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Garden Update

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posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 04:19 PM
Shot some pics for a little tech article I'm working on.

While I had the camera out, I shot a few of the garden.

Here's a couple so you can compare 4 weeks growth to the pics posted in the "Lessons Learned from a Backyard Garden" post.

Found here:'

Most of the plants are doing well and since the first set of pics posted in the other thread, we have some pretty good growth.

The Jubilee tomato is still small and struggling a bit.
I think what happened there was when I re-potted to larger pots with Miracle-Gro potting soil - which really does well in containers - from the starter pots I should have left the bigger pots indoors for a while longer.
We did have a couple of 32 degree F nights, but most of them were in the low 40's and high 30's.

Even so, a bit tough on the bigger potted plants since they were outdoors and not getting as much sun as they should have been plus the sides of the pots were exposed to the ambient temp and they may have done better planted directly in the garden.
The other tomato plants started from seed were slow to start after being planted in the garden, but they're doing very well now.

Along these same lines, I've started digging the holes that plants go in a bit larger than needed and filling it with potting soil.
It seems to give them a good boost.
This is the first year for us to have a veggie garden in the desert and it is a learning process.

The soil was amended, but I think not enough.
I do tend to go overboard and Sweetie who grows great flowers has gotten me to take it easy in some areas.
Even so, about twice as much steer manure and maybe four times the gypsum would have been better I think.

One thing I have learned is, desert gardens need more water than a Southern or Central California garden.
Granted, Central California gets pretty hot, exceeding 100 degrees F on more than a few summer days, but what happens here in the dez is the wind blows pretty hard - exceeding 50 mph a few days back - and tends to suck the moisture right out of the ground.

So my watering schedule has been, every three days if the winds are calm or not too high.
Every two days if the winds have been blowing.
Stretch the watering to three days apart when the winds been blowing and the plants start to show stresses.

Container plants get watered every two days, they tend to dry out fast no matter what the wind is.

If it has been windy and the garden is dry - check it with a spade, dig a chunk of garden soil up and see if it's damp down to the bottom.
If it's dry, definitely time to water.

I water pretty deeply after a wind storm, as you can see in the pic.
And I do need to cut the weeds back again.
They're trying hard to get through the fence into the garden, but so far they've been easy to control.
Tomatoes seem to like lots of water.

Today, one hundred degrees F and the same for the next couple of days.
Probably 112-115 degrees F down at the river.
(We're at 3300'.)
Hot granted, and I did come in early, but the high temps bode well for monsoon season to start in a week or two.

A small comment about the hard work on the intitial preparation etc.
Regardless of size, don't try to dig up the whole garden in one day or one work period.
Do what you can and spread the work out over a few days.

Once the garden has been double dug or however you like to do it, amend the soil, let it sit for a couple of weeks and get your fences - if required - built . . . along with any other projects in the meantime.

Perhaps a water line brought out to the garden area?
My Central California garden was large and I had a water line with master shut-off at the house to make life easy then the water line went into a manifold with four hose bibs and soaker hoses.
Once the faucets were adjusted for proper flow you could go in and after a specific amount of time, step out to the back porch and turn all the water off.

As noted, I planted some beefsteak tomatos at the back of the garden a few weeks back and they're doing well.
Nine of them, but when they get a little larger I'll make up another container plant for our friends.
The husband wasn't too excited, but she was pleased to get the cherry tomato container plant that Sweetie and I took up to her house a while back and really excited that they're starting to put out tomatoes.

She's a farm girl, grew up in Kansas, but never planted more than a few flowers and never had a veggie garden.
She may change her mind when the beefsteaks start coming in.

Right now, the two bell pepper plants in our garden have some small bell peppers on, a couple of the hot pepper plants have more than a few peppers on and one of the Cherry Pepper plants has one pepper and it's turning from pale green/yellow to red.

The grape and cherry tomato plants have given up a couple of ripe red tomatoes so far and there's quite a few green ones on and a few of those are starting to ripen.

The tomatillo has a lot of little toms on.
About 1 1/4" in diameter so far.

A couple of the big tomato plants have some green tomatoes on, but what's funny is, the early girl is going slow.

I did plant some watermelons and after what looked to be a shaky start, they're starting to move out and one is doing really well.

Sweetie likes shallots and green onions so I planted some green onions from seed directly into the garden down at the end near the beefsteaks and used the big container to plant the shallots.
It'll be interesting to see what happens there.
I stuck a halved lime down into the same containers potting soil a few weeks back to see if I could start a lime tree from a lime bought at the grocery store.
If that works, I'll do a few more and start a lime hedge close to the house where it will be protected somewhat from the freezing winter temps we get here.

The car trailer seen in the photo is there to help block the usual S/W winds that blow in pretty strong.

I'm thinking that before long, I'll move it to the left side of the garden to help limit the strong sunshine and keep the split tomatoes to a minimum.

I was going to build a cloth shade and may still, but this year I seem to be busy with a lot of stuff so parking the trailer may do the trick.
It's about 10' tall.

Anyway, a small update and a couple of photos.

(Edited for typos and spelling.)

[edit on 14-6-2008 by Desert Dawg]

[edit on 14-6-2008 by Desert Dawg]

[edit on 14-6-2008 by Desert Dawg]

posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 05:01 PM
Please keep the updates coming. In my opinion its important for others to see that this can really be done.


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