Apocalyptic Gardening in Feb

Posted: January 4, 2011 in food, garden, research

Found a good site for gardening in Phoenix Phoenix Gardening Calendar . I went looking because I went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix on Sunday for research and read in a display that the Native Americans planted crops in February.  So I went to google to find what to plant in February in Phoenix. I like how this site is specific to this weird place that I live.

Right now (Jan) I should be pruning my fruit trees.
I should be planting radishes, roots asparagus, carrots, lettuce, and potatoes. I don’t think any of these are native to here (except for maybe carrots and potatoes) so would they take too much water in a post-apocalyptic garden?

According to the site in February I “should plant beets, bush beans, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, eggplant, lettuce, peppers, potatoes, radishes, summer squash, tomatoes, and watermelon.” From this list I am guessing bush beans, peppers, summer squash are native to here and would not take much water.  Watermelon would be awesome but has got to consume water.  Eggplants would be awesome, but I would guess, take water.  I might plant them anyway.

I should also start fertilizing and pre-emptive weeding. I am not going to do much weeding, as my Bermuda grass should be kept because one should not throw anything away (Sidenote separate post: Rule 1? Never throw anything away.  See rules learned while watching Zombieland.)

I am going to fertilize with used coffee-grounds from the office. Bad idea?

  1. CC says:

    I think you should start a “bin” for your compost beyond coffee grounds at work. Put a big sign “Apocalyptic Gardening” place your compost~able lunch remnants in this bin.
    Then, I’ll help you load it in your car every night. Mix that with leafs you can gather and we have some mighty strong soil! Know of anyone with a cow?

  2. CC,
    In my neighborhood there is someone with a horse, but I don’t know them. I am going to ask them anyway if I could gather some of their horse poop. Also should I put the at-work bin in my cube?

    • CC says:

      ah yes the horse poop! As long as the compost bin has a lid I think your cube is a great place… although I imagine you’ll get more traffic in the pantry area.

  3. I don’t know if any there do, but the Starbuck’s in our neighborhood leaves out big free bags of their used grounds for people to pick up and use (they are also one of the most neighborhood-oriented Starbuck’s I’ve ever been to). We use it for our community garden. You might want to ask some local coffee shops.

    • I am gathering coffee grounds from work and get a large jar everyday. I plan to put some into the compost pile and also scatter some onto the ground directly. I am supposed to plant in mid-Feb, but compost takes two months to make, so that is why some coffee grounds are going straight to the soil. I don’t know if this is a good idea or not.

      • Coffee grounds are good nitrogen supplement for your plants. They slow release nitrogen and should be added directly before watering or rain or to a well aerated compost heap. Adding coffee grounds as fertilizer should be done sparingly though, no more than a small amount once a week as it can make the soil acidic if you use to much. Composting in Phoenix has some unique challenges because of the dry climate. Composting requires water.

        You may be able to address both the issue of needing to compost faster and conserving water by using a tumbler barrel composting technique, which takes only a few weeks instead of a few months and uses less water. The bigger the barrel, the better it works as this allows the contents inside to get heated up good from all that organic break down. The inside of the heap may get as high as a 170 degrees, killing off seeds and such in the process.

        Plus, you may decided that instead of trying to raise Praying Mantises, that a worm farm could be a better source of both fishing bait and composting at the same time, though this does limit your compost heap to vegetable matter.

        Or you could get a goat and just feed it all your scraps and then have goats milk. : ) Which you can make into yogurt pretty easily, which will provide you with a lot of essential vitamins a bacteria you’ll need in your belly as diarrhea and intestinal issues are big killers in desert environments where refrigeration is at a premium.

      • Thanks for the heads up on the coffee grounds, but the wrong thing was I was just about to do. Working on barrel system from city of phoenix for 5 bucks.

        Worms are a good idea, I plan to fish in the canal to learn how first, plus I want to study the Hohokam canals to see which ones would keep running.

      • Also, any opinion on how tough it is to raise a goat? Wouldn’t you have to cover all your plants? Which would be a huge pain in the ass. Maybe I should get a donkey, then my pain in the ass could be an ass.

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