This summer we have been working on expanding our garden space. This has both an indoor and an outdoor component…
Indoor Garden Expansion
INSIDE we added a new growing rack that gives us more space for starting seeds.
I am experimenting with seed starting indoors during summer to give some of my fall plants a head start, so they don’t wither in our summer heat. I know, usually you would start seedlings indoors to try to get a head start on the COLD. Well here in the southwest desert things are a little upside down for growing seasons… Fall marks the start of a new and very prolific season for us. I am hoping to be able to take full advantage of it this year!
First up is some winter squash. I am starting acorn, spaghetti, and butternut squash indoors to transplant as soon as the monsoons kick in.
Later in August I plan to try jump starting some lettuce and other leafy greens, to give them a head start before transplanting into the garden in September. I am hoping to get lots of greens growing this fall!
Outdoor Garden Expansion
OUTSIDE we had to add on to our garden beds to accommodate all the squash seedlings I started. (Whoops 😉 ) Hubby helped me build two more beds, and we ordered a squash tunnel from Gardener’s Supply. It looks really great installed in the garden, and I can’t wait to see it covered in squash vines!
What’s Growing in the Garden Now (July)?
Finally a quick update on how the garden is doing now that we are mid-July. For one thing, it is HOT. Days are consistently over 100°F, reaching towards 110°F. However, we are lucky in that we have several large trees around our yard, and this provides partial shade on and off most of the day. Because of this, many of our plants are still doing well. We have yellow squash and zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, laccinato kale (plants established earlier in the spring are still growing well!), malabar spinach, and eggplant (proliferous and loving the heat!)
We have several eggplant varieties growing, actually – the traditional Black Beauty, an Indian variety called Ratna with 2-3 inch sized fruits, and a Japanese variety called Ping Tung. The later hasn’t produced any fruits yet, but the plant is growing well, so hopefully we will see some fruit set soon. The Black Beauty and Ratna are producing well and we have harvested a couple times already!
Our tomato and tomatillo plants are growing like crazy. Fruit production is slow, which is to be expected with this heat. But since the plants are vigorous, we are hoping that once it cools back down we will get a good late summer harvest before we pull them out.
And of course, I would be remiss not to mention our chile’s. We have several varieties growing: Jalapeno, Serrano, Anaheim, Sweet Red, Del Arbol, Ordono. All except for the Sweet Red continue to set fruit and ripen. This is easily Hubby’s favorite part of the garden 🙂 This time of year, he has a daily fresh supply of spice!
The Ordono is one of our favorites! It is a fun ornamental, as well as providing a steady stream of chiles. I have a full article dedicated to it here if you want to read a little more.
And that’s all I have for you for now. More to come in the near future! I hope you are having an enjoyable and productive summer!