Thursday, July 30, 2009

Glad to get some glads out of the heat!

I have another big round of glads to harvest ... if we leave them in the ground all summer they pretty much disintegrate so I dig mine each year in July and August. After I pull the glads I let them sit outside (out of direct sunlight) to dry for a few days.

Then I cut them 4 or 5 inches above the bulb into a brown paper bag. Accckkk! You are so observant. Yes, this is not a brown paper bag. It is a Macy's bag. Sadly because I have become so environmentally concious I only use fabric shopping bags and I have no large brown paper bags. I am going to get some when I go to the store this week and swap them. I think the Macy's bag will not work as well because it has a kind of "coating" inside that will not allow air to circulate. Please don't hate me because I am destroying trees by saying "paper" when they ask me at the store.

See these little bulblets? Last year I planted a long furrow of these and let them develop into glad bulbs which is why I have 14,607 glads to harvest this year. I will keep them but they may or may not get planted. Unless some of you have a lot of space and can plant them in your garden and want them. I'd be glad to send them to you.

And now they are hidden away in the dark closet in my laundry room in their inappropriately fine bag. They are feeling pretty spiffy at the moment.

And now, here's my garden as of yesterday, July 29th. The roses will not go dormant for some weird reason and the gourds and zinnias are taking over the backyard!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Would somebody please tell my garden that it is the end of July in Arizona and it is supposed to slow down a bit?

If you're not too busy I'd appreciate it very much.

Monday, July 20, 2009

SSSShhhh.... Here's a very steamy story for so early in the morning...

OK.... gather close. Don't let anyone overhear. This is pretty hot and I don't want any old people or children getting too shocked. Are you ready?


I think I have heatstroke. I know. Shocking, right?

I was in my garden at 6:00 am to

plant my pumpkin seeds - which I did
pull some gladiola bulbs - which I did
turn the compost bin (doesn't that sound so much better then black-plastic garbage
can with holes drilled in it?) - which I did
pick tomatoes - which I did

And now I am dying. It is only 8:20 and I am ready to call it a day and go back to bed.

Because of the heat here I don't leave my glads in the ground all year. Each July I pull them carefully from the ground, tap off all excess dirt, and leave them outside in the shade for a day or two to dry out a bit. Then I cut the leaves off about 3 - 4" inches from the bulb, pack them into brown paper sacks and put them in my laundry room closet. I think I pulled close to 60 this morning with at least that many to pull tomorrow or Wednesday. Some of them are bigger then my fist. Granted, I have a small hand, but still...impressive glad bulbs.

I didn't take pictures because of the aforementioned heat-stroke thing-y, but I will tomorrow morning!

OK, off to throw myself directly on top of the air conditioning vent.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Compost and gourds

I've been bad about showing you the compost! I have taken some out of it already and continue to add to it. The black plastic bin really bakes the materials and it seems to turn over about once a month. It is very rich looking and extremely friable.

I've been asked what my secret to growing in the desert is and it is lots and lots of compost and organic matter, mulching with straw like crazy and regular deep waterings with a soaker hose. Shade is a big factor as well and if you haven't let 1,000 sunflowers grow in your garden (this won't happen next year) you do need to use a 50% shadecloth when the heat ratchets up!

And here is what is growing on the ramada by the garden. Gourds! I got these seeds from a gourd growing friend in Taiwan who I met when I was attempting to grow a giant pumpkin several years ago.

Here's a link to my growers diary:
and here's a link to some other pictures of the pumpking growing:

My sister past away mid-March of '08 (the year my husband and I were attempting this)and I just lost my momentum with the whole project and never repeated it.

We had to leave the end of June to drive to Ohio for her burial and before we left we cut up the pumpkins to weigh them. We did have one that was a little over 300 pounds. I think they would have gotten much larger cuz the leaves were still really vibrant when we cut them up!

It was a fun and crazy experiment and just gives you an idea you can grow just about anything in the desert.

Through my growers diary is how I met the grower in Taiwan and he was so sweet in sending seeds along.

Gardeners are a bunch of "good seeds" aren't they?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Harvesting in 110 degrees

OK, it is hot here. Stinkin' hot. Really hot. Not like hot as in unpleasantly warm. Hot as is in underwear melting hot. Oops! Was that too much information? Well in any case I think you get the idea. This morning when I roused myself out of the A/C and into the garden around 8 am it was already well over a hundred and humid. We will be around 114/115 today. We are in the middle of the monsoon season which would be OK if it ever actually rained but since it refuses to be anything other then humid it's just well.... ummmm..... hot. OK, I'm probably repeating myself but here's what I picked this morning. It was difficult for me not to cut roses but around this time of year I don't pick roses at all and just let them go as dormant as they can. We maintain lots of water on them but I don't even fertilize now for several months because I don't want the plants to grow. Just want them to survive.

I did pick some green beans, too, but I left the basket on the ground for about 2.8 seconds which means my weiner dog ate them. Sigh.

And this melon? Wow! I picked three today and it was hard not to cut and eat the other two right afterwards. It was juicy and sweet and delicious!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I hang my head in shame...

...since it has been a month since I've been here last. A month. I could make up some big lie explaining my laziness but all I can say is ... well.... ummm.... a gigantic spaceship came and took me off to the planet Gardenarium where I learned many, many secrets for growing amazing gardens and which I will share with you next planting season, I promise.

In the meantime here's what happened in my garden while I was off on the spaceship.

So, as you can see things have been growing like crazy while I was on my inter-galactic journey.

And now it's time to plant pumpkins but I'm not sure if I can find my machete or not to clear a spot.

And now, to paraphrase the way they say goodbye on the planet Gardenarium...

Grow in peace little seed...