppers don't seem too happy. I may replant the eggplant next week since I think it is finally warming up.

Well OK, it does look lovely anyway. I love getting up each morning and slowly surveying all the changes.

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