Summer Garden Update 2013

I know it seems impossible for anything to grow during the summer in Arizona, but many plants actually enjoy the heat! We still have most of our spring plants hanging on despite the fiery heat: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cantaloupe, basil, and eggplant. The sunflowers are done growing, and all of the seeds have been harvested over the last few weeks. The Black Beauty zucchini is done producing as well so in a few weeks, we will transplant new plants to grow this fall. Unfortunately, the green beans did not produce much this summer, despite growing vigorously and looking healthy. According to this planting guide, green beans can be directly sowed in the garden starting August 1st in our area so we planted a few rows to get a better crop this fall. Carrots can also be planted August 1st so we started a few rows last week. Our sweet potatoes were planted in June, and they will be ready to harvest at the end of September.

It is also time to start fall veggies indoors! Vegetables in the cruciferous family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, etc.) can be started indoors now and transplanted into the garden when they are 6-8 weeks old. We have started Di Ciccio broccoli, an heirloom variety that produces very well. We are also trying Romanesco broccoli for the first time this year. So far it has germinated very well and hope it produces as well as the Di Ciccio. For the first time, we are also starting our leafy greens indoors and will transplant them around 4 weeks old. The lettuce, spinach, and swiss chard will be started indoors mid-August. Hopefully, this will improve the germination rates and ultimately lead to larger crops.

Happy planting! 🙂