Despite it all, I will try another year at gardening. Growing garden goodies is important enough to me for me to keep trying, although logic states it is daft to do so. Although I live in ‘zone 10” viz. the desert, I stubbornly try to grow tomatoes, melons etc. in the hostile heat of Phoenix.

I’ve learned a few things given the past few summers; I hope the knowledge is enough to achieve some success.

Here is the battle plan –

  1. Don’t plant things in spring time. Things grow, but burn up in the blazing summer. And it is too hot to have the plants produce flowers and pollen. If I can be patient, I will plant things in the autumn. I have to accept the time to start a garden is precisely when I traditionally am putting things to rest. Tomatoes in November seem odd, but better than no toms at all.
  2. Purchase varieties better associated with containers. I have to grow a lot of things in pots; so I will get seeds more appropriate for pots.
  3. “When in Rome…” forgo ‘cool crops’ like cucumbers and focus on ‘hot crops’ like peppers and melons.
  4. Keep on top of watering. Sometimes it is a twice a day chore. If I want produce, this is needed.
  5. Inspect every day. A few years in a row I’ve turned my back on things for a few days, only to find #%&@ caterpillars devouring my plants. DougT may find this fascinating, but nothing makes me more livid. Ironically I never had a bug problem in the midwest. Goodness knows how they get here. (Doug – they are small green nasty caterpillars; if you can identify the bastards for me I would appreciate it).
  6. Fertilize. I have no compost bin, and the soil is way too poor.  I need to get some sort of Miracle-Grow so the plants are not so anemic.

Wish me luck !  Home grown goodies or bust !