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Things are coming along in the upper garden area. It’s time to start planning for a fall garden and get the remainder of the summer seedlings in the ground so they have time to grow before the cooler weather starts. At this point it’s hard to imagine the cooler temperatures when we are having triple digits now. Still no rain to speak of just the few drops here and there, we need the rain so bad, we can tolerate the muddy roads for a day or two after a good rain.
As in all of our gardening this year we have done several experiments to see which way works the best for us. Since we don’t use any chemicals we had to do some research on what to help grow the best tomatoes & peppers. The results of 4 tomatoe plants and 2 pepper plants were quite different it’s hard to see in the pictures but in person it’s quite clear. When transplanting 2 tomatoes & 1 pepper plant we put 2 whole chicken eggs in the bottom of the hole before putting the plants in. These 3 plants are a deep dark green and are starting to flower while the other 3 are pale in color and the leaves are turning yellow/brown. Those plants have had several doses of cow manure tea as well as tea made from coffee grounds/egg shells/epsom salts. They are flowering too but are taking longer to set fruits, for the tomatoes & peppers to grow.
Our girls seem to be supplying us with abundance of eggs at the moment so we’ll be using some soon to transplant the seedlings still in the greenhouse. The only additions that we may add when transplanting is Epsom salts and coffee grounds in the hole too. We will share those results too.
This month has had some swings in temperatures but so far all the plants are looking green & lush. We have yellow summer squash and zucchini’s growing they are about 2 inches long and soon will harvest size. Anyone ever growing zucchini’s knows there are always an abundance of them, they grow huge overnight sometimes. The cherry tomatoes are about the size of peas and the 1 plant is loaded. We are hoping to have them soon at the AZ RT 66 Farmers Market in either Ash Fork or Seligman. We will be transplanting peas, cucumbers and cantaloupe today or tomorrow once the cabbage and lettuce are pulled. Several flowers, strawberries, herbs, etc need transplanted as well but they more than likely stay in the greenhouse. All the plastic has been removed from the greenhouse and shade cloth is up in the sides to keep the more delicate plants from the intense heat of the afternoon. There’s always something to do here on our micro farm but we love it.
Today is the first official start of monsoons and hopefully since the temperature has gotten so hot so quick that we’ll get some much needed rain. It feels like we skipped Spring and went straight to Summer.- From snow not long ago to 80+ degree days. Definitely some weird weather this year.
We have started transitioning the greenhouse to shade cloth instead of plastic- the wind helped take the plastic off the top and part of the ends. Some plants will have to stay in there for the summer because they can’t be out in the hot sun here. We may have to use some row covers on the raised beds depending on what is planted in each bed.
Happy Fathers Day!
Yes we do love our weeds! That sounds funny but weeds have helped tremendously over the years bringing back coverage over the bare land and adding some fertility along the way. For the most part we don’t disturb any weeds other than our driveway/pad up by our house. Oh and all the goat head plants can go too because those darn things hurt to bad. No going barefoot here.
The exception is if the weeds start to get a foot tall then I’ll cut them with a scythe and leave them where they land for additional coverage all without pulling up the roots. Since we are on a hill erosion control is also part of our plan. We have had some beautiful wild flowers and native grasses this year not seen in several years, all the moisture over the winter and spring helped. Sadly most everything will be brown and dead soon before monsoons get here, that’s all part of living in Northern Arizona. 🍃🍂
When we first moved on our land there were several juniper trees a few cactus and not much else. Over the years weeds have become our friends. The only weeds we pull are the ones that grow around our house and on the driveway otherwise we let them grow. We have wildflowers and grasses growing that we haven’t seen before. The extra moisture we have received this year hopefully will help things stay green longer than normal. Soon everything will be brown and dead once the temps rise. You can see the difference in the pictures below.
Wow it’s really hard to tell if it’s still winter or spring. The weather has been really crazy here. Yesterday it snowed and today by 9 am it’s in the 50’s. It sure makes it hard to grow anything in weather like this. A few of our plants have frost damage from a couple days ago but hopefully they’ll recover. It’s a guessing game at this point as to when the last frost day will be until then we are happy to have a greenhouse to protect the plants we have in there.
We had the farmers market in Seligman, AZ today so we didn’t have to opportunity to check on all the plants. Unfortunately the freezing temperatures damaged a few plants but hopefully they’ll recover. It’s been rough trying to keep everything alive since we first started seeds in February. This time of the year the weather is unpredictable so until the last frost is over most plants will stay in the greenhouse.
Yesterday was the first farmers market of the year in Ash Fork, Arizona. We sold plants, homemade seed starting kits, nest run eggs and homemade baked goods. Sourdough bread, Banana bread, Double chocolate bread and Butterscotch brownies. We met some great people and having our kids doing markets with me this year is awesome!
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Thrifty for more than 30 years.