What I have Planned For My Garden in 2017

Icicle radishes

Since it is only almost the end of February, I figure maybe I have some time to get a few icicle radishes growing. With one month of beautiful weather left, they should do fine. The weather cooled down lately, and is fluctuating between warm and cool days. My first crop of radishes went really well, and I’m hoping this crop will do even better. As I suggest in my post on How To Grow Cucumbers, icicle radishes are supposed to ward off aphids. Usually that will only work in places where you can grow radishes deep into spring and early summer. Spring lasts one month here before the unofficial start of summer (I decide based on how I feel about the heat). I’ll be judging their staying power and their ability to scare off aphids in this southwest region. Now check out that winter radish harvest!

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Native Seeds/S.E.A.R.C.H. here in Tucson offers for cucumbers that are specifically tolerant of this climate (called SR-71); their seed is grown and harvested just outside of Tucson. I’ve had good success with them. Now I’m looking at what else might work well in this climate. Johnny’s Selected Seeds offers a small-leaf pickling cucumber seed that, on paper, will thrive here. Small leaves don’t pick up heat as much as larger leaves, so their heat tolerance should be on par with the SR-71’s. These were planted just after mid February, when the soil was a nice 71F (21C). Come mid July I will write a post about how well they are doing and what to expect from this seed here in the middle of the desert.

Since I’ve got a good healthy dill plant going, I’ll experiment with how to keep it super fresh for pickles in the summer. Drying is an option, but I think there’s a better way. If it works, you’ll see a post about that as well. Stay tuned! Yes, it’s in a bucket, but I’ve said before, you can grow beautiful plants in anything you want!

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Currently, my lettuce is bolting (I harvested it all, have a look below), and a few radishes are doing well in another pot. I have three garlic bulbs growing that I’ll have to transplant and keep under the eaves of the house. Maybe it will do well, this is my first time trying it. I’m stubborn, so I tried using the leftovers from a store-bought bulb. A no-no according to conventional wisdom. In the off-chance my ideas pan out, and they do grow nice sized cloves, I’ll do a post about how I did it so you can have a go at it yourself.

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It feels good to have so many posts lined up, and to answer so many of the questions I have about gardening in the desert. If you have the time, have a look around. I’m always looking for honest opinions, so don’t be shy! Thank you for reading!

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