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Southwest Gardening: Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

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Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
11:15 AM

Post #3417896

I was talking with several people yesterday at the plant swap about my raised bed vegetable garden and how I did a few things. Here are some pictures that will help explain so of the things we were talking about. I chose this method for a lot of reasons but mostly because old short fat people shouldn't be gardening on their hands and knees and I didn't like the native soil composition. This is the first time I've done the raised beds and so far, it has proven to be very easy. Down side is that I have a great rototiller and can't use it here. I may have to go rototill a vacant lot across the street!

The main bed in the foreground has a planting area that measures approx. 19' x 4'. The one in the background has similar square footage. The height is about 18" to 20" from the ground.

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Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
11:23 AM

Post #3417918

I haven't read the "Square Foot Gardener" but I am trying my version of the concept. I have planted melons and other vines at the corners so they can drape over the sides and run along the ground. I tried to follow a companion planting sequence. In this pic there are nasturiums in the corners and you can see the X pattern in between the hills where I harvested radishes yesterday.

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Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
11:27 AM

Post #3417925

Next to the vines are a zucchini in the foreground with carrots behind and beets to the right.

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Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
11:30 AM

Post #3417934

Next are pepper seedlings rotated with onions.

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Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
11:34 AM

Post #3417947

At this end are bush beans, spinach, cukes and a yellow straight neck squash.

Edited to add that there is a row of eggplants inbetween the 2 rows of spinach.

This message was edited Apr 22, 2007 8:56 AM

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Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
11:39 AM

Post #3417961

This is "Tomato Row". I have 15 plants and 10 varieties. I'm trying to find a few that will do well here in the AZ climate. I planted in containers so they can be moved during the hotter summer months to a more sheltered area and hopefully survive until fall.

The raised bed in the background is planted with asparagas, garlic, lettuce, and more vines (watermelons, cantaloupe, casaba, butternut and very soon, pumpkins).

This message was edited Apr 22, 2007 8:42 AM

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GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

April 22, 2007
11:40 AM

Post #3417962

Wow Dan!! This is really neat to see. (of course, I have to mention that your spotless ground amazes me as well...I have debris and stuff everywhere, lol). I can't wait to see your garden in full production...you're going to have such a lush covering in there!

~Kim
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
11:48 AM

Post #3417983

This is one of the pole bean towers that I made using a tree stake, some bamboo and twine. Works pretty well and disassembles for easy storage and it's cheap.

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jdo1217
El Mirage, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
11:51 AM

Post #3417990

Very impressive, Dan!
Jane
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
11:59 AM

Post #3418015

Thank you Kim and Jane.

This is my therapy area...I need a lot of therapy!!!
judyb
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9a)

April 22, 2007
1:37 PM

Post #3418261

I knew your garden would be well thought-out and organized by the way you presented you plant gifts at the swap. :-)
betterbloom
Blythe, CA
(Zone 10b)

April 22, 2007
1:56 PM

Post #3418302

Dann, I don't do veggies, but it sure sounds nice not having to pull weeds. Nice work !
Birdlady_Susie
Mesa, AZ

April 22, 2007
3:04 PM

Post #3418447

very nicely laid out and I agree with Kim, very nice and tidy. I always seem to have something strewn around somewhere... :)

Susie
milkmood
Glendale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2007
3:29 PM

Post #3418522

I have a spot that I've been wanting to do raised veggie beds in for a couple years now. I'm inspired! Starting today!

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 22, 2007
3:57 PM

Post #3418602

That cinder block planter is very impressive! Of course if you dig all that dirt out it would make a KILLER pond ;)
Birdlady_Susie
Mesa, AZ

April 22, 2007
9:29 PM

Post #3419617

LOL! Fishy!
tucsonplumeriaz
Tucson, AZ

April 22, 2007
10:44 PM

Post #3419907

dann you're hired! that is outstanding.
Desertdenial5
Tolleson, AZ
(Zone 9a)

April 22, 2007
10:47 PM

Post #3419923

Dann that is amazing!! So how did you manage to have no grass or weeds on your ground?
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 23, 2007
12:28 AM

Post #3420231

Thanks everyone!

Marie..No grass or weeds growing in the native soil was a pretty good indication that nothing else would do very well either! It was part of the decision to do the raised beds.

Fishie...If I didn't have the pool I'd have a pond...especially after seeing those pictures of everyones in the recent pond thread.

Next I have to get a couple of hummer feeders!
Aguane
Phoenix, AZ

April 23, 2007
12:39 AM

Post #3420259

Dann_L
Wow so neat and tidy. Perfection.
You must have a ton of Virgo in your chart! LOL
swoodson
Tempe, AZ

April 23, 2007
9:46 AM

Post #3421009

A close up:

Uhm in the "hot bed" East-West orientation and from left to right: a teeny-tiny pineapple sage, squash, broccoli (underplanted for when its too hot for broccoli is tomatillo and watermelon), grape tomato and then pear tomato. Oh, and sunflowers lots of sunflowers.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:02 AM

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:07 AM

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swoodson
Tempe, AZ

April 23, 2007
9:55 AM

Post #3421052

Wow, I'm totally digging your raised beds too, Dann_L. They are very tidy. I have raised beds too for veggies but they are NOT neat and tidy. LOL

I also am really envious of your watering system. I have to hand water mine. Can you connect a system like yours to a garden hose? I buried a seep hose under the mulch, but it doesn't really do the trick. Do you have a problem with salt build up on your system?

NOTE: This was supposed to post first.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 6:56 AM

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Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 23, 2007
9:56 AM

Post #3421057

Nice! Whatcha got growin' there Stephanie?

No salt build up yet. But then the system is only a month or two old. I've been watering by hand while I have been building the system. I still have to set up the automatic metering device. I'll post pic's when completed, probably next weekend.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:00 AM
swoodson
Tempe, AZ

April 23, 2007
9:58 AM

Post #3421064

Other side, (can you tell that I have a VERY difficult time thinning. I get so excited that something even came up that I just let them duke it out. I'm sure thats bad for my yield.)--Also, painted everything in sight purple after seeing pictures of Fishie's garden early this spring :-))

This is my "cool bed" n/s orientation shade in afternoon. I have from l-r: tiny baby basils, catnip, broccoli with squash, spinach interplanted with strawberries, a rose and cilantro with --you guessed, it more squash.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:06 AM

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 7:10 AM

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Aguane
Phoenix, AZ

April 23, 2007
10:14 AM

Post #3421126

Looks yummy Stephanie! Great work!
I've love to get one of those squash leaves to make a concrete impression of! Loves those leaves! What is the grayish leaf/plant in the front center?
Susie
swoodson
Tempe, AZ

April 23, 2007
10:20 AM

Post #3421143

You are welcome to leaves, BUT you must also take some squash! The middle plant is a bush morning glory, convolvulus cneorum. That's my roadside planting, I don't even water it.
lindagarden
Gilbert, AZ

April 23, 2007
2:53 PM

Post #3422006

Very impressive. I love the neat look.
tucsonplumeriaz
Tucson, AZ

April 23, 2007
4:07 PM

Post #3422291

great job stephanie.

mg might already have a root in the raised beds. sneaky critters. LOL
corgimom
Pontotoc, MS
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2007
6:15 PM

Post #3422699

Dann, very, very nice raised beds ! I am getting physically challenged by my neuropathy and that looks like it would work for me. Did you just stack your blocks up or how did you hold them together( spit, cement)?

What are your big black tubs for your tomatoes made from?? Those are wonderful !
bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2007
9:24 PM

Post #3423381

Wow, beautiful, DannL and swoodson! I'm just starting my veggie raised bed, but I hope someday they come close to yours! Well done!

Brenda
GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

April 23, 2007
9:41 PM

Post #3423457

Stephanie...your beds look fantastic too! i'm so glad there's several veggie growers on here now!!

Question...have either of you done carrots in your raised beds? We don't have any in the main garden right now, but my son's favorite veggie is carrots, so I was thinking of doing a small "carrot plot" but instead of in the ground, doing it raised...what do you think?
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 24, 2007
12:08 AM

Post #3424069

Hi corgimom...I started with a shallow (4") concrete foundation embedded with 1/2" re-bar. Then it's just blocks and brick mortar. The tomatoes are planted in a variety of black plastic landscaping tree tubs. I have 6-7 gallon, 3-4 gallon and 6-15 gallon containers.

Hello Brenda...Welcome back. How did Tony do this weekend? After seeing the way your pond is progressing I have no doubts that some fantastic raised beds will follow!

Hey Kim...In the 1st 3 photo's there is a 2'x2' patch of carrots next to the zucchini. I laid it out in 2" squares and planted at each corner. I think there is about 150 carrots in that little patch. The planting directions on the seed packet said to thin the seedlings to 2" apart so I'm just running with that to see what happens. As they grow larger I'll thin out the baby fingerling carrots and make a little more room for the others to grow to full size.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 9:32 PM
swoodson
Tempe, AZ

April 24, 2007
12:32 AM

Post #3424178

All my people yuck carrots so I've none, although, they'll eat the spinach out of the garden so maybe I should just plant them--Dann_L is it too late to plant them??
bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2007
12:42 AM

Post #3424200

Hi Dann, thanks for asking... he got second in both competitions (2 days, 2 competitions), and he hates second place, but he rode really well and he's in a more difficult class this year... so it was actually very good. This is so off topic, but I also tried to compete again this weekend, and my bike *hated* the high altitude and kept stalling, so I quit... getting the hated "DNF"... (did not finish). Oh well, hung out with the dogs in the Coach, took some good photos, enjoyed the scenery!

The raised bed I'm planting has been sitting behind our house in a neglected area for a long, long time. I came home to the tomatoes looking very happy, and on the opposite end is my day lily garden and I have a bunch of buds!!!!!!! Lots to plant this week as well! You all are inspiring me on the veggies!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 24, 2007
12:58 AM

Post #3424227

Steph...I'm still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't work, and when, here in AZ. It's so different than what I am acustom to. I say go for it and let us know how you do. Or you can wait until the end of August and plant for a fall crop, in which case you can still keep us posted because we would all like to know!

Brenda...I can understand Tony's frustration with being 2nd but the guy that took 3rd place is even more frustrated. :o) As for your efforts, it's better to try and fail than to have not tried at all. Hang in there girl!!

Inspiration for vegetable gardening springs eternal from Kim!
GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

April 24, 2007
1:28 AM

Post #3424264

Stephanie, I say plant them now. I'm going to make a little raised area this weekend (especially for Wyatt & his carrots, lol)...they are pretty much a year 'round crop here.

Dan, I have a neat list of planting times that I made a few years back for a veggie seminar I got suckered into giving at the nursery. I'll have to make a copy for you...might take some of that guess-work out because we truly have about 10 1/2 good veggie months here!!!

Yay, I love talking veggies, lol
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 24, 2007
1:36 AM

Post #3424278

Yeah! Post it! That reminds me that some one else sent me a planting schedule last year. I'll have to find that one too.
GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

April 24, 2007
2:01 AM

Post #3424297

I know I've posted it before...I wonder if it was me, haha...
tucsonplumeriaz
Tucson, AZ

April 24, 2007
10:38 AM

Post #3425171

please post it. thanks!
rayman6422
Tucson, AZ

April 24, 2007
10:45 AM

Post #3425185

Please post it Kim.
Here is some info from the Master Gardener people.
http://www.ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/index.html

Soil temp. for seeds:
http://www.ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/temperature.html

Planting dates:
http://www.ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/regions13.html#1-3
GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

April 25, 2007
4:00 PM

Post #3429849

OK...I'll have to see if it was one of the files that I managed to save when my computer crashed last week...otherwise, I'll just re-type it up for you, lol.

Cruddy news about my digital camera. As if it wasn't enough to have my pc crash last week, my digital camera has also gone kapoot...*scream*...whenever I turn it on, it makes a grinding sound, which can't be good, lol. So, it may be a little while until I get to post some new garden pics, artichoke pics, etc...I'm so bummed about this. I'll have to see if I can borrow my sister's camera or something to show my yard progress!!

~Kim
Desertdenial5
Tolleson, AZ
(Zone 9a)

April 25, 2007
4:06 PM

Post #3429874

Ask your sister with a great big please from all of us who want to see your garden grow. :o)
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 5, 2007
11:11 AM

Post #3465346

I think that one of the reasons I like vegetable gardening so much is the speed at which things grow. I leave the house in the morning and when I get back in the afternoon everything has grown several inches.

Deb has been trimming the spinach about twice a week and getting close to a pound each time from two 4' rows. I've been pruning the beet tops and putting them into salads and yesterday harvested half dozen beets to thin them out a little. Both the pole beans and the bush beans have produced harvest-able beans now too. Everything else is developing nicely...carrots, zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes etc..

Here's a pic of yesterdays take. Not a lot, but then there is just the 2 of us. Anyone have a good recipe for beet greens?

Thumbnail by Dann_L
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GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

May 5, 2007
11:27 AM

Post #3465403

WOw Dan! Those beets look delish!! I love beets...we just planted some more this morning in fact.

As for beet greens...I like them fresh in salads too, or even "wilted" (lightly steamed). I make this yummy recipe that a friend of mine's mom gave me back in high school (they were from Africa). Anyway...you usually do it with collard greens, but I've found it taste amazing with any green (I especially love mustards & turnips), so I'd think it'd work with a lot of beet greens too.

Anyway...Collard Green (or Beet Green) Stew
* Wash the greens & de-vein if they are thick veined
* Put in large/deep skillet with about a cup of water & a can of veggie broth...cover & simmer to wilt (I usually add a little s&p and sometimes a teeny bit of bullion)
***IF you like meats, you can boil a chicken breast (with a little seasoning of your choice) and then shred it & set aside.
* While the beets are cooking, make rice. You can make minute-rice or steam other rice...whichever you prefer.
* When the greens are finished wilting (do NOT let them cook dry), add the shredded chicken breast & the rice.

It makes an amazing soupy mixture...yummm...I hope you like it!
~Kim
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 5, 2007
11:37 AM

Post #3465427

Thanks Kim...I'll try that!
tucsonplumeriaz
Tucson, AZ

May 5, 2007
4:11 PM

Post #3466079

wow! i want to grow vegetables. i have an 18' x 19' space that's just aching for some attention!
tomatofreak
Phoenix, AZ

May 5, 2007
5:34 PM

Post #3466291

Woo-hoo, Dan! Just the motivation I need to do more, more, more veggies! I think I'm a bit behind the curve but I'm planting some 6" tall peppers today, an eggplant, a couple zuchini and - if I can find one - a pickling cucumber.

I love beet greens, too, but I usually just cook 'em like I would spinach or chard. A drizzle of butter and a tiny splash of balsamic vinegar is a good addition for added flavor.

Are you guys planting anything from seed now?
lindagarden
Gilbert, AZ

May 5, 2007
11:15 PM

Post #3467274

At the last house I did do raised bed carrots. Not the really long ones but not short either. They did great. Take a long time so you have to get them in I think it was early fall. The cold didn't hurt them. Yummy.
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2007
1:05 AM

Post #3467471

I am planting a hill of pumpkins sometime in the next couple of weeks and I'm thinking about ordering some more onion sets.
tucsonplumeriaz
Tucson, AZ

May 6, 2007
1:05 AM

Post #3467472

is it too late to plant watermelon?
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2007
1:14 AM

Post #3467484

D,
Do it soon! For Arizona...Below 3000' elevation plant until end of May. Above 3000' you should be good until the end of June.

This message was edited May 5, 2007 10:18 PM
tucsonplumeriaz
Tucson, AZ

May 6, 2007
1:39 AM

Post #3467507

thanks dan!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2007
3:57 AM

Post #3467585

D,
I get so much out of the other Southwest forum threads so I always welcome the opportunity to contribute when I can.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2007
8:38 AM

Post #3467864

I will be planting some sweet potato vines soon. At our elevation you can plant this veggie till June 20th. Just cut a sweet potato in half, place each half cut-side down in a dish of water till vines develop (you guys remember this trick from the 60's macrame days right??) then plant in the garden.

Lindagarden, when you finally catch up to your Master Gardener book, check page 33 in Chapter 10, it says you can plant carrots July 15 to Aug 15 and again Sept 1 to Jan 1.

Happy veggie gardening!
GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

May 6, 2007
11:27 AM

Post #3468326

Dan...I wanted to tell you that you inspired me, and I made 3 "raised" boxes!!!! I realized that we forgot to leave room for any root veggies...so I had these stackable wooden bins I had salvaged from my days at Berridge (they were what the display of daffodil bulbs were held in)...anyway, they make great little planters! So, one is turnips, one is carrots & one is beets...here's what they look like w/o any visible life yet, lol...

Thumbnail by GothicGarden
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Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2007
12:49 PM

Post #3468560

Yay Kim!

You should have lots of root veggies coming from those raised beds!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2007
2:34 PM

Post #3468901

I was going through my seed packets this morning and found a packet of sweet corn that I must have purchased earlier this year. So I decided that I would try planting corn where I was going to put some more onions. I can always plant more onions after I harvest the corn in late July. The space that I had reserved measures 8' x 30". I spread a layer of Mary McP Brand Llama Yamma and turned it in the top 6" of soil. Then I laid out a 12" x 10" grid and planted 3 seeds in the middle of each square. Will thin to one per square after they germinate. Packet planting directions said to leave 12" spacing between plants so I'm squeezing it just a little. Anyway, if it is successful I should end up with about 30 ears of sweet corn in a couple of months!

Edited to add:
Deb just came in from the garden and has trimmed the spinach again today. She has another gallon ziploc bag full, about 8 to 10 oz...Gonna have to start freezing some pretty soon.

I think I should post these notes in my garden diary rather than the forum.

This message was edited May 6, 2007 11:53 AM
GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

May 6, 2007
3:24 PM

Post #3469040

Well, I like going to your thread and reading your news...so I can't imagine there's a problem with posting it here! I keep trying to update my own personal garden thread with stuff, rather than do new threads too...

Anyway...so corn in May, hmm...I'll be very interested to see how that works out. My best luck with corn has come from planting during the first 3 weeks of March & then again in the fall...so it'll be really neat to watch your corn's progress...maybe you'll really have it "knee high by the 4th of July"!!
tomatofreak
Phoenix, AZ

May 6, 2007
4:01 PM

Post #3469126

Dan and Kim, keep posting here! We wouldn't be able to read your diary, lol. Besides, I'm learning a lot from you two. I'm so grubby today I doubt even my mother would love me if she were here. Then again, if she were here, she'd be grubbing in the dirt, too. She had much greener fingers than me. ;-(

june_nmexico

june_nmexico
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7a)

May 6, 2007
4:15 PM

Post #3469154

Dan - I am in love with your raised planters. Hope you'll forgive me but I took the liberty of copying your photo so in the future we can replace some beds we have now which were built with old railroad ties. I don't like railroad ties at best and these are beginning to split and crumble from age since the house is 30 years old.

We have to strictly contain any plantings here because of weed problems. In the desert, every drop of water produces a weed which produces brothers and sisters, so it's essential to contain our watering and not spray all over the place. With your concept I could actually have a few beds of vegetables and use a drip system! It's a ways down the road but beds like yours are on my most wanted list!

June
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2007
12:04 PM

Post #3472064

OK... :o) ...this will probably start to read like diary entries.

Went out this morning and picked bush beans and pole beans. Total bean harvest is now 1 lb 11 oz.!
Deb and I have been working everyday after work and on the weekends to get a 2nd house we have ready for the market. But I took a little time this weekend to work on the water metering system and this morning was the first time it cycled on it's own. Worked like a charm! Now I can work on getting a line run out to water all of the tomatoes.

Sue_WA

Sue_WA
Seattle, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2007
12:12 PM

Post #3472085

Hi Dann, I love the look of your raised beds! Do you mind sharing what type of paths you have there? From the photo it looks as if you have some type of gravel. It looks (to me) very much like what you would see on a ball field, a very compact type of gravel/dirt system.

I'm having a hard time deciding what to put into our veggie garden, and the wood chips are not cutting it any more. Thanks for any advice!

Sue
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2007
12:21 PM

Post #3472115

Mary McP Brand Llama Yamma

lol ~ now I need a logo...llama in an agave patch maybe!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2007
12:23 PM

Post #3472124

Hi Sue,

It's what is known here locally as "quarter minus". It's simply gravel that has been crushed to 1/4" or smaller particles. I have it spread about 2" thick and it has proven to be an excellent weed barrier and it compacts real well. Once it has been watered down it remains relatively dust free.
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2007
12:25 PM

Post #3472131

Mary...I thought you might get a chuckle out of that... :o)
lindagarden
Gilbert, AZ

May 7, 2007
12:34 PM

Post #3472170

Dan and Kim: You two as the vegetable duo are doing great for the vegetable gardens in Phoenix. I just put whatever I grow into the flower garden. I mix the two. But no yields like you two are getting. Mostly just do fall and winter vegggies. You two are inspiring. Marie: I do need my book. My knowledge is limited to what I have done that works. I can get much more out of my garden with the help of you ALL. Thanks for all the motivation and inspiration.

Sue_WA

Sue_WA
Seattle, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2007
2:19 PM

Post #3472506

Dann -Thank-you very much! I will start some research real soon on this as my goal is to have it finished before fall. In the meantime, I will be weeding...a LOT!

Thanks again.
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 12, 2007
5:49 PM

Post #3490197

I went out to the gardens this morning and did my Saturday morning thing, hand watered plants, inspected for bugs, pruned what needed pruned and harvested what was ready.
The spinach is being shaded out now by the eggplants and bush beans so Deb will probably only get one more harvest from that. All in all I rate the spinach as successful. Two 4' rows have yielded about 3 to 31/2 lbs.
The beets have been a resounding success too! I harvested 14 beets today to bring the season total to 20 and there are still about 20 left to harvest later this week. That will be about 40 beets from a plot measuring 4'x2'.
The pole beans are not as lush and vigorous as I am accustom to but they are hanging in there and producing small quantities of green beans. I'm going to increase the water for them from every other day to daily and see if that helps them. I also spread a little Mary McP brand Llama Yamma around them this morning.
The bush romano beans are doing very well and have copious amounts of blossoms. I think that the two 4' rows will produce a surplus of flat italian style green beans.
The 5 eggplants went through a huge growing spurt this week and all have several blossoms now.
The yellow straightneck squash produced 2 harvest-able squash this week and there are 6 or 7 fingerling size coming along nicely.
The zucchini has about a dozen fingerling size fruits but none of them seem to be in any hurry to gain any size. My experience in the past with zucchini has always been nothing one day and an oversize one the next.
Tomatoes are still showing signs of stress. The temps have moved into the 100+ this week and I may have to move them around to the shadier side of the house. Probably won't be to many tomatoes now until fall if I can get them to survive the summer heat. The plants in the larger 15 gallon pots are coping better than the others, however, I will probably not grow them in black pots again. Soil temps have hit 115* and I'm pretty sure that is way too hot.

This mornings harvest.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

May 12, 2007
6:48 PM

Post #3490338

That is a beautiful harvest! Happy Saturday!
Aguane
Phoenix, AZ

May 13, 2007
2:06 AM

Post #3491489

Dann_L
Maybe you remember Joe Carcione, The Green Grocer in San Francisco?
You, Dann_L the vegetable gardener, remind me of him!

Nice haul BTW! You eat well!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2007
5:11 AM

Post #3492083

I do remember Joe Carcione! He was the first (and the best) produce guy to have his 2 minutes of fame everyday on one of the Sacramento TV stations. He always had a tip of the day that I found interesting and informative, like how to choose the tenderest corn on the cob, pick the sweetest watermelons and the freshest mushrooms. I still use those tips today! I haven't thought about him in decades but he, along with my grandfather, was a source of inspiration in my early vegetable gardening years. He would talk about something and I'd want to grow it. I don't know what about me reminds you of him but, truly, I am flattered none-the-less. Thank you!



This message was edited May 13, 2007 6:16 AM
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2007
5:24 AM

Post #3492097

Now that we have digital camera technology, I am one of those people that like to take pictures of the garden about once a week to record plant growth progress. I keep them in a journal along with lots of notes detailing successes and failures, thoughts on how to do, or not do things, etc...

Here is a picture of the same vegetable bed at the top of this thread 3 weeks later.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

May 13, 2007
5:45 AM

Post #3492129

Ya' know, I've seen the "Green Grocer" here as well, not in a long time, but I remember him too. I also liked his 'tip of the week'. Again, Dann_L, what a lovely garden you grow!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2007
6:53 AM

Post #3492175

Thank You Brenda.

I wonder if Joe Carcione is still alive?
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2007
1:27 PM

Post #3492583

Hey Dan - Great harvests...you are truly an inspiration. I will definately ply you for more info come fall when I plan to get my veggie garden in full swing - just warnin' ya!

The three toms you gave me are doing well. One exceptionally (the one in the middle, don't remember if that's the Porterhouse or the Steak Sandwich), [later: it's the Steak Sandwich] the Black Crim is doing almost as well and the third plant [the Porterhouse] is just ok, not much growth but it has the most yellow buds.

The area has 90% shade cloth about 10' up and each tom cage is covered in 60% cloth. The latter is to thwart those dang leaf hoppers. I heavily mulch with straw to keep soil temp under control. It's cheap. I'll have pics Tuesday - no digital camera.

This message was edited May 13, 2007 10:00 AM
Aguane
Phoenix, AZ

May 13, 2007
4:48 PM

Post #3493104

Google tells me Joe died of colon cancer awhile back.

Mary! Sounds like you've found you niche... the veggies. Good eats at McFarms!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2007
5:02 PM

Post #3493139

Hi Mary,
I'm going to place an order for some more "Mary McP's Llama Yamma" soon. I look forward to seeing your garden when I come to pick it up! I may end up begging for a tomato or two. My plants are severely stressed right now. I may end up removing all of the fruit and blossoms and concentrate on getting them healthy enough to survive the summer heat. They'll should go like gangbusters in the fall when the temps come back down. I might try transplanting a couple of them to the raised beds after I make a little room. The black containers that are smaller than 15 gallons was not a good idea. Way to small and the sun has the soil temps soaring in them. The 15 gal ones seem to be doing fine so far though.

Hi Susie,
When I was talking to my Mom this morning we were discussing Joe and she thought he had died about 15-20 years ago. Bummer. She also reminded me that he was on TV everyday, not once a week. She thinks he had a radio program too.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2007
5:03 PM

Post #3493142

Yeah Susie, I'm really having some fun with the whole yard remodel thing. Butch is deeply engrossed in a major motorcycle repair so I'm free to play in the dirt all weekend. Yayyyyy and Yippeee...

But gosh, hearing the Green Grocer died of colon cancer is a real blow to the dietician in me. Crikey.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2007
5:04 PM

Post #3493146

Dan - you have dmail - well in a minute you will. :~]
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2007
1:23 AM

Post #3501686

Dan - (and anyone else who might be interested), here's some garden shots. This is a small spot tucked into the east side of the house so morning sun. I thought the house would block most of the afternoon sun but it does not at this time of year, so we added the shade structure and placed the cloth so allow full sun till about mid-day. Seems to be working.

This shot is looking front to back. Dan, you'll recognize the shed, repainted from red to white. Garden area is left-ish. Tomato plants are against the back wall of the shed, can't really see them in this pic.

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2007
1:26 AM

Post #3501697

There's four pepper plants in that first pic, hard to see, in front of the shade thingy. Here's looking back to front.

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2007
1:29 AM

Post #3501712

A close up shot of the three toms. The one in the middle is the Steak Sandwich, on the right is Black Krim and Porterhouse on the left

This message was edited May 15, 2007 6:30 PM

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2007
1:31 AM

Post #3501724

One of the chiltepin plants, today it has a tiny red fruit - in this pic you can see it only it's green.

This message was edited May 15, 2007 6:32 PM

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2007
1:34 AM

Post #3501733

Here's a nice close up of the star of the show - Steak Sandwich.

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2007
1:36 AM

Post #3501741

and finally, my helper and good buddy - Butch - Da Man - after a tough weekend of motorcyle repair (replaced the carberator. I had one or two shots left so I grabbed this one. hummmm, looks a little fuzzy. You can see though how much growth we lost on those thevetia's. They were covering the fence before the BF.

This message was edited May 15, 2007 6:38 PM

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
Click the image for an enlarged view.

mrsj
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9a)

May 16, 2007
1:43 AM

Post #3501759

Nice veggies Mary!!!!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2007
2:38 AM

Post #3502171

Everything looks real good Mary!
Everything except Butch, he looks a little wilted. Maybe moving him under the shade structure and a margarita infusion would perk him up a little.:o)
The Steak Sandwich tomato is one of my more vigorous plants too. If it produces decent tomatoes it might be a winner for this area. Is the shade cloth on the tomato cages actually for shade or is it serving another purpose? Inquiring minds want to know.
I've got to find the time to erect a shade structure of some sort soon.
I'll take a pic or two of the chili plants you gave me at the swap. They haven't grown very much but they are healthy and happy.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2007
3:08 AM

Post #3502255

Yeah, my peppers have not really 'taken off' either, unlike the tomatoes and a spaghetti squash that is *very* happy. I'm wondering if the peppers prefer a higher soil temp? - and then I wonder should I pull back some of the straw that is keeping their feet cool? Anyone know? Anyone still here?...(Hi Audrey)...

Sure, Butch could use a margarita but I think he settled for his friend Johnny Walker that evening. :~}}

I covered the cages to thwart leaf hoppers. That is what seems to have killed any tom plants I have tried to grow in AZ. It's my understanding that they bring some kind of 'leafy top' disease. I may have that a bit twisted but it's something along those lines.

Good luck on getting some shade. We bought this monster-ous contraption for a good price from a neighbor who had used it to cover a [seemingly] huge boat.
GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

May 16, 2007
4:31 AM

Post #3502426

I'd leave the straw on their feet personally...that soil will be warm enough before you know it, lol. How long have they been in the ground Mary?
mrsj
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9a)

May 16, 2007
1:10 PM

Post #3502997

Mary - when I lived in Prescott my veggie garden was pretty large, I used straw around everything and never pulled it back...I can't imagine you would be hurting anything to leave it in place - it keeps their roots cooler and weeds down, not to mention it looks nice!
bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

May 16, 2007
3:35 PM

Post #3503500

Nice 'maters, Mary!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 17, 2007
1:51 AM

Post #3505573

Hi Mary,

Here's a pic I took this afternoon of the 2 chili plants you gave me at the swap. Like I mentioned earlier they're happy and healthy, but they're midgets. Maybe they're the type that don't get very large.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 17, 2007
1:58 AM

Post #3505596

Yep, mine are the same. I'm thinking they will take off on a growth spurt one of these days. If they are healthy and happy, mine too, just leave 'em, I guess.
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 17, 2007
2:02 AM

Post #3505611

I took this pic this afternoon of the yellow straight neck squash. I have already harvested 4 squash this past week and still have these to look forward to in a few days. There's a few tiny ones in there too. It looks like the one plant will produce all the yellow straight necks we can handle!

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 17, 2007
2:07 AM

Post #3505627

This is this afternoon's harvest.

17 beets that weigh just under 4 lbs.
10 oz romano bush beans
5 oz spinach

Spinach and beets are just about done, maybe one more harvest of each.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 17, 2007
3:45 AM

Post #3506060

Sweeeet. I love beets.
bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

May 17, 2007
6:20 AM

Post #3506278

Wow! (again!)
tucsonplumeriaz
Tucson, AZ

May 17, 2007
5:38 PM

Post #3507724

you could start a neighborhood market. LOL

how do i know when to harvest artichokes?
GothicGarden
Phoenix, AZ

May 17, 2007
5:56 PM

Post #3507781

artichokes...I usually harvest them as soon as the leaves barely start pulling apart...they won't get any bigger at that point.

Dan...everything is looking amazing!!!
tucsonplumeriaz
Tucson, AZ

May 17, 2007
8:44 PM

Post #3508244

dan - thanks for reminding me to cover the black containers with a board. i knew there was something i needed to do outside.

kim - thanks for the tip.

Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 21, 2007
1:56 PM

Post #3519472

I've been working everyday for the last month and I swear that next weekend I'm taking 3 days off. But in the meantime I started prepping beets early yesterday morning and canned them last night. My 1st canning project of the year. Next weekend I may do a couple of jars of pickled green beans.

I have harvested another 5 yellow straight neck squash this weekend. Cantaloupes are starting to form and there is a watermelon about tennis ball size. There are several jalapenos and the frying peppers are about 4 ". About half of the sweet corn has sprouted so far and the pickles and butternut squash are forming fruits now too. On the 5 eggplants there are 3 fruits and loads of blossoms. What spinach that is left is getting real leggy while trying to find some sun between the eggplants and bush beans. I pulled a couple of 4" carrots and ate them in the garden...sweet.

Everything is doing pretty well.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

jdo1217
El Mirage, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 21, 2007
2:58 PM

Post #3519646

Your jars of beets are works of art!
Jane
bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

May 21, 2007
3:06 PM

Post #3519664

What Jane said! Very nice!
milkmood
Glendale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 21, 2007
5:38 PM

Post #3520100

Dan, the block you used, you said it was 6". Is that 6x8x16, like what Superlite has here: http://www.superliteblock.com/shapes.htm?section=2 ?

Where do you get it and what should I expect to pay?

-Chris
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 22, 2007
4:10 AM

Post #3522358

Thanks!
I don't think of it as "art" but now that I have momentarily pondered that statement, there isn't much I like better than yummy art!

Chris,
The blocks are 6" wide x 8" high x 16" long and I bought them at HD. I think they cost about $1.15 each and the cap blocks where around $.75 each. With the concrete, re-bar, brick mortar and blocks I think I have $250/300 invested in each bed. Add to that another couple of hundred $ for soil and amendments to fill them up!
Aguane
Phoenix, AZ

May 23, 2007
4:58 AM

Post #3526038

Wouldn't it be neat if the almighty home developers would create a project that had a community garden space like they do swimming pools etc.?
Hmmmmm I think that's like a "commune"
Second thought, not sure it could be "designed" maybe it needs to just "happen".

But~!!! I admire your work Dann_L ... Just great! Its funny hearing the price of things. But - hey - you get to eat off of that plate! Its more than "hardscape".

Great job!
bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

May 23, 2007
2:06 PM

Post #3526873

Susie... that is a fantastic idea. You could be a marketing genius!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 24, 2007
5:16 PM

Post #3531251

Playing a little hooky from work this morning! Gotta take care of some of the important things, right?

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 24, 2007
5:20 PM

Post #3531267

Todays harvest! That's the last of the beets. Harvested a total of 49 beets from a 2'x4' area. Now what to plant in that spot?

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

May 24, 2007
7:12 PM

Post #3531620

Your harvests are like "still life"... so beautiful!
lindagarden
Gilbert, AZ

May 24, 2007
8:18 PM

Post #3531827

Dan
Will you marry me? I could never get my husband to grow beets, let alone can them. They are a work of art. I love this thread. Is there anyway we could start a 2nd thread, (to contine this one on) This one is getting so long. I don't know how but I am sure some of your computer people might. I realy don't know what I am asking but it is getting very long and I am still interested.
Thanks
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 25, 2007
5:08 AM

Post #3533411

Thanks Brenda. Mother nature does all the work and I just take the picture!

Linda...That's the 1st marriage proposal I've ever had! But, alas, I've been captured for 38 years come June 20th. I am flattered none the less! I'll come over and help you plant a few beets for your fall garden.

We'll get a new thread started this weekend.
swoodson
Tempe, AZ

May 25, 2007
1:55 PM

Post #3534098

Congrats on 38 years! What a wonderful milestone.

Recently at a neighbor's home I had a mashed potatoes and beets dish--- I don't know what else was in it, but it was really really good. Our friends said it was an Ethiopian dish. I don't even like beats but I had ...maybe three bowls! Another friend (a chef) said something about potatoes cutting the earthy taste of beets...sometimes cooking is too much chemistry for this theatre major.

On another note, my squash are turning yellow (the leaves) I am having the worst time with whiteflies. Anyone else having difficulties with bugs?
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 31, 2007
4:34 AM

Post #3555948

Here's my weekly photo. I've been harvesting yellow straight necks, zucchini, green beans and cucumbers about every other day this week. Carrots are only about 4" or 5" but they are so good I can't stop pulling a couple every day to munch on. There are 5 softball size Sugarbaby watermelons and 4 Tuscan cantaloupes almost as big. Both plants have numerous tiny melons starting to develop. All the sweet corn has emerged and it will be interesting to see if they survive the heat to produce edible ears. Eggplants have several fruits that are nearing the advertised size so I may pick a couple of them next week. The pepper plants Mary gave me at the swap took offense at my comments about being midgets last week and put on a vigorous growth spurt...just about doubled in size. Tomatoes are ...still alive. I've just about decided to build another raised bed dedicated for tomatoes only for next year.

Deb cut up some pantyhose and put all of the watermelons and butternut squash in pantyhose bags. This is her experiment to see if it will keep the bugs and critters from munching on them. So far, so good! They're stretchy enough so I don't think they will impede fruit development.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 31, 2007
4:46 AM

Post #3555977

This is a pic of the eastern half of my backyard. Still 1 small dead queen palm to replace but everything else is well on the road to recovery from the BF.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
Click the image for an enlarged view.

bsavage
Dolores, CO
(Zone 5b)

May 31, 2007
4:50 AM

Post #3555989

Very beautiful! And I can only speak for myself when I say... yeah, those pantyhose can STRETCH!
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 31, 2007
5:09 AM

Post #3556035

:o) I'll have to take your word on that one Brenda! Never worn any myself!
lindagarden
Gilbert, AZ

May 31, 2007
10:25 AM

Post #3556293

I tried them on my few tomatoes. They just fell off. The tomatoes not the panty hose. But they should work on a sturdier product like watermelon and squash.
Aguane
Phoenix, AZ

June 1, 2007
2:54 AM

Post #3559846

My mind is so bad...this discussion is so funny.

I've never had a problem with stretchy stuff falling off of my tomatoes or melons.

I know... BACK AWAY blah blah!
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 1, 2007
4:23 AM

Post #3560217

Well, I really wanted to say something about Dan and panty hose but I escaped out of it. My mind is bad too. Must be the brownie influence. Oh Auudddrrreeeeeey.
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 1, 2007
2:38 PM

Post #3561275

NOW LADIES!!!!! Please control yourselves, we're talking gardening here! Let's not get too personal! :o)
rayman6422
Tucson, AZ

June 1, 2007
2:58 PM

Post #3561381

Yea ladies. Its not nice to make fun of us guys that happen to like the support the panty hose gives our coconuts, melons, maters, etc...
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 1, 2007
3:19 PM

Post #3561492

:~)
Aguane
Phoenix, AZ

June 1, 2007
3:26 PM

Post #3561521

;~))
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 4, 2007
3:21 PM

Post #3573267

Hi Everyone,

This thread has been fun for me and I'm glad if you found it interesting as well. However, I have decided to continue these progress reports in my garden journal. It is much easier for me to reference than searching through a long thread. I have enabled my journal to be accessible by anyone interested and you are welcome to drop in and see how things are going at any time. You can also add this to your watched list and will be notified when new entries are made. The difference is that there is not accommodations for comments...those would have to be made by d-mail or at this thread in the Southwest forum.

I don't know how to provide a link to my "Garden Diary" but if you click the "Journals" tab above and then enter "Dann_L" in the search box it should take you there. I hope you'll come visit from time to time.

Thanks, Dan

edited for spelling errors

This message was edited Jun 4, 2007 8:23 AM

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