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#61 of 96 Old 06-13-2010, 04:52 AM
 
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Thanks for posting the photos. I'm trying to get my mind around how your shade cloth is attached. I think it's too late for me to process. If you have more pictures of that, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise I'll look at these later when I'm more awake.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#62 of 96 Old 06-13-2010, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can take more detailed photos later. The posts have poly rope strung between them and the shade cloth is nailed on the side of my patio, then strung up over the rope. I used zip ties to attach the shade cloth to the rope, then used garden twine to tie through the loop made by the zip ties and tied the twine to the posts to keep the shade cloth pulled taut.

My garden is looking much happier so far today. Yay!
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#63 of 96 Old 06-13-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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SAHMinHawaii. Thanks for sharing the photos. Your garden is so pretty and organized. Have you considered mulching? It makes a HUGE difference.

Thank you. I do want to mulch, i don't know why i haven't. What do you suggest? Hay? A neighbor suggested going to texas roadhouse and asking for their peanut shells. But I read bad things about using them in the garden(mold). I think I will do that today.
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#64 of 96 Old 06-13-2010, 07:50 PM
 
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I use straw. I think my garden is about 15' x 9'. I put a bale down in March and another one a couple weeks ago.

We also have worms. I don't shop at Walmart, but an avid fisherman told me they have great worms, so I went there for the worms. Long story short, the clerk helping me opened up a container and someone had stolen 17 worms out of it so he gave me a full pack of 24 plus a bonus 7 worms. That is so weird. Who steals worms? AND who steals 17 worms and leaves 7 behind? The clerk recommended red wigglers for gardening here so that's what I got. I'm clueless on how they're doing.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#65 of 96 Old 06-22-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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I've been told I need to mulch my roses. I assume I can use straw for that? I wonder if I can get less than a bale, just enough to cover my three rose bushes...

Our garden's doing great. I harvested some tiny potatoes and tried to start some new ones but I think the birds ate them. It was just an experiment anyway, so I'll let them have them. Getting lots of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. Reseeded with some spinach and lettuces. Probably need to yank out the rest of the carrots and put something else in there, but I'm not sure what to do with them all once I pick them! (No carrots on the diet ) Also, anyone know when I should pick my corn? They just have tiny little ears, but I can see the silk coming out the top and I've never grown it before so I have no idea! I'm already getting ideas of where I'll move stuff around for next year.

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#66 of 96 Old 06-25-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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Newbie here... Just starting out with gardening, and will probably start with containers (already have herbs, want to start veggies...) and move on next year to a raised bed or two and do square foot gardening. For now though, is there anything I can start, or do I need to wait til winter/spring?
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#67 of 96 Old 06-25-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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The hay has been amazing! Thanks for the encouragement to mulch. The soil is still moist the next day.
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#68 of 96 Old 06-25-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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Welcome swd12422. I'm not an expert or anything, but I'd say you could start some tomatoes at any time. They love the sun and don't mind the heat. I've been able to kepe mine alive through several growing seasons. Water in the summer, give a little shade if needed, and cover overnight through winter frosts. They like it here. I'd say you'd need to do a lot of fertilizing in containers though. I haven't had much luck with veggies in containers, other than the Topsy Turvey, and I feed it at least once a month. Hth.

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#69 of 96 Old 06-27-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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#70 of 96 Old 06-28-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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It looks great. I envy your big backyard.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#71 of 96 Old 07-09-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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I got really sick really fast last night. As in, I was fine, 5 minutes later my arms and legs felt weird, 10 minutes later I was lying on the floor of my husband's office.

Anyway, I got home, got into bed and told my husband, "The garden needs to be watered." This afternoon at 3:30 I realized it hadn't been watered in about 45 hours. Needless to say, nothing is happy. At least one basil plant is likely dead. We'll see how the zucchini does. Everything else should recover, but yikes!

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#72 of 96 Old 07-10-2010, 02:15 AM
 
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I got really sick really fast last night. As in, I was fine, 5 minutes later my arms and legs felt weird, 10 minutes later I was lying on the floor of my husband's office.
I hope you are okay. That is scary. Funny that the first thing you thought of was your garden. Just like I won't go on vacation during the "harvesting months". lol feel better!
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#73 of 96 Old 07-10-2010, 02:23 AM
 
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I hope you are okay. That is scary. Funny that the first thing you thought of was your garden. Just like I won't go on vacation during the "harvesting months". lol feel better!
Thanks. Though actually, garden was number 3 on my list.

1. Kids

2. Chickens

3. Garden

He got the first 2 so that's pretty good. lol However, I didn't think to tell him to put the homemade donuts in plastic. They are now hard as rocks. Actually, that's okay with me as we really don't like to have a lot of sweets in the house. However, our 4.5 year old has been watching "how it's made" on youtube. He REALLY wanted to make homemade donuts. Fortunately they had a recipe for baked donuts. They were really a sweet biscuit shaped like a donut that we put a chocolate glaze on. Tomorrow is his friend's birthday party. She has to eat gluten free and my son has asked if we can make her gluten free donuts. He's such a sweetie.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#74 of 96 Old 07-10-2010, 03:14 AM
 
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I"m totally late to the game--- but I'm in Tucson. Yes, other people's "full sun" is our "partial sun."

I'm growing tomatoes in shade...under a large mesquite tree. They've done quite well-- but we only grow small ones because we've just had too much troubles with larger ones.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#75 of 96 Old 07-10-2010, 03:17 AM
 
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Welcome swd12422. I'm not an expert or anything, but I'd say you could start some tomatoes at any time. They love the sun and don't mind the heat. I've been able to kepe mine alive through several growing seasons. .
I spoke with some well-known local gardeners who told me that, in their experience, if a tomato plant had not bloomed before the first 100 degree day, they did not do well.

Not sure if there's an official stance on something like this, but I'd bet it might be hard to transplant something when it is 110 outside...even if it is in the shade.

Come Septemer, I'm planting more tomatoes!

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#76 of 96 Old 07-11-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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That makes sense, Savoir Faire. I don't think anything woulld be likely to survive a transplant in the weather we've been having lately.

I'm going to google this, but I thought I'd see if any of you know what is causing my eggplant and cucumber to yellow? I wonder if it's the heat? Weird.

I hope you feel better, SundayCrepes! Being that sick is no fun. Hopefully some of your plants will come back.

All my beans are dead, and I'm pretty sure the cherry tomato in the Topsy Turvey is dead. The birds are going crazy eating the tomatos in the garden and the bunnies are eating my corn and canteloupe. I tried reseeding with lettuce and spinach about a month ago, but I think the birds ate all the seeds because nothing came up. So I'm trying to get crafty keeping the birds and bunnies OUT of my garden area. I've even started leaving the gate open so the dogs are able to go in there, but right now while it's so hot they aren't spending much time outdoors. I'm leaving for two weeks and hoping my housesitter (best friend) can keep at least some of my garden alive while I'm gone.

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#77 of 96 Old 07-12-2010, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe blossom end rot? Mine did that too and I tried adding bone meal but it didn't do much. My garden has done MUCH better in the shade. Some of the plants are recovering from being burned by the sun, but new growth is starting to appear on my tomatoes. I went from watering twice per day to watering once in the evening and being able to skip days here and there. I'm going out of town (I'm at Sky Harbor right now) and am hoping that my husband can keep the garden alive. My tomatoes ate 6 feet tall and falling over. Sunflowers are blooming, armenian cucumbers are producing. Beans are dead, artichoke plants are obviously not producing but are still growing. I have 5 heirloom tomato plants that started late and are having a very hard time. I've learned a lot this summer, hoping to be able to apply that to my "big" garden next year. I'm trying to convince DH that we should build a strawbale/cob playhouse in the SE corner of the yard where the garden will be. What the HOA doesn't know can't hurt them Well, the HOA doesn't mind as long as the roof doesn't come more than 1 foot above the fence.
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#78 of 96 Old 07-12-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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OK, so the cukes could be yellowing from a disease, or deficiencies in the soil (which is weird because it's a brand new bed that has never had anything in it and I thought the soil combination we used was pretty nutrient-rich...). Or it might be because we planted the cucumbers between the yellow spaghetti squash and the orange pumpkins. Or maybe because the bed is too shaded for cucumbers. Everything else in the bed is producing fine, so it's a mystery. I really have no idea which ONE of those reasons could be the answer.

You travel so much, seeing_stars! How fun! I'm usually in WA state for a month in the summer, but this year DH got a new job so we can only go for two weeks. I am such a big baby when it comes to the heat and I want to get out of here. :P

I'm not sure I'll have time to take a soil sample down to the garden center to solve the yellow cucumber mystery, so for now I'll just keep the vines picked in case it is a disease, so it won't spread. I've enevr had to deal with anything weird like this before, I just plant stuff and it grows or dies, that's it. LOL!

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#79 of 96 Old 07-12-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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Garden Update July 12

I've been harvesting squash, beans, okra and bell peppers. Still waiting on tons of tomatoes to ripen. The romas are big but green.
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#80 of 96 Old 07-14-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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I've been offline for awhile, but wanted to come back and thank you all for the great info here! I was at Lowe's, returning something a couple of weeks ago, and DS wanted to go see the plants. We walked out with a little tomato plant that had one or two blossoms on it. I transplanted it right away into a larger container, and it has been doing great so far! More blossoms and it has definitely grown. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the plant. As soon as it cools off a bit, I'm going to get some smaller varieties to try, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this one survives. DH thinks I'm insane, b/c all I've ever grown are herbs and most of them have not survived. (I couldn't convince him it was b/c he didn't have enough water getting to them through the irrigation system which is solely his territory!)

And my basil was doing so well that I had to buy another b/c we're eating so much pesto. I cut them both down to nothing (except a couple of leaves on each stem) and a few weeks later they are both gorgeous, full, and very compact. I'm already nervous about how to keep them going come winter. How do you transition them to inside? Or do you leave them out and just cover them at night? (Or let them go to seed and start over next year? And if you do this, how do you harvest the seed? They're in pots....)

Also, DS and I planted some parsley and pepper seeds (all I had on hand). They were old, and likely won't take, but it was something fun for him to do. Can you tell I'm excited? If anyone has a good recommendation for a resource (either book or online) for total newbie desert gardeners, LMK! I don't want to annoy everyone here with my questions, and I truly have no idea what I'm doing, other than having a great time so far!
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#81 of 96 Old 10-30-2010, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bumping from the depths! Did anyone keep their gardens alive over the summer? I got so frustrated with mine that I completely neglected it and didn't water it for more than 2 months but it is still alive. My tomatoes are 6 feet tall, peppers are large, cucumbers producing. One of my artichoke plants is back in full force. Crazy.
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#82 of 96 Old 11-03-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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I also neglected my garden during most of August and September. I pulled everything out that wasn't thriving. The peppers, one artichoke, and the herbs are still going strong, but everything else is gone. I planted a few zucchinis, but I'm not sure if I was too late. I'm just not feeling it lately! I barely bought a few flowers for my pots on the patio, and even that feels like a lot of "work" (the watering.) I'm hoping I get inspiration to plant a big spring garden again, though.

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#83 of 96 Old 11-04-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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I didn't have much to neglect, but my few container plants all survived! I have two big basil plants that are ready to burst out of the pots and I have taken a few cuttings to see if I can keep propagating them through the winter and into the spring so I don't have to buy new plants next year.

My one tomato plant did alright til I accidentally cut off one of the two main branches. The one I cut didn't make it (and it had several little tomatoes on it!) and the main plant is doing ok, but it looks sad. Still, there are a half dozen tomatoes on there that are just starting to ripen, so hopefully it won't be a total loss.

I also have a lemongrass plant that needs to go into the ground, but I'm not sure how to do that yet, and I started a small SFG and have carrot, marigold, nasturtium and pea sproutlets so far. There's also a bell pepper plant that isn't enjoying the transplant, some garlic that may or may not work out, onions, broccoli and cauliflower that I'm hoping not to kill before they're big enough to harvest.

Is anyone planting now for winter/spring, or is it too late?
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#84 of 96 Old 11-05-2010, 03:09 AM
 
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Two of my three tomatoes are doing fine. My eggplants made it through the summer. Basil is great. The red peppers never really did much, though they are still alive.

My issue is that my garden is on a lot next door in an unfenced area. My 2 year old is a runaway baby so I can't do anything in the garden unless she is being watched by my husband. Our schedules just don't leave much time for me to get into the garden. Maybe by spring she'll be less of a runaway child and I can give my garden more attention.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#85 of 96 Old 11-08-2010, 03:57 AM
 
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our red and yellow bell peppers are thriving! if i forget to tie them up they break off from the weight. i thought they were dead but they spent the summer smothered under cantaloupe and cucumber. when i cut all the vines away there were these big beautiful 2 foot tall plants!

i have some tomato weeds still hanging out. sort of.

the world's largest basil tree .

a purple yard long bean that must be a few plants. i'm not sure but it is producing very well. go figure.

i picked the last watermelon yesterday .

and several unidentified squash/melon/cuke type viney things that i'm just letting grow. cover crops i guess.
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#86 of 96 Old 11-14-2010, 06:32 AM
 
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Tomato question: Do you all leave your plants up all winter even though they're not producing, or do you cut them down and let them regrow? Or do you rip them out and start over with seed next spring? It's hard to know what to do with these things, since all the mainstream advice assumes nothing growing/surviving in the winter.

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#87 of 96 Old 01-01-2011, 09:19 AM
 
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Frost!!

 

What do you all do during a hard frost? Do you keep everything covered with plastic, even during the day, or do you take it off when the sun comes up?

 

My broccoli and cauliflower have major frost on the leaves, even with keeping them covered last night and yesterday (it was cloudy and cold). I didn't want to suffocate them, so I lifted the cover this morning, and they're pretty frosty. How can/should I be protecting the few little crops I have?

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#88 of 96 Old 01-01-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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Most of my garden froze early december. I covered it, but I still lost all my tomatoes (with many on the vine) as well as my basil, peppers, eggplants. I didn't cover for this last frost. It's just too many nights of too cold weather. 

 

Also, I thought you weren't supposed to use plastic because it holds in the moisture and can form ice. I thought you were supposed to use sheets or even newspaper. Though I'm no expert so I don't know.

 

I haven't checked my garden recently.Seems rather pointless to me.


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#89 of 96 Old 11-09-2011, 11:49 PM
 
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Thought I'd see if any other Arizonans are out there. 

 

My garden this summer sucked. Will avoid that sad story.

 

I just planted today for winter. I thought about what we'd really use. I use a lot of carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes. However, I can't pick them. I'd feel too awful. So I ruled all those out. I'll just buy them.

 

The big winter veggies we eat are broccoli and spinach. I planted 19 broccoli plants. I will freeze all the excess we get. I also planted a good size section with spinach seeds. We eat lots of these two veggies. I also planted some pea seeds to see what happens. The same with celery. It's supposed to do well at this time of year, but the package says seeds are difficult to germinate. Either it will be interesting to see what happens.

 

I am excited to see these plants grow.

 

What is everyone else planting?

 

Soon I will plant blackberry and raspberry vines and grapes. And strawberries.

 

Anyone have advice on those?

 


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#90 of 96 Old 11-10-2011, 12:15 AM
 
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I became an avid AZ gardener 1.5 years ago when I decided to resign from my job and become a SAHM.  And I've never looked back.  I've taken every free class I can about gardening in the desert from the Tucson Community Food Bank.  They have come to my house numerous times to give me soil, compost, seeds, and plants.  They also helped me install the grey water system to my washing machine.  I have begun a backyard compost and 2 worm composts in my kitchen with their help.  I can not recommend them enough for their knowledge and kindness is finding free childcare so I could attend the classes.  It is such a wonderful asset to our community.

 

I have little seedlings of lettuce, spinach, chard, beets, cilantro, dill, kale, radishes, artichokes, peas, onion, etc.....  in my garden.  The last 2 nights have been abnormally cold and I have not covered my plants.  I hope they make it.  I notice the sun is getting lower in the sky which means they aren't getting the amount of sun they used to in the summer.  This is all an experiment as it is my first winter garden in my front and backyard.  I'll have to see how it goes and make adjustments accordingly.  

 

Other years I planted at a community garden.  It got too hard to get over there with my little ones so now I am digging up my yard and planting there.  I am new to Mothering and just found this thread.  It will be fun to learn from the rest of you.

 

I have a lemon tree and grape vines that I need to put in the ground where the grey water was installed.  I am also in the Garden/Mentor program where I have a mentor come to my house and give me tips about what to do/not to do.

 

It is so different and difficult trying to grow things here, in AZ.  I like challenges and eating healthy so that is why I took up gardening.  I have so many food issues, gardening was the one positive thing I could do to help my body and my family stay healthy.

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