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Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

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Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  Ihopetogrow on Tue 1 Aug - 23:09

Hello fellow green thumbers,
I am new to SFG and attempting to learn how to do it in the summer in Phoenix. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated
Thank you!
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  countrynaturals on Wed 2 Aug - 10:31

Ihopetogrow wrote:Hello fellow green thumbers,
I am new to SFG and attempting to learn how to do it in the summer in Phoenix. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated
Thank you!
Welcome, Ihopetogrow. I'm also a 9er. It ain't easy keeping stuff alive here in the summer (Redding, CA), but come October, we're the envy of the rest of the country and our neighbors to the north. Razz
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  Abiqua Ike on Wed 2 Aug - 10:54

Ihopetogrow wrote:Hello fellow green thumbers,
I am new to SFG and attempting to learn how to do it in the summer in Phoenix. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated
Thank you!
Welcome! SFG is adaptable to most any climate but I assume you must be new to gardening in Arizona too. Summer is your harsh season, the one you think of like most of us would think of winter. However, you can garden for the rest of the year, you just gotta learn new tricks!
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  Ihopetogrow on Wed 2 Aug - 10:58

Hello CN and Abiqua,
I'm thinking about using cement blocks to build my garden bed. What are your thoughts? Also irrigation and where to start?
Thanks!
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  Abiqua Ike on Wed 2 Aug - 11:51

I'm a little un-kosher in a lot of my methods, but here's my two cents:

When thinking about materials for garden infrastructure one of the things I think about is: "Will it rot eventually and have to be replaced?" Concrete is very good at lasting so there is no future cost to anticipate. On the other hand, wood will last a LOT longer for you than it will for me!

My assumption (correct me if I'm wrong) is a border of two-hole cinder blocks around your beds. I would use something more minimal for the grid material, perhaps 4' bamboo stakes. The blocks are going to gather heat during the day and release it into the night. If there is just too much heat overall (most of your summer) then the blocks will get warmer than you'd like. If you fill the holes with horticultural pumice or cinder it will add insulation. Don't fill it with something dense and heavy, you want to fill it with "immobilized air". Your vermiculite would be excellent except it would blow away unless you cover your blocks with capstones.
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  Ihopetogrow on Wed 2 Aug - 11:58

Yes, that is exactly what I was thinking. I found a garden journal by Brainchasm, who lived in Las Vegas when he wrote it, that had what appeared to be a well thought out system. I like your thought on filling the holes for insulation and if I use pumice with a bit of soil on top I could get a place for flowers or herbs too.
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  countrynaturals on Wed 2 Aug - 12:27

Ihopetogrow wrote:Hello CN and Abiqua,
I'm thinking about using cement blocks to build my garden bed. What are your thoughts? Also irrigation and where to start?
Thanks!
I personally don't like cement blocks, so I'll let someone else address that issue. 

We started a drip system for irrigation this year and absolutely love it. It's much easier to install than I thought it would be, less expensive and totally flexible. They even make "oops plugs" for when you make a mistake. The downside to a drip system is that it needs constant attention. Things change. Plants grow up and block the spray. Debris gets into the emitters and blocks the flow. Sometimes they blow their little tops and send up a shoot of water. If you don't have electronic timers, you have to remember to turn them off. I know this all sounds bad, but it's so nice to be able to stroll around the gardens and let the drip system do the work. Hint: spring for the $18 easy punch. After you've poked a few hundred holes, that little free punch starts taking its toll on your hands. If you have arthritis to begin with, it isn't pretty. Evil or Very Mad Another plus is standing back and watching the birds find the emitters and enjoy a cooling shower on a hot summer day. I love you
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  sanderson on Wed 2 Aug - 14:18

Hi Hope,  Welcome to the Forum from another Zone 9 in California!  glad you\'re here   I'm glad you found Brainchasm's thread as I was going to recommend it.  AZ is a very productive State for growing, especially out-of-season veggies when other States are putting beds to sleep for the winter.  The main thing is to get the plants through the hottest part of the summer with mulch, water and shade.  Same thing we do in CA! Razz  I don't know if you get monsoon rain in your area??  If you are going to set the beds on the ground (verses Table Tops like Tiny Spock and I have) but the cement blocks are fine if you fill in the holes.  I recommend that you not use syn-lawn as it can get super hot in the sun.  Use wood chips as the coolest ground cover surrounding the beds.  Brick and rock can also build up high temps.  I wish I could find the desert thread where the SFG gardener built a large wood pergola with grape vines providing some of the shade.  Any who, welcome to the Forum!  Oh, one more thing.  If your native soil is super draining, great.  If not, make sure the beds are not set in low spots.  And, make sure you use weed cloth as Mel instructed.  Commercial grade is now my favorite.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t8738-under-a-desert-shade-cloth

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t19499-my-sfg-5-14-15-kingman-az


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RE: Zone 9

Post  newbeone on Sat 5 Aug - 8:14

A big hello from another zone 9er in Texas and welcome to the forum, When I started trying to garden down here I built my first beds using stackable pavers, it didn't work out very well just to hot I went to using 2 X 8 untreated pine boards and it's been a lot better
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  sanderson on Sat 5 Aug - 9:34

Newbe, Did you fill the holes with Mix? Just wondering. I like 2x8 pine/fir because wood is a good insulator. With straw mulch on top of the Mel's Mix, the MM stays cool.

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RE: Zone 9

Post  newbeone on Sun 6 Aug - 9:14

No my blocks were solid they were the type you can stack to build a retaining wall with.
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  reynajrainwater on Wed 9 Aug - 23:36

Ihopetogrow wrote:Hello fellow green thumbers,
I am new to SFG and attempting to learn how to do it in the summer in Phoenix. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated
Thank you!
Hello Ihopetogrow. I also live in Phoenix. I have 2-4x4 boxes covered with shade cloth. I have a few pepper plants and an eggplant that were planted in the spring. I'm keeping them watered throughout the summer so they will be mature enough to start producing in the fall. I got a late start this summer with starting my tomato plants. They should be ready to go out in the garden in about 3-4 weeks. I follow the Arizona Cooperative Extension, Vegatable Planting Calendar for Maricopa County for planting times.
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  Ihopetogrow on Thu 10 Aug - 11:09

Hello everyone!
Thank you for all of the information!
Unfortunately, my dog injured himself and my gardening budget has been blown on vet and PT bills. So, what I'm planning on doing is growing salad greens in bins on my tarp covered patio table. 
Ever since I started reading Mel's books and this forum, I can't wait to get my hands dirty! Hopefully this tides me over until I can get my garden set up.
I'll hopefully post pictures when I have it up and running. 
Thanks again!!
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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

Post  sanderson on Thu 10 Aug - 12:45

Hope, Covering the table with a plastic picnic table cloth or tarp is a good idea to protect the table. Growing salad greens is a good idea while you wait for the budget (our pets are worth it!) to ease up.

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Re: Zone 9 in Phoenix, Az

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