Settling In: Garden Plans

Yesterday was the first semi-warm day we have had in weeks.  It’s been so cold and wet this winter!  Lots of rain and even some snow flurries, which is rare.  Gavin and I took advantage of the warmth to make some plans for this year’s garden.

As I mentioned in my New Years post, we recently moved out of our apartment and into a house!  The home we moved into has three garden beds built in the front yard, but they are in a really shady corner.  At first, I was confused as to why someone would put garden beds in basically the shadiest spot on the property, but when I started thinking about how I would use those beds during the Summer I realized its brilliance.  Summer daytime temps here hover at 100 degrees Fahrenheit in July and August.  Even through the first couple weeks of September.  I was already concerned with how I would protect the plants in the backyard from the scorching sun, but this may be my solution!

This will be my first garden in the high desert and I am definitely intimidated.  All my previous vegetable gardens were in the coastal forest areas of northern California where it rarely gets over 90 degrees and it rains 30 inches a year.  The interior of southern California is vastly different.  This is a desert.  It is 100 degrees during the day and 75+ at night.  No rain for most of the year and water is expensive.  Did you know that tomatoes won’t grow well if it’s over 90 degrees during the day or 75 at night?  That has previously caused a ton of issues when I tried to grow plants here as a teenager.  Everything was burnt to a crisp by midsummer.  Thankfully I got some great ideas from Bonnie Plants.  She recommends shade cloth which will cut the temps down by 25%!  Hopefully, that, combined with strategic placement, will help me grow those humongous tomatoes again this year.

This is our back patio.  It will be blasted by the hot sun for at least 8 months of the year.  I plan to plant some herbs in a few of those cinderblock holes, maybe some flowers.  Has anyone done something like that?  Or do you have any ideas of what I could plant in pots on this patio that won’t die in the heat?  If you do, please post a link to it in the comments so I can get some good ideas!

Lastly I have a small strip of dirt along the front walkway.  It looks like the previous tenants planted mint and some roses which need TLC.  We cut out a dead bush, but have to dig out the roots still.  Lots of work for this coming Spring!

Gavin is getting so big now!  He is in Kindergarten and is such a social butterfly!  Has no trouble making friends and it the smartest kid in his class.  So proud of him.  I’d post a photo of Brae, but she is now a teen and I have been forbidden to post photos of her!  She doesn’t want any of her friends to see and I have to respect that.  If you follow my Instagram you may see her in my stories occasionally.  You can find links in the sidebar.

So, are you making garden plans yet?  Do you have any hot weather growing tips for me?  Tell me about it in the comments!