Articles (Posts)

Beans for Southwest Planting

July is National Baked Bean Month. You can celebrate by baking some beans to enjoy with your hotdogs (it’s National Hot Dog Month too) or – here in the Southwest – you can celebrate by planting some beans now to bake later! Many Beans! There are so many different kinds of beans to plant in the long Southwestern hot season. That’s a gardening term by the way – an easy way to refer to growing seasons – warm season, hot season, and cool season. The beans considered hot season beans […]

Garden Calendar for July & Summer Watering

July is National “Smart Irrigation Month,” so let’s start by talking about water for Southwest plants in summer. Watering Notes All plants need more water as temperatures rise. Water is critical in the desert, but don’t let your plants become “drip sip” junkies. Instead of a “sip” or a little bit of water every single day, water less often but for longer time, so the water sinks in two or even three feet into the ground – where roots should be growing. Roots need to encouraged to grow deep underground […]

A Passion for Passion flower

Earlier this spring, I mentioned  that vines are great in the garden for all their lovely blooms (Part I- Overview and Part II – Native Vines). A reader asked about edible vines, and here is one option for the Southwest – passion flower! Plants with a Punch Called variously passion flower, passion fruit and just plain passion vine, Passiflora has over 500 species and countless varieties, most with edible fruit. You may have tasted it before! Hawaiian Punch is made from the tasty Passiflora edulis. That particular species is not […]

Thyme Grows Well in the Southwest

Time for another delightful herb to grow in the Southwest – thyme. (Earlier this month I discussed basil – here.)  Thyme can be used in cooking, is lovely in the landscape, and is a great pollinator plant (since next week is National Pollinator Week.) Overview Thyme is a large and very popular genus, with over 350 species and countless cultivars grown around the world. Aside from looking lovely in the landscape, it is used in cooking, and has some proven medicinal properties as well. Note that there are even native […]

Grow a Marvelous Mesquite

Mesquite harvest is nearing, and I will discuss harvest further on SavortheSW – my site dedicated to using the plants that grow in our yards here in the Land of El Sol.  Meanwhile, lets look at growing a mesquite tree or tow to help provide food grown as locally as your own backyard. (Mesquite no-bake cookies are YUM!) All Mesquite are NOT Equal There are a number of mesquite species and some are NOT native. This has lead to problems in the urban landscapes. Non-native mesquites from the grasslands of […]

You Can Grow Basil in the Southwest

Summer time is basil time in the Southwest. The nights stay warm, the sun shines for hours on end and the soil temperatures are nice an warm. All these are conditions that basil loves. Basil Origins Basil loves the heat because it is native to India and other tropical regions of Asia. It has been cultivated for over 5,000 years with a long and rich tradition of use, a tale that could fill books. Our word for the plant comes from the Greek “basileus” meaning “king,” and indeed, it is […]