Chard for Your Winter Garden

With colors as brilliant as a Southwest sunset, chard is a beautiful plant for any garden. Grow this “Vulgar” Plant for Leaves Sadly, chard’s scientific name is not so beautiful. Chard goes by the scientific name Beta vulgaris – the “vulgar” indicating it is only a commoner and not noble at all, it’s just a “common beet.” Also called Swiss chard, this beet relative is not grown for the roots. It has been bred for centuries to produce colorful and tasty stems and leaves. Chard leaves are good in salads, […]

You Can Resolve to Grow – Onions!

What is easy to grow in the desert, tasty to eat in a vast variety of dishes, and healthy for you too? Onions! Onions and Their Kin Not just onions but also their kin.  Onion kin include – garlic, elephant garlic, garlic chives, society garlic, I’itoi onions, scallions, and shallots are all on this list. All of these oniony plants grow just great in our area, especially in the cooler days of winter. Plant any of these right now! (Standard chives from back east are a bit more tricky because […]

Delicious Dill – You Can Grow That

Dill is a charming herb with lacy leaves that looks lovely in the landscape, pretty on the plate, and is pleasing to the palate. Best of all, dill grows well enough in the Southwest in our cool season gardens of the winter months ahead. How to Grow Dill Dill is a member of the Carrot Family, and like most of the family it is a little bit fussy about growing conditions. That said – dill is one of the least fussy in the family – thus it makes a good […]

Vegetables in the Southwest – Secrets to Success

If you’re new to growing vegetables in the Southwest, here are some guidelines and tips to help you get started right. There are four basic elements a garden needs – the secrets to it’s success – Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Sun (Fire) This should be your first consideration for your desert vegetable garden. Choose a spot for your garden in full sun — that means at least 6 hours of direct sun in the middle of the day. This is especially important for “fruiting” crops like tomatoes, peppers and […]

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 […]