|new gloves and hat|
I have bought a new hat and gloves as a way to celebrate gardening in a new place. As my husband's work here is done, we are moving back to Virginia, and I am thrilled. I've been waiting for this move for a long time. I won't be doing extensive gardening at first, because we are renting for a while, but I will be able to plant some annuals in the yard and do some some container gardening. And, strangely enough, we ended up renting about six blocks from where we used to live. I've been packing for the last two weeks, and I have had my fill of boxes, tape, bubble wrap and packing paper. The movers are coming the end of this week, so this will be my last post for a few weeks.
Here are a few things I learned about gardening and living in Arizona.
|dried grass clippings as mulch|
Nothing decays here, it only dessicates. I have put grass clippings on my flower garden, and after a year the clippings are still sitting on top of the soil, all brown and dry and crisp. Since we get very little rain ( four inches last year), and the garden is watered by drip irrigation at each plant, most of the garden gets very little water on top of it.
|vinca and celosia|
Solar radiation is much stronger here in the desert southwest (more than twice the solar radiation received by humid regions) because there is no humidity, little living ground cover, and no clouds. We have gone for months without seeing a cloud. So the skies can transmit maximal solar energy to the ground where much of it is absorbed, raising the temperature dramatically. Because of the heat, not much flowers here June to mid-September. The only flowers in my garden during that time are vinca and celosia.
It is tricky growing vegetables here. The last freeze date is around March 1, and the first 100 F day usually occurs in April. In the fall, the temperature drops to 85 to 90 F by October, but the first freeze date can be mid-November.
Although I am not a desert-loving person, the desert has its beauty.
|Palo Verde tree|
Red Yucca with its skyward red spikes.
Prickly but nicely rounded Golden Barrel cactus.
I'll be posting in a few weeks from the more humid and much greener climate of northern Virginia. Hooray!