Back in April, we decided to utilize the space that was once the bird cage [the previous owners were ‘bird people’ ~ it only took us 14 years to tear the cage down] to try our hand at gardening in the Sonoran. We knew going in we’d already missed the boat. We needed to be planting things in early October…a reverse cycle sort of gardening.
With not much to lose but a few plants, we figured we’d give it a go and see what happened. This gardening space being nothing like that which we had on the Prairie Farmstead, Darling Husbie prepared the soil by hand using the tiller attachment on the weed eater. The natural soil here has less than zero nutrients, so Husbie mixed in some vermiculite, lawn and garden fertilizer, and a few bags of garden soil we purchased at the big box home improvement store. I cannot even begin to explain how strange it felt, having come from the land of chocolate angel food dirt, to buy dirt from a store. Seriously.
So, in our modest little four rows, we planted some tomatoes and bell peppers we bought from the big box store garden center. Then, from seed, we planted green-eyed peas, green beans, okra, scallop squash and zucchini. Oh, and some Marigolds to keep pests away.
We’ve been enjoying quite a few scallop squash and a few zucchini. The plants aren’t producing the 40+ lbs per day we’re used to at the Prairie Farmstead, but we’re delighted they’re producing at all! Well, some of them are. The okra was a complete flop ~ only one out of 24 seeds germinated, and then it shriveled up into nothing. So disappointing! I had high hopes of canning a plethora of pickled okra. But, no.
The tomato plants are producing fairly well. Not anything to get the canning equipment out for, but certainly enough to enjoy fresh, homegrown tomatoes in salads, on tacos, burritos and oh, those toasted tomato sandwiches! Swoon! The pepper plants are nothing to write home about. They’ve produced a total of two peppers ~ one from each plant.
A total of one bush green bean plant has grown, but has done nothing more than provide pretty greenery. We’ve yet to see a blossom, and don’t hope to at this point. It’s just too hot. The green-eyed peas were slow coming on. So much that we didn’t bother providing a trellis for them to climb. Now, all of a sudden, they’re putting on pods. With the extreme heat in our forecast for this week, however, production will likely come to a screeching halt.
Nonetheless, we sure have enjoyed the fresh produce we have gotten. It was a fun experiment, and we are certainly looking forward to planting our fall garden! We are going to rework the ‘garden area’ and will be able to try a few more variety of plants. Must. Have. Sweet. Potatoes!
In the meantime, it’s back to store bought produce while we gather our pencil and engineering paper and ‘plot out’ our garden plot.
That is all. ♥