The Q&A Archives: Tips for Growing Vegetables in Tucson

Question: I have a small backyard (6'x15') on the northside of my apartment. My problem is lighting. In the wintertime, the yard receives no light because of the high fence and roof. The ground against the north wall starts to receive light around the beginning of March and gradually lights the entire yard by May or June. I would like to plant fruits and vegetables back there, but always have the problem of having to plant later than usual

Answer: You can start some of your warm season crops indoors so that by March when the light returns, you can place them outside, Try starting cucumber, okra, squash, tomatoes and peppers indoors to transplant out. Avoid cool season crops such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce and carrots. If the sun is still too intense, consider buying some shade cloth to place over the plants or erecting a shade barrier such as a cloth to provide afternoon shade. Tucson is hot, but be planting early and shading in the afternoon, you should be able to get some vegetables!

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