I feel like I threaten to start a garden every week or so, generally right after spending more than I care to on produce at Sprouts, but hey...where do you even start such a venture here in the desert? Thankfully, the fine folks at the Community Food Bank have a new helpful video on gardening here in the Old Pueblo, plus they have a bunch of classes in October to help you take the next steps:
Soil and Compost Saturday, October 4
Rainwater Harvesting Thursday, October 9
Planting a Healthy Garden Saturday, October 11
Backyard Chickens Saturday, October 11
Garden Basics Intensive Tuesday, October 14
Water Saving Irrigation - Saturday, October 18
Wormania! - Saturday, October 18
Sustainable Design - Friday, October 24
Irrigating with Gray Water - Saturday, October 25
Diseño Sostenible - Saturday, October 25
Soil and Compost - Friday, October 31
All About Soil - Saturday, November 1
La Tierra y el Abono - Saturday, November 1
Planting a Healthy Garden - Friday, November 7
Seeds and Sprouts: Gardening for Kids - Saturday, November 8
Fruit Trees: Selection, Care, Pruning and Propagation - Saturday, November 8
Cultivar un Jardín Saludable - Saturday, November 8
Wormania! - Saturday, November 15
Home Canning, Freezing and Drying - Thursday, November 20
For gardening info and resources galore, check out the Food Bank's website.
An offer from the Arbor Day Foundation:
Everyone from Arizona who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in September will receive 10 free Arizona cypress trees as part of the Foundation's Trees for America program.
Through Trees for America, everyone is encouraged to plant trees that will benefit the environment and improve the quality-of-life. With one million members, the Arbor Day Foundation is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees.
"Arizona cypress trees can be used as an ornamental tree, as a windbreak or privacy screen or as a living Christmas tree in your landscape," said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "These trees will also add to the proud heritage of Arizona's 25 Tree City USA communities. For the last 38 years, Tree City USA has supported effective urban forest management across Arizona, and planting these trees will enhance the state's tree-planting tradition."
The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting between October 15 and December 10. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Planting instructions are enclosed with each shipment of trees.
New members of the Arbor Day Foundation will also receive The Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care.
To receive the free Arizona cypress trees, send a $10 membership contribution to Ten Arizona Cypresses, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, by September 30, 2014, or join online at arborday.org/september.
A magical summer occurrence unique to the Southwest and Tucson is almost upon us. We're not talking about July's watermelon eegee's; our late-afternoon monsoon showers; or making more than two lights in a row on Ina Rd.
Bloom Night is nigh.
According to Tohono Chul Park's Director of General Services Lee Mason, the legendary Queen of the Night Cereus flower, aka Peniocereus greggii, is poised to bless us with her annual one-night-only appearance.
I've been watching the Queen all weekend. On Friday afternoon it appeared to be on the verge of something happening. On Saturday they broke out of the stall stage (appears the change in weather had the desired effect) and on Sunday they were definitely moving. This morning they are in the 80 to 90 MM range, which tells me Bloom Night will happen sometime in the next 5 to 7 days. I will keep you informed so stay turned!
The exact date of the bloom, however, is a mystery, thus is the allure of the Queen of the Night. The legend has been passed down through generations, from the oral history of the Tohono O'odham to a modern email notification list you may join here.
The Bloom of the Night even has its own fragrance line! I personally prefer it to I-10 & Prince's "Odor de Effluent."
We will keep you informed of the progress, but until then, check out some of the history of the Night Bloom and tips to better prepare yourself for this annual event.
The Potted Desert Edible Garden
1. Get in another planting of all your cool season veggies, if you have room. Go ahead and transplant some more greens for an early spring salad. (Spinach, all lettuces, mesclun, swiss chard, kale)
2. Get your garden ready for the warm season planting. But, be ready to cover if it freezes again.
1. Deadhead your flowers weekly. Be sure to pinch them back to the originating stem, not just the flower. This will support continuous bloom.
2. Cut back ornamental grasses to just above ground level in February.
3. Fertilize your potted plants every two weeks with a water soluble fertilizer. Best applied with a hose applicator.
4. Plant color annuals such as pansies, petunias, larkspur, primrose, poppy, stock, violas, alyssum, snapdragon and marigolds (warmer areas only.)
5. Watch shallow-rooted newly planted annuals, which can quickly dry out with spring winds.
6. Adjust watering schedule according to winter rains.
Want to keep your money out of the compost heap? Sign up for the Desert Potted View and our Free Monthly Potted Garden tips - sign up at Potted Desert Newsletter.
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