June 2012 Garden Activities

haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)June 4, 2012

What are you doing this month in your yard? Putting in or taking out hardscape, landscape, veggies, flowers, cacti & succulents or whatever, Please share with the rest of us what kinds of things you do this month.

My sweet alyssum is tired, so I got a six-pack each of Nierembergia "Purple Robe" and Thymophilla tenuiloba "Golden Fleece" to replace it.

We're also planting a dwarf myoporum in the hot northeast corner between some cacti. There is lots of reflected heat there. Is that a good or bad idea? There are other spots I could put it if that would be too stressful.

Vigna caracalla is going on a west-facing patio pillar where it will get sun all morning till after noon. There seems to be confusion about this plant. I called ahead and asked for fragrant "corkscrew vine" Vigna Caracalla. Instead I got a "snail vine" Vigna Caracalla. Apparently there are two distinctly different plants with the same Latin name. I wanted fragrance but reading more about it, maybe it is better to have this one, because apparently the fragrant one attracts ants and wasps as well as bees.

The flowers are pretty and I think we'll like it.

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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Oops, I meant east-facing on the snail vine. :)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:15PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

I am not - repeat: NOT - going to buy anything else that I'm not sure will live here, there or anywhere in the coming heat. So... my question is: Can anybody recommend a fast-growing vining plant with large leaves that can take full sun? I don't care if it blooms or if it's decidious - or if it's considered a weed, for that matter. I just need something to provide some shade in a critical spot between shade structures.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:58PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

I planted my Hardenbergia violacea in the summer a few years ago and it has done well. Winter before last, the freeze hit it hard and I ended up cutting it to the ground but came back even happier than before. I don't know if the leaves are "large" but they are dense in the canopy and give good cover.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:41PM
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kathleen10(z9b AZ)

Cat claw vine, it is vigorous and once thick enough will give good shade. Just don't put it near any important plants, those roots/tubers are invasive.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:41AM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Kathleen, I planted two cat claw vines on one side of my kitty habitat to provide shade on the east side. They are now up to the second story and headed for the tower (yes, this crazy house has a tower!). I don't think I want to let them loose on the other side. I'm actually thinking of planting one or two gourds. A few years ago, two gourds took over that side of the yard. It might be just the ticket as, unlike cat claw, it's not going to live forever. ;o)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:02PM
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azbolt

I have to agree, hardenbergia is a good choice. Handles the full sun/heat and a normal winter (does get damaged on our rare hard freezes). Nice dark green, dense foliage and nice clumps of small purple flowers. Not overly messy. Drought tolerant once established.

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:11PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

I love the look of hardenbergia; I've just never been successful getting it to grow. I'll look for it and give it another try. I need a few vines on a fence facing west. Think it would work there? And how fast do you think it grows? I need to skip the sleep, creep, leap phases and go straight to leap. Or is that asking too much?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Passiflora caerulea is another option - on your irrigated lot it will also spread, but slowly.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

... and really, *anything* that you put in now, unless it's a true-certified-dyed-in-the-wool desert plant is really going to have a rough time of it. It's so much easier on the plants to wait until late Sept. or so.

I used to plant Nierembergia every year - I love it.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 11:48PM
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piranhafem

I try to be as inactive as possible this time of year! I can't tolerate direct sun in this kind of heat. (Why do I live here again??) If I decide I have to get some kind of work done during the summer, I bust out my stand light and head lamp and work at night. Mostly I will just maintain what I have all summer long, maybe plant a few heat-loving veggies or spread some mulch.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 2:57PM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

I planted a yam that went bad at Lake Havasu two years ago. It grew into a beautiful vine and, as I recall, it even had little flowers. I placed it under another newly planted fig tree and it also worked as additional ground cover (I had allready mulched with straw), and as a moisture meter. Whenever the yam vine looked a little wilted I watered both. My one plant yielded 7 lbs of yams, which I harvested in October.

The yam was in almost full sun and it did real well. And it was cheap. (I think yams are under a buck a pound right now).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:05PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

YIKES Batman!! I just noticed a new upload field for placing pictures. Finally. I'm going to try it. Let's see, what's the subject line here? Oh yeah, June Garden Activities....let's see if I can find something appropriate....how about my sweet potato vine in a container by the front door? This was a couple of months ago. The lobelia and the purple petunia gave it up but the vine is much bigger now. I'm going to look for a yam to plant. Thanks for that idea Centurion.

And a big thanks to the forum hosts for the new easy post picture link.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 7:42AM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

So... Do you still need to have your pics online somewhere - or can you upload from your own files?

Veddy pretty pot, McP. Centurion, I'm going to get a sweet potato. I didn't have much in the way of harvest last year, but the year before was a humdinger. Btw, everything in the grocery store is a sweet potato. There are no true *yams* at the grocery and you wouldn't eat it if there were.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 2:21PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Thanks tf, that's a tall urn that I picked up at Target for a song several years ago. One of these days....I'm going to turn it into a fountain. One of these days.

You can browse to your local hard drive folder. yay!!!!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 4:29PM
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azant(10a)

Weeding, eradicating bermuda and finalizing this shadehouse. Have to attach back end to shade cloth and rig up some sort of anchoring for the nonsoons this year.

sorry for the bluriness, i swear my camera lies to me when it says its in focus...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 4:30PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Earlier in the month we planted the snail vine and so far it is doing well. There are buds, flowers and new growth, so I take that as a good sign, since the vines were in shade at the nursery. That spot is very well drained. There's a good layer of mulch topped with flagstones to retain moisture and moderate temperature.

I'm very excited about my new little tree, Chilopsis linearis Art's Seedless. I've liked the look of this tree except for the ugly long pods that hang on the bare tree all winter long. The other day I discovered there is a seedless variety so we went and picked up one in a 15 gal pot. Just planted it yesterday in the yard's northwest exposure. This should help a lot. :)

No seedpods! And I've already seen a hummingbird come to investigate.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 2:30PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

What's that cute little hairy plant to the right of the snail vine? ;o)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 5:11PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

That's a Canis lupus familiaris "Hani." We found him January 2009 in the middle of Grovers street adjacent to the dog park on Cave Creek. He was about 6 months old, the same age as our other dog at the time. They're great buddies.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 5:36PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

How fortunate for you both!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 6:24PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Thank you tomatofreak, we think so too!

azant, that shade structure is really nice. I would love to have something like that, and it looks like you've built it with PVC pipe and shade cloth? Really good idea. How is it secured for windy days?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 11:01PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

good question. (I like the furball known as 'Hani' too. Sweet lookin' pup. You should bring him over for a play date next time you come for tomato starts.)

I like that structure too. I need to re-plan my garden area, it's too scattered to easily cover for pest and sun control.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 11:04PM
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azant(10a)

haname, i plan to anchor it down with heavy duty u-stakes along the bottom frame. Then when nonsoons happen to roll in, i plan to use tent stakes and rope to help keep it stable.

It is made from 1" schedule 40 pvc with 40% shade cloth.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:47AM
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