Living in the Sonoran desert, we have the privilege of gardening year round. Now is the fall planting season, and our grass is in and we can walk on it, so it was time to get started.
I went to a local nursery called The Avocado to order the fruit trees, and found they also have an excellent soil mix for gardening in this area -- it's used by the local college, university extension office test gardens, and the Master Gardener's program -- at an even more excellent price. Sold in bulk by the cubic yard, one load is enough to fill one raised bed. So I went and picked some up, along with the tubing and nozzles to complete the irrigation. I got home and got to work, putting in the irrigation lines, moving the dirt one wheelbarrow load at a time, and quickly realized this was going to be an all day project by itself. And then my guys surprised me. Jay came out, climbed in the back of my truck, and started shoveling the dirt into the wheelbarrow for me. Shortly thereafter, Scott came out and took over wheelbarrow duty, leaving me to spread the dirt within the beds. What wonderful help! It made the whole thing go so much faster, and showed me that it would have taken me at least another day on my own.
So the beds were filled and level, and daylight fading, so we decided to call it a day. Of course I forgot to take a picture again. And then the dogs found the new dirt. When I went out this morning, this is what I saw:
Lowe's for some tools,
I picked up the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew about a year ago in the hopes that I'd someday have my garden. When the beds went in, I got my copy out again, and started reading. I decided to go with this method, but have modified it slightly -- some of my plantings are not going to be quite so dense this time around, while some strictly follow his spacing. Whichever way works best will be the method I go with for future plantings.
Finally, the first bed is all planted and watered!
So, what's in there? I'm glad you asked! The 4 plants at the back are (clockwise from the left): Black Prince tomato, Red Beefsteak tomato, Juliet roma grape tomato, and Mr. Stripey tomato. The seeds I planted are cucumbers, marigolds, peas, green beans, wax beans, basil, oregano, green onions, nasturtiums, stevia, broccoli, spinach, leaf lettuce mix, baby carrots, and a blend of 5 colors of regular carrots. (I couldn't find a link for either the marigolds or the baby carrots, but the labels read: Burpee Signature Marigold Burpee's Mixed Colors, and Burpee Signature Carrot Petite 'n Sweet.)
I can't wait to see everything growing!
Assuming, of course, I can managed to keep the dogs out. Here's hoping!