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Old 03-14-2013, 09:14 AM
 
66 posts, read 117,067 times
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I notice that there is a lot of farming/gardening here in the Phoenix east valley. I am considering a small vegetable garden for my home, but one thing is stopping me. The thought of all the awful sand storms last year. Are there usually as many of those as we had last year and is it at all practical to try to do a small garden in this area? If so, what grows best here? I would like to grow some herbs, green onions,tomatoes, jalapeños, and maybe lettuce.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
16,512 posts, read 21,345,483 times
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If you have an HOA and that garden is going to be visible, you may need HOA permission.

That said, we were able to grow herbs, but they burnt every summer, even when put in the shade. I have friends that grew tomatoes and jalapenos. The former were lots of trouble and work, but tasted pretty good. The latter were fairly easy, but were very, very hot.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:45 AM
 
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The dust storms have no effect on gardens, really. As noted above, growing some things is tricky here... I've heard of people having more luck growing herbs in pots where they can be moved when necessary due to heat/excessive sun. Lettuce is tricky here, but I know some can do it.... there are varieties of tomatoes that do very well here.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:22 AM
 
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We picked up one of those little flats of romaine lettuce, spinach, and broccoli each around the New Year, and they have been thriving and we've been harvesting all three to eat. Didn't really do much other than water regularly and pull the occasional weed. We also have some kale we planted in in late 2012, and it's done quite well. We've planted some spring crops that are just starting to come up. Most of these are in raised beds. It seems the keys are how much sun the plants get as well as regular watering.

Dust storms mostly come in the middle of the summer when most garden plants aren't around anyway.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:55 AM
YAZ
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
7,194 posts, read 12,437,081 times
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Elizabeth,

Everything you mentioned grows great here, it's just that ya gotta do it at the right time.

Tomato plants in raised beds do great......and ifya plant 'em now.....you should get 2 seasons out of 'em.

Thumbs up to herbs in movable pots. You'll have to cut yer basil back......

All of your leafy greens do great in the wintertime. Kale does the best IMHO.

Google raised bed gardening, square foot gardening, etc. and you'll see that these methods produce a lot in a small area.

We're gonna try grapes next year.....
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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Here is an excellent informational web site that is all about desert gardening in AZ and will answer many of your your questions:

Arizona Master Gardener Manual
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
2,032 posts, read 4,280,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el1zabeth View Post
I notice that there is a lot of farming/gardening here in the Phoenix east valley. I am considering a small vegetable garden for my home, but one thing is stopping me. The thought of all the awful sand storms last year. Are there usually as many of those as we had last year and is it at all practical to try to do a small garden in this area? If so, what grows best here? I would like to grow some herbs, green onions,tomatoes, jalapeños, and maybe lettuce.

Phoenix is a great place for gardening and farming, that's why the city's here! Plenty of annual sunshine makes plants happy. Lettuce, greens, and pretty much all old world crops grow in the cooler part of the year. Crop plants native to the Americas are happy planted in the spring and grow through the summer. Tomatoes, squash, chiles, corn, beans, etc. all were first domesticated in Mexico and need long days of sunlight.

Dust storms have little effect on plants except that they usually precede rain, so they're a good thing.Heat, on the other hand is only a problem if you have plants that weren't bred for this climate. Don't get seeds at Home Depot intended for anywhere USA, get your seeds from these guys instead; Native Seeds/SEARCH

Native Seeds is a vendor of heirloom seeds gathered over the last few decades from native american tribes and out of the way, small town gardens all over the Southwest and Northwest Mexico. Check out their catalog, it's full of all manner of food plants in many many varieties. When you garden like the people who've been growing things here for thousands of years a whole new world of possibilities opens up for your desert garden.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:11 PM
 
Location: AZ
1,046 posts, read 3,202,799 times
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Valley Permaculture Alliance - Join us in creating a more sustainable Phoenix!

These guys/gals have classes every day that will help answer all of your questions. A great organization for those of us that don't have any experience growing our own food in the Valley.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
4,523 posts, read 6,574,957 times
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When I was a kid we grew lots of stuff. What did best were squash, cantelopes and okra. We also did OK with jalapenos. What we had a hard time with were tomatoes, grapes, watermelon and potatoes. Others in the neighborhood were successful with tomatoes and grapes. A lot is dependent on your soil too.

My Mom also grew herbs and spices in pots moving them around to shade or sun them. I don't know how easy or difficult they were.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,549 posts, read 9,977,791 times
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Elizabeth: Its not sand storms, its dirt. It just adds a little more to your garden than was already there.
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