Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who knew I had such a green thumb?

Let me remind you that I'm a city girl, in case you missed something from that last post. My idea of camping might be a nap at the cabana at the nearest Marriott. Or a Winnebago in the woods, only if equipped with air conditioning, a flat screen and surround sound.

Get it?

So imagine my surprise at being able to have a kick ass garden in the middle of the desert.

I start planting in March, and lately, we've been enjoying killer peppers, zucchini for days, and some eggplant caponata.

Here's my eggplant patch, and with a baby just poking it's head out.

And a zucchini plant, with leaves as big as tires.

And basil - so gi-nourmous, I wonder about the radioactivity in our soil. Yucca Mountain is a mere 80 miles away.

Oh, don't get me wrong, as much luck as I have with some of these plants, I experience the exact opposite with others. I can't grow cukes, no matter what I do to help them along. Cilantro? Forget it. Dill? I'm better off buying it at the store.

Did I mention peppers?

I have three tips for growing a garden in poor conditions. First, when planting, make sure you're starting with good soil, even if that means hauling some in. I hauled in 80 tons of rich soil, and made raised beds with it. My neighbors told me I'd have trouble with growing things in this caliche laden soil, so good soil should be your priority.

Second - throw in a healthy handful of nutrient, whether it's compost, or something that your local nursery recommends. We have a pretty great chain of nurseries here in Las Vegas, and they package their own line of products, made especially for this soil. I used to think - who would buy dirt? Now I get it!

And finally, if you're like me, you can barely remember what you wore yesterday, let alone remember to water the garden every day. So I have an automated drip system, which waters these plants twice a day, in the very early morning hours.

Now if I could only figure out how to grow a cucumber.... I'd be pretty content with this year's crop. Anyone have tips for me?


Micron the Cat said...

Jamie, cukes may not grow there because it's so hot. They don't like to be toasted, LOL. Also, they seem to require rich soil. I have mine planted in a raised bed filled with compost - NO soil at all - and they are growing great guns. :)


Jamie Y said...


Didn't realize that heat was their enemy. I have one area in the yard that is well shaded, maybe I will try planting some cukes there next summer. Might even try a raised bed, with 100% compost as you suggested... what can it hurt?

Thanks SO MUCH for the comment!