Clippings by mswillis5

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RE: Phoenix citrus. Selections based on orientation and size? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: marymcp on 08.17.2013 at 11:18 am in Arizona Gardening Forum

The best source for information and good, local/native propogated trees is (imo), Reid at RSI Growers.

Here is a link that might be useful: RSI Growers

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clipped on: 08.20.2013 at 09:24 pm    last updated on: 08.20.2013 at 09:24 pm

RE: New garden help (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: AZGardenQueen on 06.25.2013 at 09:23 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

Hi guys! Thanks for the compliments on my lil' ole garden! I am in the North East Valley out by Cave Creek Yes, the "cage" as I call it, helps considerably with both cutting the sun and also the wind, which out here really kicks up most summer afternoons and is incredibly withering to plants when combined with the heat.

I would say I have reduced wind by 60% and sun by 40% with the cage, and the best part is I plant my climbing sun-lovers (watermelons, cucumbers) on the parts of the beds closest to the cage, and they grow up and over it providing more shade to the other plants.

The downside of this is last year we had to break out the big ladder so DH could get up on the roof to harvest said melons and cukes-LOL! Birds won't touch anything that stays green as it ripens, which is another bonus.

Now, my "cage" was welded out of steel 2X2s, 1X2s and a rigid diamond-pattern steel mesh like what is used for lofts in industrial warehouses - you can walk on it! I admit this was a bit extreme, and not cheap, but on the other hand - we have javelina, jackrabbits, cottontails, coyotes, bobcats and every bird known to man out here. We also have view fencing, which many of the aforementioned critters can waltz right through (well, not the javelina).

I have seen so many friends try to do raised beds out here and cobble together an affordable solution that still costs a few hundred bucks and be devastated when the critters managed to sabotage their best efforts and eat their entire garden! So I called my friend who welds...

I do have 2 raised beds outside the cage with watermelon and other melon and instead of shade cloth I went to HD and got 4 of the 4'X8' prefab lattice panels over in lumber and a couple of 2X6s and sorta stuck 'em over the top about 5-6' up. (see pic) They are providing adequate shade/support so far, but don't know how long that wood's gonna last here, LOL. I figure I can run shade cloth over it later if need be...

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clipped on: 06.29.2013 at 04:28 am    last updated on: 06.29.2013 at 04:32 am

Olla Experiment

posted by: SkipV on 06.09.2013 at 10:16 pm in Arizona Gardening Forum

I thought that I would share my experience thus far this Spring using an olla for watering my small garden. (Is it spring if the temperature as I write this is 105 degrees?) Please comment freely.

I'm located in NE Phoenix. My vegetable garden consists of a grand total of 4 Armenian cucumber plants and 4 butternut squash plants. All were planted from seed around mid-April in 2 separate containers, 15-18 inches wide and 10-11 inches deep. On about April 11 (approximately 17 days after germination) 2 cucumber plants and 2 squash plants were transplanted to a plot in the ground with an olla in the center. The olla was made from 2 - 6 inch pots and holds not quite a gallon of water.

Here's the plants in the original containers before transplanting
: Butternut Squash

Armenian Cucumbers

The olla:

Two 6 inch Pots Caulked Together

Here's the olla going into the ground:

Olla Buried - Squash In

Here's the transplants shortly after being moved (looking pretty sad):

IMG_1980

Here's the containers today:

IMG_2048

IMG_2067

And the transplants today:

IMG_2062

Now having said all that, here's (to me) the interesting part. Most days I have had to water the container plants once averaging 1.5 to 2 gallons of water per container. In the current hot weather of 100-110 degrees this week, I've had to water them 2 times daily. The olla watered plants on the other hand have been watered every 2nd or 3rd day, usually needing less than ½ gallon each time. In the current hot weather I'm topping it of daily with less than ½ gallon each time.

I know this is entirely unscientific, i.e. different containers, close but slightly different locations, some in containers the others in the ground, etc. but the difference in the amount of water needed is striking to me. In addition, the olla watered plants, although smaller than the container plants are healthier looking. Also, the container plants have had some days where they were watered in the morning but by the time I get home from work they had wilted and needed immediate watering. The olla watered plants don't experience that. They appear to be consistently getting water as needed. I'm attributing the difference in size to being transplanted, especially since I did it mid-morning on a hot, sunny day. And they are catching up with the container plants. But so far the difference in the amount of water needed, the ease of watering and the availability of water as needed to the plants has me sold on ollas.

I'm wondering about the experiences of other folks using ollas and any comments that people might have.

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clipped on: 06.29.2013 at 04:31 am    last updated on: 06.29.2013 at 04:31 am