When you live in the desert you take your outdoors time very seriously. The summer months are long and brutal, and except for walking to and from the cars to the house or office and hanging out in the pool during the early months (August is even too hot to swim some years!) we mostly stay inside the air-conditioned coolness of our homes. But when the days shorten and the nights grow cold, we all take as much time as we possibly can to get outside and enjoy the beauty of an Arizona winter! We play, we sit and watch the sun set over the mountains, and perhaps most importantly, we turn our attentions towards the backyard gardens that bring us so much pleasure every day of the year. Now is the time to start planting so your Arizona spring is colorful, serene, and especially flavorful as this season is when you can start planting vegetables to be enjoyed at the dinner table in the spring!
Your Bountiful Vegetable Garden
There is nothing we take more pleasure from than a vegetable that we have planted, nurtured, and harvested with our own hands, and January is the perfect time to start planting your future dinners! There is still a possibility of frost, so the vegetables you plant now must be hearty ones, including broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, onions, and potatoes. If the thought of a salsa garden interests you, January is also a great time to plant jalapeños, but you will need to wait until at least mid-February to plant tomatoes and tomatillos. Cilantros best planting times are from October through January, so you may have to supplement with store-bought veggies for the tomatoes and tomatillos, but we can promise that the freshness of the jalapeños will make this batch of salsa the best you have ever tasted! Peas, radishes, spinach, and turnips can also weather the frost well, making eating healthy in the spring easier than it ever has been before.
Arizona Spring Flowers
Colorful gardens bring a happy cheerfulness to our landscape and if you want your garden to pop with color, now is the perfect time to plant some of our desert faves! The happy gold petals of the desert marigold, the serene beauty of the California poppies, and the vibrant drama that comes from the scarlet flax—all of these flowers do well in the desert and add a brilliance to your home garden. You just missed the prime time for planting wildflower seeds, but their resilience means that maybe some will find their way to your yards or gardens naturally, and next year you will definitely remember that September through December is when you should start thinking about planting the seeds for your spring blooming gardens. In the meantime, a visit to the desert (during the years where the rain falls heavily) will delight you as you look across the landscape that is normally arid and dry and see a field of wildflowers that will bring joy to your heart!
What If You Get a Little Planting Happy?
Sometimes even our knowledgeable staff at New Image Landscape and Pools get what we like to call “a little plant happy.” They start out by planting the vegetables and flowers we have mentioned here, and before long they are planting trees, bushes, and all sorts of flora of the region when it may be too soon or too late to do so! If this has happened to you, the good news is the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a warm and dry winter for our area, (even as the rest of the world is going to be cold and wet!) so chances are you will be ok. If you got carried away in the excitement of making your yard pretty, and ended up planting a mesquite tree in January, just watch the weather. If frost is in the forecast, you can head to your favorite home supply store and pick up a few extra bags to place around the base of the tree, helping to keep the soil warmer and letting the roots continue their important job of establishing themselves, creating a strong tree that will add beauty and strength to your home for years to come. Wrapping burlap around the trunk and limbs will help protect it as well. And even if you haven’t planted too early, on the off chance a frost does try to wreak havoc with your veggies, flowers, and plants, the tried and true method of covering your plants with sheets, towels, or even drop cloths will protect your delicate blooms.
Making Your World Beautiful
The garden should be a happy place that brings beauty and cheer to your world, but if gardening isn’t your thing or you just don’t have the time to try it, we at New Image Landscape and Pools will be delighted to do it for you. Give us a call today!