|HI, my name is Shannon I want to plant a garden about 12x12 on the south side of my house. I am not sure how to prepare or design. I live in Oro Valley AZ and want to have an herb and fruit and vegetable garden. Produce is expensive and I would like to plant from seed. What should I plant and when should I start?|
|A new planting bed may need some organic matter to help improve its moisture and nutrient holding ability. Simply spread 4-5 inches of compost, peat moss, or composted steer manure and work it well into the soil using a shovel or spading fork.
In southern Arizona there are three basic vegetable growing seasons. Spring/summer which begins after the last frost date (about March 15). Next is the late summer/early fall garden and then the late fall/winter garden. The spring/summer time allows you to grow squash, tomatoes, peppers, melons, corn, bush beans, tomatillos, Armenian cucumbers and eggplant.
The late summer/early fall garden will allow you to get another crop of bush beans, squash, peppers, corn and tomatoes if you plan just right.
The late fall/winter garden should be the Tucson Gardener's favorite time to grow vegetables. There are fewer insects, it takes less water because of the cooler temperatures and the vegetables take less care. However, the crops are different. Winter crops include lettuce, Swiss chard, cabbage, radishes, beets, kohlrabi, broccoli, bunching onions, kale, turnips, cauliflower and carrots.
You can have a separate bed for your herbs or you can interspace them with your veggies. Some of the best herbs to grow include Basil, Parsley, Coriander/Cilantro,
Dill, Sweet Marjoram, Mints, Oregano, Chives, Garlic Chives, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme.
Hope you have a great harvest!