More people in the Phoenix area are discovering how much fun and rewarding it can be to grow a garden. Not only is this a great way to provide nutritious vegetables for ourselves, it is also a good source of exercise and recreation. It gives people a good reason to spend some time outdoors in the beautiful spring weather.
There are a few things we can do to ensure our spring garden is successful. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just throwing some seeds in the ground. A successful gardener should spend some time researching what plants and vegetables to use in order to see the best results. It is also important to know when to plant vegetables, as our desert climate can add a few challenges for gardeners.
What to Plant
As you choose vegetables to plant in your garden, it’s important to consider a few key factors. The first thing you will want to decide is what you and your family will actually eat once the vegetables are harvested. It does no good to plant vegetables that no one likes, which results in wasted food.
Consider how much you are planting and how much space it will require once the food is harvested. If you are planting large vegetables that will take up quite a bit of space in your cupboards or refrigerators, it could lead to you having to throw it out early to conserve space. Make sure you are thinking ahead so you have the right amounts of food when you need it.
One other important consideration as you choose what to plant is how long it will take to grow. You don’t want to plant items in early April that will take 90 days to grow and harvest. This will lead to harvesting in the high summer heat, which could damage the vegetables. As you choose seeds to plant, look for vegetables that grow in 30 – 45 days so you can safely harvest them before it gets too hot.
When to Plant
People who have successfully planted gardens in other parts of the country may find that they are up against some unique challenges when planting here in Arizona. What may have worked on the east coast or in the Midwest may not work here in the desert.
There are some vegetables that can still thrive in the harsh summer heat we experience here. It is best to plant in early to mid-March in order to avoid temperature extremes. Not only do you want to avoid late winter/early spring freezes, but you also want to try and avoid the heat that comes on in early late May, early June each year.
Plants including beans, beets, carrots, eggplant, peppers, radishes, spinach and sweet corn should be planted before March 15th. While you can plant cucumbers, melons, squash and tomatoes through the end of March.
For more tips on how to raise a successful garden, contact ABC Scapes and ask about irrigation systems and locations. We can be reached at 602-404-0568.