What to Plant and When to Plant

It is time to plant and many people are deciding that it's time for a back yard garden.  Phoenix can be a great place to grow food if you tap into some of the available resources that we LOVE and have used.

Organic Desert Gardening Books
Our first gardening book that we bought was Extreme Gardening - How to Grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts by Dave Owens

Dave's book was so fabulous, we bought his second one - Seasonal Guide to Organic Gardening.   Both books are dog eared, have coffee, water and fertilizer spilled and pages falling apart. If you buy nothing else - buy BOTH his books.

Planting Guides for the Desert
Greg Peterson - of Urban Farm has put together a wonderful planting guide calendar. I've used it and love it. You can download a copy here.

The second planting guide that is fabulous is one put out by Maricopa County Extension office. It's also free and can be downloaded here.

Seed Resources
I love Baker Creek Heirloom seeds. Their catalog is a must have. Order it here.

I also use John Scheeper Kitchen Garden and love their catalogue and love their seeds. Order them here.

Eden Brother's is another seed resource. If you order more than $59 you get free shipping.  Order here.

Soil Resources
If I were doing just a few small raised beds, I have to say I love the combination in Square Foot Gardening soil mix. It's available at the big box stores.

A few weeks ago, I asked my friend Jill of Sweet Life Garden what she uses in her raised beds. I liked her combination and we're now trying that as a way to amend some of our existing raised beds. She uses Kellogg's Potting Soil and another product called Super Soil in the purple bag. Home Depot carries both.

If you need larger loads of soil there is a company in the valley called Gro-Wel. We used them the first time we ever built raised beds and had success with that soil combination. They have several so you would need to speak with them about your needs.

Ken Singh of Singh Farms is another great soil/compost resource. If you've not been to his farm - you must.  Here's a blipper about Singh Farms I copied from their Facebook page

....Singh Farms is a 20-acre oasis located just outside of downtown Scottsdale, just east of the 101 on Thomas Road and is open to visitors on Friday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m, and Saturday 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Owned by Lee and Ken Singh, the farm is a chakra (energy center) that represents their dharma (righteous duty) to sustainability while educating the public on the traditions of nutritious foods rooted in the Earth's natural, harmonic cycles.