Big news--we're composting now. For real. Not kidding. I ordered two compost bins (see top picture) from the City of Mesa and with the help of Jill and Hal (carbon goodies: straw, dried leaves, and twigs) we got the compost going. I could find plenty of nitrogen: grass clippings, kitchen garbage, and coffee grounds from Starbucks (wrapped in a nice little five pound package). Add water to produce great soil material. After reading a number of books it is clear that good vegetables and fruit comes from good soil.
A few days ago I actually went to Mesa Feed Barn to pick up a bale of straw. About had a heart attack when the guy stuffed in to the back of my car without any concern for tearing the inside. What was I expecting, a lovely wrapped package of straw? But straw is a great source of carbon and my yard lacks a good source of carbon since I don't have many twigs or leaves, yet.
This is ridiculous, we are now in the 6th month of 2009. My word, time is hurtling along. Even my garden is growing is if it is on some kind of speed drug. I guess that speed drug is called the sun, which has been brightly shining here in Arizona with clouds hovering around the horizon.
The zuchinni, crook neck squash (which makes yummy Calabacitas) and cucumbers are ready for picking. The tomatoes, red peppers, and jalapenos are growing but not quite ripe. And the melons and eggplant are leafy but no fruit yet.
The flower gardens are going to be solarized in August so we are not planting any seeds. We have pulled the Sweet Peas which were gorgeous and pulled the Larkspur and the Four O'Clocks. All that's left are Hollyhocks (without flowers because they were shaded by the Sweet Peas, but still hoping for blooms) and Sunflowers. I will miss the little jars and vases of Sweet Peas on various tables throughout the house.
This is the first time we've ever tried Hollyhocks--which we planted by seed last October. They are not as tall as some get (Jill's are around 12 feet and higher) but they are gorgeous. I don't think they had enough room at the base of the plant to grow as tall as they could have but I like this height.
If you look closely at this cucumber you might see tiny little thorns sprinkled all over--they are sharp! I had no idea that some cucumbers have thorns. This is the burpless variety--don't know if the thorns are needed to get rid of the burps! But it is a really good tasting cucumber and I'm making lots of Thai Cucumber salads.
Have a great June!
Have a great June!