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Sandy Steinfelt

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Sandy Steinfelt
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  • Sandy's Arizona Garden

    Current plant inventory

    I went out and counted what is currently growing. I made the kids guess how many different plants we had first. I only counted each variety once, so even though I have 4 watermelon plants, I only counted it once(and I don't know the variety, so there may be more than one). But since there are 3 varieties of lantana betwixt about 5 plants, I counted it 3 times :

    65 total (if I include borage, cilantro and lettuce that have consistently self seeded and come back every year, even though I don't see them right now)

    54 are perennial or self seeding or spread so as to act like perennial

    42 of the total have been added since we got here (including a few volunteers like purslane and ground cherry)

    53 are edible (some more desirable than others)

    of the remaining plants "non edible", 8 are pollinators that we don't actually eat, although 5 of those are technically edible

    4 palm trees (which provide shade so we can forgive them for not serving many other purposes)


    BTW, in the past year we have harvested over 358 lbs of food, and over 664 since we started counting a few years ago (So over 50 lbs more the second year than the first).

    And this doesn't count most of the gallons of honey and pounds of wax we've been harvesting from the bees this summer.

    Nicky Schauder
  • Harvests to celebrate

    Yup! We "inherited" an extractor from a friend that didn't want to deal with it's issues. The biggest issue was the handle would fly to pieces if you didn't crank at the right speed, but hand cranking is exhausting anyways. I found a socket at ACE for about $6 and just connected the electric screwdriver to where the handle would be. Still a bit of a chore in a lot of ways, but it worked out and was worth it!


    Nicky Schauder
  • fruit trees: baby it or get it adjusted?

    Welcome @Rita Early !

    I don't have the tropicals i want yet, but did get a bunch a trees last year! I think there may have been a problem with my watering system and some didn't spread out roots which was probably a mistake as i planted. So some plants didn't respond as well as i hoped.

    I lost two figs and a pomegranate over the summer (it was a record breaking brutal summer last year).


    I'd planted the 2 pomegranate trees about 18" apart, but since only one survived that experiment won't work so well. I have two dwarf mulberry bushes that don't seem picky at all though. One got transplant shock when I transplanted in the summer but it recovered fine and both are leafing out for spring now I'm hoping we'll be lucky enough to get berries this year.

    My bareroot stonefruit is doing great though! I planted three in one hole (2 peach and an aprium, all the same rootstock). I put them right into the ground with some mulch on top and didn't baby them much besides the shade cloth. They are starting to wake up now and I'm excited to see their growth this year. They did grow last year, but not a ton. But I'm hoping for positive results long term, so if that means show growth for now I'm ok with it.

    I'll try to take some pictures soon and post them here. For now, here is a picture of some of the flowers before i stripped them off. (They are so pretty! But I'd rather let it focus underground a little longer)


    Nicky Schauder
  • Sandy's Arizona Garden

    I bet that even if they don't grow all year, I can at least grow them as annuals!

    There's a few wildflowers on the north side of the cactus and a purple lantana. I intend to plant more wildflowers (already have in one spot). Maybe i should just do that today if the ground is still wet. More native sponges should help either way. Maybe I'll try tepary beans and native melon plants next year and see if the hoa or anyone notices.😉 I've mainly been playing in the backyard and left the front as it came for now.

    it's bend came gradually I think, so I'm not sure if it will recover slowly or not.

    Nicky Schauder
  • Andrea's Texas Garden

    Andrea, some plants are smart enough to turn away from the sun when they've had too much and perk up when it cools off. Where they doing that when it was still really hot out or is it a new behavior?

    I've found sometimes overwatering can look the same as underwatering (looks like wilting). That's a lot of rain! How is your drainage? (as if that makes any difference when you are getting hurricane rain!) Probably pretty safe to assume that the ground is all super saturated after that, but a soil probe moisture detector would help you know more specific. In the future, maybe you could try adding plants that really love soaking up the water(like what was suggested above) or strategically planting based on water needs. My hope is that all your plants will recover soon and be able to breathe easy again. While it has limits, woody mulch and cover crops(living mulch) are also great for helping regulate water.

    Here's a picture that gives some ideas for planting heights based on water needs. The principles and concepts are the same whether you are in the desert or flood zone (you just adapt and have things like cattails and swamp grass in the high water needs and have succulents or cacti really well elevated with lots of drainage)

    Good luck! I'll be praying for you and your plants!

    Nicky Schauder

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