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.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Monsoon Starts and Summer Planting

rain at Top of the World
Well our monsoon rains seem to have started in earnest. Normally it rains all around my place in early July and my garden doesn't see any appreciable amount until about the 3rd week of the month, but this year it has come a little early. On Monday the 10th I got a good amount, probably about .5 to .75. (remember when the javalina tore up the potato bed? They broke my rain gauge. I just got a new one which I will put up today) On Friday when I was driving back from Superior it rained some at Top of the World.

downpour on the Pinals
It was dry coming into Miami, but I could see the rain on the Pinals.

I stopped at my house to collect eggs and close the gates. Then the rain hit and I was stuck in the chicken coop for a bit. A lot of wind and some hard rain, but I'm not sure how much. Amazingly we are in for 30-80% chance of rain almost every day for the next 10. Of course just because they are predicting it, doesn't mean we will actually get it. I just hope it doesn't come down too hard and fast and run off.

In the mean time temperatures have moderated a bit. With higher humidity things aren't drying out as fast so less watering is needed. Also the rain has kicked things into gear. I predict a good squash pick this week again, as well as a decent amount of greens.

bed prep
So I have added some composted manure to the top of the potato bed. Since the rains started I have planted the whole 100 sq ft to green and yellow bush beans and covered the bed with bird netting. This bed was the last of the compost piles I made last winter and is still pretty coarse with a lot of wood chips still, beans don't normally need the nitrogen in the manure, but the wood chips will take up a lot of it while they are breaking down.

planting seeds
In the creekside garden I planted an empty bed. A row of rainbow carrots sprinkled with radish, a row of turnips, the last row with mustard and dill. I covered the bed with old window screens to keep out the birds and I hope, the grasshoppers. The turnips and mustard were up in about 3 days.

turning compost
I spent some time turning compost. The older pile was still chugging along at about 130 degrees. After turning it dropped below 100 then came back up to about 120. It is almost finished. Probably one more turn and it will cool off enough to use.

Hot compost!
The day after turning the new pile it went almost to 140. These piles are mostly chicken litter from the barn at mom's house which is mostly sawdust with some straw and wood shavings. I also add a little ruminant manure with alfalfa from my friends pile and whatever green waste I don't give to the chickens, like potato plants and horse nettle. Because of the fine texture of the materials it won't need to be sifted before use and will be perfect as a planting medium once it cools down.


  1. It's good to see it raining in your part of the world and that is some fantastic looking compost. I'll be pulling the bush beans and maybe a bed of zucchini, that'll give some room to plant carrots and maybe use one of the beds as a nursery bed for broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

  2. Yes I am very happy for the rain, just wish it would come down a little slower so more can sink in. I'll start fall cole crops in August. I use soil blocks and transplant them.