Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September is also SOWING Month

We are all excited to have the entire month of September dedicated to National Sewing Month!

But here in the Southwest desert, it is also the month to sow seeds for the winter vegetable garden. Yes, you read that right. We grow vegetables in the winter, courtesy of the mild temperatures. My winter vegetables include beans and peas, lettuce, root crops, cole crops, and herbs like dill, cilantro, and parsley. The beans and peas usually come pretty quickly, starting in November and continuing through the winter. By January or February I should have a good crop of leafy greens, carrots, and broccoli. I’m trying beets this year too.

Desert gardeners also grow in the spring and summer, but it’s a painful struggle from May through August. You have to fight the sun, the heat, the drought, and the pests. By August you’re lucky if you have any survivors in the garden. After losing all the tomato plants and most of the herbs, all I have left from my February planting is basil and oregano, which are still growing vigorously, as if the rest of the world hadn't burned to a crisp around them.

I spent a couple of mornings last week clearing the planters of the sad detritus of summer, and I’d planned to go to my favorite nursery over the weekend to pick up some seeds. Unfortunately last week’s cool weather was just a brief respite and we’re now back to the low 100s. I’ll give it another week or two before I try to plant anything, but I sure hope I can get the garden in before the end of September!

Sowing and sewing.


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