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jal_ut
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Awesome! You are off to a good start.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

veggiedan
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Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:18 pm
Location: Central TX 8b

That's an important point about the desert southwest as having different challenges. I gardened a lot in Oregon and California, and then moved to Texas. Talk about gardening culture shock! Here we have two gardening seasons, and July and August aren't really a good part of either. When a seed packet calls for "full sun", we kind of laugh at that. Soil moisture is a continual concern during the peak of the summer, and it's going to be a lot worse in Arizona because of the rock-bottom humidity. As noted, getting a lot of organic matter in your soil is going to be the best defense against parched plants.

By all means get your soil tested, but also get a dialog going with local gardeners. They've figured out the tricks.

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Ozark Lady
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Veggiedan, you can add Northwest Arkansas to that climate.

We have before July gardens and after July gardens...

It is a trick,, and lots of shade to get even heat loving plants through July and August.

Full sun here means: dead plants... no garden at all!

Dappled sun means good growing...
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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TheWaterbug
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Gary350 wrote:The manure from Lowe's is composed and it looks like ground up wood pieces. It has no manure smell.

The manure from Home Depot is composed to it looks like saw dust and has a very strong manure smell.
Are you buying the $1.09/bag and $0.99/bag stuff? I bought 30 bags from Home Depot a few weeks ago (Earth-Gro brand, IIRC) and 8 bags from Lowe's yesterday (forgot the brand). Both came in white bags with yellow trim and are described as "steer manure mix, composted, screened, and weed free." Both seemed very similar to me, and both stink up my garden and my car equally well. Or equally poorly, depending on your point of view.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Location: Los Angeles

Ozark Lady wrote:I am also dreaming of a tiller this year, not for the raised beds but for some row crops.

Used ones are pretty scarce here too. And I hate to shell out so much money!
I made the big leap and bought a used tiller last year for $500, and I've been _really_ happy with my decision, despite it needing a carbuerator rebuild and a new starter clutch.

Now that I don't have to plan days in advance in order to use it, I use it all the time, sometimes only for a 10 minute job.

The tiller + my broadfork are improving my formerly-rock-hard soil immensely.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

sepeters
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Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:24 pm
Location: AZ, zone 9

Hey Gary350! Did you check at Whitfill's Nursery for a tiller? :)

Also, I think the roots of the plants would absolutely cook in those bags in our summer here! I have trouble with the potted plants oustide. The raised bed does better, but dries out quickly as well. If you have the ground space I'd plant in the dirt. But get out there to till soon or you'll get a sunburn! 8)

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jal_ut
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Lime is an ingredient in mortar for laying bricks. It is usually sold at mason supply houses and lumber yards.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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TheWaterbug
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jal_ut wrote:Lime is an ingredient in mortar for laying bricks. It is usually sold at mason supply houses and lumber yards.
I bought a bunch at The Home Depot also. I don't remember how much I paid, but it was very inexpensive. I remember thinking that I could afford a lot more than I could carry. It's really dense.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

erins327
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Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:21 pm
Location: Houston, TX

I have bought the $1 bags of cow manure, and the $1 bags of top soil, mixed them together, and made rows out of them. Mixed in with my native clay ground, it worked very well last year and am planning on doing it again.

I compost, but with two of us we have limits how much is ready at any given time, and we have about 300 sq feet of garden right now (and want to grow more!)

Granted I have never done the 'plant in the bag' method, but I can vouch for the $1 compost. :)

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