My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Granada, a hybrid tea rose
With the more moderate weather and a nice rain the other evening the garden is coming along nicely. I had to go to the valley the other day and stopped at my favorite nursery, Shady Way in Apache Junction. They always have a nice selection of herbs so I picked up a couple of mint plants and some lavender. I had also stopped at K-Mart and picked up a Granada rose from the clearance table for only $2. It wasn't in bad shape and was described as having a 'strong spicy scent'. I love rose that have a strong scent and won't buy any that don't have one. I mean after all what's the point of planting a rose if it doesn't smell heavenly? I also picked up a couple of plants at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior at the members plant sale. I'll show you some of these as I get them planted out.

In the meantime here's how to plant a potted rose bush. The day before planting, water the soil in the pot well, so that it will hold together when you knock the plant out of the pot.

When choosing a site for roses, remember that in general they like to have full sun. However, if you live in the desert they will appreciate some late afternoon shade so that they aren't fried by the full strength of desert sunlight. I chose to plant the Granada in a bed in the front yard. It will get full sun in the morning and through mid-day and light shade in the afternoon during the summer.

Now dig a nice big hole, several inches deeper and wider than the pot. I know it's hard to tell in this picture, but the top of that shovel is about 3 inches deeper than the soil surface.

Add some compost to the hole, enough so the when you set the pot in the hole the base of the rosebush will be at ground level.
Take the bush out of it's pot and set it in the hole. Fill around it with more compost and then back fill with soil. If the soil is very dry, fill the hole with water and let it drain before back filling. Then water it again.

The soil in this particular spot is not in too bad a shape. If I were planting in an area where I hadn't been working the soil in the past I would have dug a much bigger hole and used a lot more compost. I think it is better to plant things in ground that you have previously worked and added compost and manure to in the past than to dig a hole in virgin territory. It makes it a lot easier for the plant roots to get out into the soil.

I know this is not the way a lot of 'experts' tell you how to do it, but this way works for me; After planting I pruned off a few broken and weak branches. I'll keep you updated on the rose's progress when it starts growing and putting out new growth.  I'll also be adding some more compost or some rabbit manure over the top of the soil as a mulch. If, when it starts putting out new growth it seems to have problems I'll add a little organic fertilizer mix to the top of the soil and water it in.

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