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Vegetable Gardening 101


Vegetable Gardening 101 You can grow and harvest something fresh every month of the year in the low desert! People have been gardening and farming in the valley for ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Vegetable Gardening 101

Vegetable Gardening 101
  • You can grow and harvest something fresh every
    month of the year in the low desert!

People have been gardening and farming in the
valley for more than 1000 years
  • Whether you have 4 square feet, 40 square feet,
    or 40 acres, you can harvest fresh vegetables
    every month of the year here in the low desert!

  • Desert Gardening for Beginners
  • Az 1005, Vegetable Planting Calendar
  • Seed catalogues

6 Steps to harvesting homegrown fresh vegetables.
  • 1. Select site
  • 2. Decide how big to make the garden
  • 3. Prepare site
  • 4. Select, plant, or sow your crops
  • 5. Maintain the garden
  • 6. Harvest!!

Decide where to put your garden Vegetables need
  • 6-8 hours of sun each day
  • A reliable source of irrigation
  • Vegetables need soil tilled about 18 inches deep
  • The garden should be easy and inviting to get to
  • Allow space for paths between planting areas
  • Plan to reach the beds from both sides

How big should it be?
  • Should fit where the conditions are best
  • Should not be so big and so much work you get
  • You can always add on !
  • Should allow you to grow what you want to grow
    and use!

Build raised beds
  • Soil in raise beds is warmer in the winter
  • Can be built to meet needs of challenged
    gardeners or challenged sites
  • Remember, you should be able to reach the middle
    from both sides
  • Use materials that fit your landscape and budget

Or plant container gardens
3. Preparing the soil
  • Lay out planting beds
  • Till and rake soil removing rocks and junk
  • Add compost aim for ½ native soil ½ compost
  • Add balanced fertilizer according to directions
  • Till the bed again and rake it level
  • Install irrigation

3. SELECTING YOUR CROPS Choose crops that will
grow for each of our seasons. We have 3!
  • Refer to AZ 1005 for planting dates
  • Or
  • Fit the crops to the garden
  • Plant things you like to eat!
  • Rotate your crops

  • Local independent nurseries
  • Seed catalogues and internet sites
  • Friends
  • Plant sales, garden clubs
  • Big box retailers

Shall I buy transplants or start seeds on my own?
  • Transplants
  • No guesswork you jump start the garden
  • Give you a head start on plants that require a
    longer season than we have to produce
  • Limited to what you can find
  • Not all things should be transplanted-so you may
    do both!

Plant these vegetables directly into the garden.
  • Plants that grow from tubers, crowns, or cloves
  • Potatoes, asparagus, garlic
  • Plants that grow from big seeds
  • Peas, beans, corn, squash, melons, cucumbers,
  • Root crops
  • Beets, carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips

Some vegetables need a head start. Buy
transplants or start your own 8 weeks ahead of
planting time
  • Spring planted, long season crops
  • Peppers,
  • Eggplants,
  • Tomatoes,
  • Sweet potatoes

  • Fall planted long season or perennial crops
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Artichokes

Starting seeds in the garden.
  • Work the soil, making it friable
  • Soil should feel as moist as a wrung out sponge
  • Use a string and sticks to layout straight rows
  • Label each row!
  • Make a shallow planting trench along string
  • Plant seed according to package directions!
  • Do not plant deeper than suggested
  • Follow spacing instructions

  • Firm soil gently over seed rows to insure good
    seed soil contact
  • When all rows are planted, water carefully with
    soft pressure to insure enough moisture to
    initiate growth
  • Check daily and irrigate as necessary to keep
    soil moist a dry seed is a dead seed

Planting transplants
  • Prepare soil it should be moist and friable.
  • Remove transplant gently from container, handling
    by the crown and roots.
  • Do not damage the stem, this is how the plant
    transports the energy from photosynthesis to the
    roots for storage and growth!
  • Set the plant into soil so the transplant is at
    the same depth as the garden soil, do not sink it
    into a well!
  • Firm soil gently around the plant, water.

4. Maintaining your garden
  • Irrigating
  • Fertilizing
  • Mulching
  • Weeding
  • Pest control
  • Weather protections

Irrigating your garden
  • Select a timer you are comfortable using
  • adjust it as seasons change
  • Use ground-level systems to reduce evaporation

  • Use temporary sprinklers to irrigate newly seeded
    area or
  • Hand water newly seeded areas and transplants
  • Keep a watering can handy for spot watering

Arizona has great soil for gardening!!!
  • Our soils are rich in 19 of the 20 nutrients
    necessary to grow vegetables
  • Balanced fertilizer incorporated during soil prep
    is often enough to go a season. This can be
    achieved with good compost.
  • Fertilize only when plants show reduced vigor or
    nutrient deficiencies, or are described as heavy

Nitrogen, the missing link
  • Arizona soils are consistently low in nitrogen
  • Vegetables need only a little nitrogen to grow
    and produce. Too much produces lush, too
    healthy, non productive plants, but they are
    beautiful plants!
  • Nitrogen is very volatileis in the air, adds to
    rain, water dissolves the solid form, can leach
    it away, left in open bags or exposed on the soil
    it can evaporate

More garden maintenance
  • Keep paths mulched to reduce weeds
  • Pull weeds while small before they flower and
    seed, add to compost pile
  • Weeds are hosts for many unwelcome pests, compete
    for water and nutrients
  • Use mulch to reduce evaporation, maintain even
    soil temperatures, reduce weeds and protect crops
    from insects in garden beds, especially in summer
    aim for at least 6 inches in the summer

Pest control know your enemy!
  • Not all insects are bad!
  • Use the least toxic control methods first
    cultural and mechanical before resorting to toxic
  • Killing the bad guys also kills the good guys!
  • Most plants can sustain some damage and still
    produce a great crop

  • Learn to recognize the difference between pest
    damage and disease biotic
  • From other problems a-biotic. These include
  • Salt, wind-burn and sunscald
  • Frost damage
  • Over/under watering
  • Nutritional deficiencies

  • Make a compost pile, turn and irrigate it
  • Plant flowers to invite pollinators to visit
  • Visit the garden frequently
  • Build fences, or cages to keep rodents out
  • Use hardware cloth to line raised beds to deter

Season extenders
  • Use frost cloth, remay, old sheets and light
    blankets to protect plants from frost
  • Make a structure from pvc, 2x2 or other material
    to support the protection
  • Never use sheet plastic, it does not work
  • Use shade cloth to protect tomatoes from bugs,
    and keep fruit from sun burning
  • Use row covers to keep caterpillars and other
    insects off crops

5. Harvesting your crops
  • Pick produce young and often to keep new ones
  • Use the information on the seed packet to project
    about when to expect to harvest
  • Experiment with new recipes to use successful
    harvests in new ways
  • Thin and eat row crops like lettuce, and other
    greens, radishes, mustards, carrots
  • Use succession planting to extend harvest