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March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Posted by grant_in_arizona USDA Z9 Scottsdale A (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 9:06

Happy March, gardeners!

It's a very rainy day here in my little garden this morning, but it's still a great day in the garden, LOL.

What looks good, bad, or awful in your garden?? Here's my list of "bad": my napa cabbage! Why? Because instead of forming nice delicious heads, it's bolting (blooming) already instead. Grrrr. I'm so annoyed, lol. What is looking less than ideal in your garden??

Some things that look good/great in my little garden:

"Autumn sage" (Salvia greggii) starting to bloom. I love these neat, gangly, semi-woody perennials for their blooms, their sticky/resiny foliage, and their interesting woody ankles. Mine make a huge flush of blooms in spring, and again in autumn, with nice random displays all summer long. Definitely a plant to avoid overwatering!

Several big ol' Gasteria plants (fun aloe relatives that rejoice in our climate) are in bloom now too. Here is a close up of some flowers showing their gastric (stomach like, hence the genus name) shape:

Whole plant and pot, with Wilson the tennis ball to show size:

These plants all look good every day of the year, some Aloe maculata flowers and one of many varieties of spineless prickly pears that I grow:

What about your garden? What looks good/bad/awful? We need updates! :)
Happy gardening, rain or shine,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics, so far, from my garden, March 2014


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

I hear you about the Napa cabbage. Same here. I actually got one head...


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

...but all 5 of the others bolted. Pretty, though, and the bees love them.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Looking good are the petunias


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Bougainvillea


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Pink jasmine by the front door


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

The pink bower vine I planted last spring at the base of one of the patio posts is almost up to the top of the ramada.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

and all my citrus is blooming (Valencia orange, Moro blood orange, Rio Red grapefruit, Nagami kumquat, and Lisbon, Meyer, and Ponderosa lemons). Orange:


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Lisbon lemon:


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

I also picked all these tomatoes yesterday before the rain.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

I've lived in this house a few years, but I haven't planted anything. I haven't had much luck in Arizona, but I'm going to give it another go. Which is why I've popped back up in here.

I just wanted to say that those tomatoes make me hungry. =) I've been on a health food kick lately and I just planted a couple of cherry tomato plants yesterday.


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March 8, 2014

Great pics, Lynne! You're getting an amazing crop of blooms and tomatoes. AND a big crop of Napa cabbage compared to mine, hah, since every single one of mine bolted/flowered, grumble grumble. Is that typical? I'm not excited to try them again, lol.

Your citrus, and jasmine and everything else look really nice. I love seeing jasmine planted by a front door like that--so charming. What is it climbing??

There are lots of great books and websites for AZ gardening, Aviddamy (try Extreme Gardening by David Owens if you're looking for a great easy book for food growing in AZ). Hopefully you'll have lots of success!

My cherry tomatoes survived this "winter" just fine and are bearing lots of tasty little fruit, so delicious, although nothing as huge as your crop, Lynne. Impressive!

Here are a few things looking good in my little garden right now.

Lots and lots and lots of leaf lettuce. Here's the popular and classic 'Black Seeded Simpson' leaf lettuce:

Plus the EXTREMELY fragrant Gladiolus tristis, which flowers this time each year with these nice pale yellow super fragrant (floral+cloves) flowers. They disappear into dormancy in late spring and need NO water until they re-emerge in autumn. So easy and very nicely spreading too:


Mexican gold poppies and desert bluebells are blooming all over the garden too. Here are some (a classic AZ combination) right next to a fun cardon cactus in my back garden.

The earliest of the winter-sown annual lupines (Lupinus bicolor) are starting to flower too--easy spring flowers that set seed that sprouts in autumn:

And finally, a "Thanksgiving cactus", Schlumbergera truncata, variety 'Dark Marle' which continues to make one or three blooms a week. It looks like it's hovering, but it's on a glass cylinder flower vase (from the local Ikea) that I love using as plant stands since it lets light reach all of the leaves/stems of trailing/cascading plants like this.

Keep the updates coming all, pics or not. Enjoy this amazing, glorious weather! Happy gardening,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from Grant's garden, March 2014


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

  • Posted by CAST1 9b Arizona (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 23:32

A bird's nest fern I bought at Lowes for $2.00 back in August. I brought it inside the house during December and forgot to water it for weeks. It is a beautiful plant.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Ctenanthe lubbersiana. A cool foliage plant.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

  • Posted by CAST1 9b Arizona (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 23:41

Some ferns,cordylines, and others. I hope you guys enjoyed a night tour of my patio.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

What's looking good are 9 Super Sweet 100 cherry tomato plants that were started back in early January by my kids and I. 1 mortgage Lifter tomato plant purchased at the store. 2 Crooked Neck Squash in the squash bed. Also what is doing well is the row of russet potatoes. And the Sonora Wheat is doing the job I wanted it to, attracting ladybeetles.

What's not doing well are the cucumber plants, the water melons, and beans that seem like they will never sprout.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Crooked Neck Squash


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Potatoes


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Mortgage Lifter


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

And this volunteer popped up in my back yard, its the most vibrant pink mallow I have ever seen.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Remind me again why I planted more than one zucchini?


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Two identical bell peppers sprouted a month apart. One for the humans, one for an unknown critter.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Thanks for the book recommendation. I found it on Amazon for my kindle. I have some seeds sprouting already. I should be picking up some planters for raised beds this weekend. I have the dirt/compost/mulch already.

Plus I'm going to try making a hydroponic "window farm" for some lettuces and herbs inside. I have a huge window that gets a lot of dappled sunshine during the day. I'm already thinking of some plans for next growing season. Perhaps this summer I can get a shade house going so that I can grow enough food to feed my entire family.

I'm also considering chickens. I don't know that much about them, so that is a long term research project at this point.

One question I do have. Do vegetables here like full on blasting AZ sun or do they prefer shade? The reason I ask is because the east side of my house is pretty much shaded all day long. But the west side has sun in the morning and shade during the 2-4 hot hours. Either side could be used, but I'm not sure what would be best.


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March 15, 2014

Wow, great fun pics and updates, all! Keep them coming. I love all of your plants, new and old, cast! Fun to see. I'm impressed and surprised with how well your bird's nest fern has done. I've always found them to be very fussy, especially in low humidity climates. Neat! BTW, I love seeing those white amaryllis/Hippeastrum blooms sneaking in to that pic too, lol. Fun!

Great looking veggies too, timber and coldweatherisevil (great username, btw, I agree 100%, lol). You've got some nice looking plants going. The zukes look really good! The tomato plants look so fun and vigorous and full of promise. My tomatoes all overwintered so I didn't rip them out and replace them, but now I'm thinking I should, LOL. We'll see! I'm still getting tons of great leaf lettuce, which I love.

Winter veggies love sun sun sun avidamy; spring/summer ones will want some shade in summer.

Here's some stuff looking good in my little garden. Even though I've grown this plant in this pot for several years now, my golden rat tail cactus (Cleistocactus winteri) is making its first flower ever. Love it. Here's a closeup and then a pic of the whole plant (in a Neptune pot on a wall on my covered patio, with Wilson the tennis ball to show size):

Gasteraloe 'Green Ice' (a hybrid between a Gasteria and an Aloe variegata) is blooming away, like it does every single March. I've never covered the plant in winter or in summer, and it always looks great, blooming every March and then with an occasional random flower stalk in summer or autumn too. I've planted pups/offsets from it all over the garden and they've done great too. Fun and easy (and fairly easy to find, too).

Good ol' Natura meteloides didn't get cut back this winter since I didn't get a frost in the garden, so it's already making some wonderful, heavily scented flowers too. Each is easily the size of my hand. One of my very favorite leafy perennials here:

Happy gardening all, keep the great updates coming. It's fun to see and hear who is growing what.

Happy gardening! Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, March 2014


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Grant, great pictures, as always. Where did you get the datura? I've been looking for one; no luck so far!


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

  • Posted by CAST1 9b Arizona (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 16, 14 at 11:46

Grant,
Thanks for your kind comments!
Happy Sunday,
Cesar


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Oh WOW ... we have tomatoes setting fruit (Matt's Wild Cherry), tomatillos setting fruit, peppers setting fruit (Holy Mole and serranos) ... and it's almost time for the first basil harvest.

Okras have sprouted, and the summer squash have sprouted.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Lots of stuff! I built 2 ebb/flow hydroponic units in Dec and planted a bunch of tomatoes and grew under growlights, but they didn't do too well. I moved them outside and 3 are now thriving and blooming with no problems. My Rajapur bananas are going crazy, Huge 2 ft wide by 3 ft long leaves, I have to cleave a plant off of the main and transplant it, I want fruit and need less stress on the mother plant. My papaya solo plants did fine during the mild winter, the large one is about 7 ft high now and dark green, the other two are catching up. Sanguinelli blood orange still has ripe fruit, not too bloody, but good. I have a passion fruit (not Frederick or Edulis) that is finally growing in the ground, though it is under attack from brown caterpillars. Pomegranate came back and is blooming, got a Pineapple transplanted yesterday. My guava, which I left for dead, still in the pot has come back to life, surprised me! Just bought 3 patchouli plants 2 for pots outside, one for pot inside at my desk, smells heavenly. Mulberries will be edible in a few weeks, I love the taste, but must fight the birds.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Rajapur banana leaves getting big.


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March 22 2014

Awesome pics and updates, everyone, keep them coming. Great pic/plant Cesar/CAST1, it looks like Aeonium nobilis, maybe?

Great banana leaf euqrob! I love watching them unfurl too. Looks like you protect it from the wind a bit with that cool reed fencing? Love it!

Congrats on your tomato babies, lazy, that's always fun isn't it? I'm getting lots of fun cherry tomatoes, including good ol' miniature yellow pear, a fun easy type that folks forget is an heirloom type.

All of my citrus are blooming like crazy, as are all of the citrus trees in the neighborhood, so the garden smells so wonderful right now. Love this time of year!

Desert penstemons are still going strong, and some of my mid-season aloes are budding up nicely too. Here's P. superbus and a no-id aloe that makes amazing flowers. :

My Echium candicans (pride of Madeira) is budding up nicely and will have those amazing towers of blue flowers soon. Expect lots of pics, lol.

Even the east side of the house, an area I usually don't like much is looking halfway decent. That's one of many, MANY Aloe striata ("coral aloes") that I've planted all over my garden in bloom, with a seed grown Cereus peruvianus in front of it, beside it, and behind it. Cute little babies that will need to be transplanted to a more spacious spot at some point:

Jaspermplants, I don't remember where I got the original seed/plant for my daturas as I've been growing them for over 25 years now from my original plant (via seed and divisions). If you can meet me in NE Phx/ N Scottsdale some weekday soon I can give you a seedling or two. If not, just email me privately with your snail mail address and I'll toss some seed in an envelope to you. I'm happy to share them and have done so with countless folks here in the Valley. Great, fun plants for sure! (grant_in_arizona@yahoo.com) .

Happy gardening all, keep the pics and updates coming!
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, March 2014


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

You have the most amazing plants in Arizona!

I live in Birmingham, AL and lurk here sometimes to dream and drool.

Susan


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Already harvested 3 zuchini and the sweet 100 are doing great with about 75+ tomatoes started...

I've already referred my tomato cages I made...way to hard to actually get to the plant and prune.

I think I'm going to switch to staking them in the future.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Hi, it's been awhile since I posted anything, but half the year, am very busy at work, spring and early summer are good times to post. Here is a picture of the patio I took this morning. The new hibiscus is one of the Tradewinds series, so tropical looking, I bought it a few weeks ago. Love those veggie garden pictures! Have been keeping up with Grant's pictures, amazing as always.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Here is a new plant stand I recently bought so the new chicken planters in the back could find a place on the patio, lol. Turned out to be a good thing, since some older pots also got up off the patio floor.


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March 23, 2014

Fun to see your comment, Susan, lurk/post any time. I'm sure you all can grow some amazing leafy tropical plants, in summer especially, that we can only dream about, so it all evens out I suppose. Great to see your comment. :)

Awesome veggie pic, TK, your zukes are waaaaaaaay ahead of mine, grumble grumble, LOL. Everything looks so good an tasty! Keep us posted.

Great pics and plants too dusti. Good to see you posting again. Like you, I love colorful and animal themed containers. Good job. I love your new plant stand too--it looks nice and sturdy! How long have you had that clivia and do you leave it outside all year? I've tried them outside all year a few times and mine always end up croaking in late summer. We'd love to hear how long you've had it and what parts of the year it stays outside (same for that nice Schlumbergera too). Everythign looks great. I love your patio!

Here are two quick pics from this morning, a golden Mexican poppy (a close relative of the California poppy which I also grow), plus the first bloom from a Turk's cap mallow (Malvaviscus drummondii) in the garden. Yes, this is as open as the bloom gets, LOL. Keep the pics and updates coming all. Happy gardening!

Mexican poppy (just sprinkled seeds in autumn/early winter for spring blooms--let them set seed and you'll never need to replant them, LOL):

Turk's cap mallow (fun, leafy semi-woody perennials here for sun or part shade):


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

  • Posted by CAST1 9b Arizona (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 23, 14 at 15:21

Grant,
I bought at Lowes a few months ago. It was marked down to $2.
Do you have a Aeonium nobilis?
Cesar


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

Finally got some of the tomato supports done and mulch spread 4 inches deep across the 3.5x8 bed. First tomato on right is mortgage lifter (lots of flowers no fruit set yet) next 2 on left are super sweet 100s (tons of flowers and fruit starting to form). Mulch is a mixture of mesquit, oak, ash, Ironwood leaves, and pine needles.

Red solo cup for size comparison.


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RE: March 2014 what looks good/bad in your garden?

To answer your question about the Clivia, Grant, it's new this year, I 'll grow a plant in a pot for a couple of years, then plant it in the yard, to have space to try something new. The Christmas Cactus is several years old, was a houseplant, but my new passion is Streps, Episcia and Kohleria, and I ran out of space in the kitchen, so the cactus is spending the summer outdoors. Got tired of big box store African violets, this year is a new challenge. So far, the little plants I ordered are growing well, and if you have advise on growing them, please share. :-) We do have similar taste in pots, although your patio is stuffed with amazing plants!

This post was edited by 1212dusti on Tue, Mar 25, 14 at 1:47


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March 29 2014

Fun new pics and posts all, keep them coming. March is a great time of year in the garden here isn't it? Love it!

"Stuffed" is the right word to describe my patio, dusti, LOL! Guilty as charged. :) Good luck with the clivia and Schlumergera outside. Mine always got very cranky by late summer so I kept them inside for summer now. Keep us posted and post lots of pics!

I've tried Aeonium nobilis a few times before, Cesar, and mine always failed (died) in late summer due to the heat. I have great success with Aeonium arboreum (the common, popular types and hybrids) but my nobilis always died on me. I keep all of my aeonium plants very dry in summer when they're in a heat induced semi dormancy (and they look awful, hah!), but the arboreum types revive in autumn and then I give them more water. Good luck with yours--do keep us posted!

Great looking tomato plants, timber. Nice and vigorous!

Just for fun here are some aloe blooms open right now. I purchased the plant without a label quite a few years ago. It's one of my favorite aloes so I have planted a dozen or two of its offspring (from pups/offsets) all over the garden. Great peachy/apricot color and branched bloom stalk:

And here's something NOT looking great, lol, tatty pomegranate foliage which has been visited by leaf cutter bees, LOL. They do this every spring and I don't really mind as the plant eventually outgrows it.

Happy gardening all!
Grant


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