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Under a desert shade cloth

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Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 8/22/2011, 8:57 pm

My first summer of SFG in Arizona is ending (even though this weekend may be our hottest of the summer and it feels like it's been cooler than other summers of recent).

I didn't have a full garden going - had a small group of transplants brought to the new house in May. That said, everything survived under a shade cloth with the help of a morning water and sometimes an evening drink. Few things seemed to be in the sun directly for more than an hour.

Driving around there is greenery in the desert that seem to be just fine in full sun.

What did other central Arizonans grow in full sun?

Watermelon - the vines quickly grew out into the sun and look a healthy green.
Carrots - they barely grew but the tops stayed green in full sun

Anyone grow cucumbers or zucchini in full sun? Peppers?
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  shannon1 on 8/23/2011, 1:14 am

Hi jkahn2eb,

I'm not a desert gardener but earlier this year I was researching vegtables native to north america. I think you may find these vegetables native to the southwest interesting. Tepary beans and Nopalitos an edible catus. Spineless varieties are now avalible. I'll bet with a little web researching you can find others, there must be some types of corn, and maybe a squash or two you could grow.

Alot of chili peppers came from Africa org., talk about hot and dry.



A little FYI for everyone, most of the common garden vegetables are from europe.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/23/2011, 9:28 am

Just thought I'd pop in and say this would be a great title for a continual thread in your region or for a future blog.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 8/23/2011, 9:47 pm

Eggplants grew strong in full afternoon sun - no shade.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  duhh on 8/26/2011, 10:36 pm

Tiger melon, peppers, watermelon had very little shade in my garden and have done well. The moon and stars watermelon in particular grew out about 10 feet from under the shade. Most of my shade cloth is set up where each area gets a bit of direct sunlight a day.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 9/8/2011, 7:05 pm

On the 10 day forecast I see nothing over 104 degrees with numerous days under 100. The shade cloth and structure have all come down. Plants have been growing a little quicker the past couple days - new leaves at the tops - due to either more sun without the cloth, cooler temps or both.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  duhh on 9/8/2011, 9:30 pm

I am so excited for the cooler temps! I took down the cloth on one of my beds to see how it does. I am hoping that I will be able to remove all shade cloth by next week. It will be so nice to walk around my garden without dodging it!
I have some tomatoes that are waiting to be transplanted, and I want to plant my lettuce and spinach.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 9/8/2011, 10:56 pm

Still battling pests chewing up new leaves. I bought some red plastic cups, cut off the bottom half and placed them around my transplants. If it is caterpillars, then hopefully this prevents them from climbing up and over to chew things up. Will see how it works.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  duhh on 9/9/2011, 5:17 pm

Hopefully the cups work. I wonder what is trying to eat your little plants.. Good luck!
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 11/14/2011, 3:04 pm

Garden update!

Cups are working well keeping buggers off lettuce. Everyone is still tiny but I don't see any damage yet. Thought I'd share some pics.

Bought a lilly plant for my wife on her last day of spring teaching. Planted it this summer, looked like it died, I cut it to the base and and a couple months later...



I believe these are biker billy peppers. Hot.



Swiss chard growing in the background.



Tomato row (from closest to furthest): Reisentraub, Vorlon, Black Cherry, Belarusian Heart and Red Cherry. Think I need to have marigolds lining the entire edge.






My newest marigolds



Tons of hummingbirds in our yard. Nice forward wing shot though I was hoping to catch one with a bright green or bright red throat. Amazing how close they'll let me get and how much they scare me when zooming past my head when I'm not looking.



Mini sweet bell peppers with siam queen basil standing guard.

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  RoOsTeR on 11/15/2011, 7:01 pm

Wow! Some really good shots and all the plants and veggies look fantastic Very Happy

That pic with the hummingbird is really neat. I can't believe you actually got such a great shot. I have never been quick enought lol Cool

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  FamilyGardening on 11/16/2011, 2:22 am

thanks for sharing pics with us!!!

love all of them!....everything looks really good and green Very Happy

hugs

rose
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 11/16/2011, 8:19 am

Thanks! It has been tons of fun with my first real SFG, which has its obvious challenges starting in an early AZ summer. My attitude has been there are plenty of mistakes I'll learn from and just learning in general even if mistakes weren't made.

I've good a good grasp on the height of certain plants (I think) which will help me in the spring. I have one tall tomato plant not with the others in the back row and it's blocking a nice chunk of real estate for other plants to grow - but it's my favorite type of tomato so it gets a free pass this fall.

Favorite late addition to the garden are the Chinese Red Noodle Beans. So tasty to pluck and eat from the garden bounce

I've been tossing various lettuce and spinach seeds everywhere as the Arizona winter approaches. Haven't gotten any ripened tomatoes yet but a bunch of greenies are everywhere.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 1/3/2012, 12:16 pm

IN THE WINTER - YEAR I

Carrots of all colors unite to stand guard
in the east garden protecting the broccoli.




Square foot lines lay in disarray
around a European Mesclun Salad
that will wilt come hot May.





Same salad, different spot to scientifically check
if lettuce prefer aesthetically-pleasing flowers nearby,





Any one know what is causing these huge holes in my bigger tomatoes?
My guess is a bug or worm. This tomato has several of these holes while
neighboring tomatoes are fine. Should I toss this one or leave it up
so the little critter, if he's out and about, doesn't make a new home?





Ready to ripen, black cherry tomatoes hover over garlic sprouts and the weakest thyme




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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  LaborDay RN on 1/3/2012, 2:51 pm

Wow....very impressive! It's wonderful how many healthy and yummy veggies you have growing in January! My winters are quite cold here (very little snow) but you've inspired me to try lettuce under protection ( hoop house?) and see how it does. Thanks for the lovely pics!
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 1/3/2012, 3:02 pm

Thanks - wish I would have started my lettuce and spinach inside late summer and then transplanted for a longer growing season. They haven't grown as fast as anticipated... guess my basil ruined my expectations for all other plants.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 2/29/2012, 7:00 pm

Just finished a small expansion against my north and east walls. It'll host beans in the summer and sugar snap peas in the winter (my wife's favorite).

Got all my seedlings transplanted over the past couple days. Tomato plants all survived the mild winter and are bursting with flowers. A number of tomatoes are already ripe and eaten. Broccoli is still sending up shoots and have been turning the leaves into chips. Wife and I eat salads with the lettuce and broccoli several times a week. The carrots are delicious. SFG may be the smartest thing I've done next to learning to shoot a basketball left-handed.

East wall:


North wall:


The entire garden:


Tasty lettuce (won't last much longer in this heat):
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/1/2012, 2:19 pm

SFG may be the smartest thing I've done next to learning to shoot a basketball left-handed.

cheers Glad you are enjoying the adventure! Beds look nice.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  duhh on 3/5/2012, 12:14 am

Wow!! Beautiful set up. You also have so much more garden space now! Just in time for the spring planting season! I can't wait to see what it looks like a month or two from now, you'll have your own mini jungle back there!! Great work.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/5/2012, 12:46 am

thanks again for posting pics!

cheers it all looks great!

hugs

rose who loves looking at other gardeners gardens sunny
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 5/8/2012, 10:12 am

That time of year - shade cloth is back up along with a simpler, more sturdy & aesthetic PVC foundation. Think I'll fly my older brother in during the winter to help design and build a yearlong wood structure.

Didn't get as many large tomatoes as I hoped but the reisentraub has been very fruitful. Black cherry tomatoes good too.

This summer under the shade cloth:
Purple beans
Rattlesnake beans
Chinese red long beans
Blue lake beans
Alpha beit cucumbers
Zucchini
Corn
Diamond eggplant
Green onions
Garlic
Siam queen basil
Thyme
Ali baba watermelon
Honeydew rock melon
Cantaloupe
Lots of flowers

Also finished the automated watering system for the garden and small patch of grass. Took me almost a month to dig, correct issues and get the yard looking clean again. Fun stuff to learn. Plenty of Home Depot trips.
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 5/15/2012, 12:39 pm

We've grown from this:



to this:



Only one spot is not easily accessible (filled with flowers), otherwise the max width at any point is 4 ft in trying to adhere to SFG protocols.

Below clockwise from top: cucumbers, sunflowers,
blue bush beans, corn, purple beans, spinach, chinese red noodle beans;
reisentraub tomatoes, lettuce, vorlon tomatoes, garlic, green onions,
black cherry tomatoes, cherry tomatoes



The lillies I thought that died in the fall returned:

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  Goosegirl on 5/15/2012, 2:29 pm

WOW jkahn2eb!!!

GG
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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  walshevak on 5/15/2012, 7:53 pm

WOW, I'm truly impressed at change to the the beautiful landscaping that is also a veggie garden. Well done.

Kay

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 5/15/2012, 8:08 pm

The best part has been hooking neighbors, my soccer & softball teams and the folks down at the county recorder office with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and other goodies. I can't make enough kale chips using swiss chard and other big greens to keep my wife and others satisfied.

I've learned a ton about food origins, growing techniques, building irrigation & drip systems... and this forum has been a great resource. Thanks to all for those who've posted in every thread.


Can't wait to see what my garden looks like in two years.
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