Saturday, December 15, 2012


3 years ago, I had to have the artichoke plant at Lowe's Garden Center. It cost me $15.00 and I hoped it would grow in Arizona. I planted it and it grew. The artichokes grow to be about the size of my fist...small (but the ones you buy in the grocery stores are patented and you cannot buy those!). But my first plant gave us between 60 and 80 artichokes the first year! And many of them went to waste or to seed. The plant eventually 'died'. The next fall, I had HUNDREDS of seedlings I thought were squash. They turned out to be artichoke seedlings. I transplanted a few and they grew. I left the others to fend for themselves in a yard area that was not getting watered anymore. The original plant began growing again! So again, we had artichokes, this time from several different plants. So I dug them up after they were done. I was done with artichokes. They take up a lot of room and I just don't think for as small as they are, they are so worth all the work. But here came some more!
There are 3 of them in this photo. They get watered because of the raised garden they are growing next to. So here we go again.

And then, the garden area that does not get watered anymore?
Artichoke plants are pretty drought resistant. They do grow well in Arizona. And after your harvests, the ones you do not pick do flower and make very pretty flowers!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sprouted Swiss Chard and Kale

An update on the newest raised garden. Red Swiss Chard in the front, Kale in the middle and White Swiss Chard in the back. Looking GREAT!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sprouts...December 1, 2012

Last Saturday, I put White Swiss Chard, Red Swiss Chard and Kale seeds in cups of water to 'pre-soak' for 24 hours. On Sunday, I put them in the ground. And each day I watched and watered. I was beginning to wonder two things...1) Did I drown the seeds? I don't know if you can drown seeds, but I was a little concerned, and 2) Is the orange plastic fencing I put over them to keep the birds from getting the seeds keeping them from sprouting someway? (Too little light, maybe reflecting the heat off, keeping the ground beneath is too cool.) So today, I watered and saw nothing. I moved on to another part of the yard to water some existing plants. Then I came back for a closer inspection:

This is the Kale. I planted tons of it. I put only one seed every 1-2 inches. About 6 rows each about 3 feet long. It's funny how such a simple thing can be so amazing and fun!