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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-07-2019 03:53 PM
Originally Posted by deprogramming services View Post
I moved to Payson, which is at 5000 feet. I grew a garden this year. Worst garden I ever grew, and I'm not sure why.


Nothing I planted is doing as well as it did in the 30 or so years I grew a garden in Nebraska.
To be honest with you, very few things are likely to grow better in Payson than they would in Nebraska. The mid-west ground is very fertile, Payson's ground is more... meh...

Did you get your soil tested? I would consider it. Your soil quality maybe different than your neighbors and that gardeners. Local soil types and nutrient levels can vary from patch to patch and Payson sits on a major geographic boundary. I would also look at some other local gardens to get a better idea on baseline expectations and to see some local variations.
10-04-2019 03:14 PM
Steve_In_29 Well 5000 feet is getting a bit up there and might need different procedures. Did you ask around with locals about what grows best.

My neighbor here has apple trees but said there is only one variety that does well at our 6000+ feet location.
10-04-2019 01:16 PM
deprogramming services
Originally Posted by Steve_In_29 View Post
This thread is over a year old and the OP's location is now given as AZ, so hopefully he pops back in and gives us an update as to how things turned out for him.
I moved to mountain town at 5000 feet. I grew a garden this year. Worst garden I ever grew, and I'm not sure why.

I brought in a good mix of topsoil and compost, recommended by a local garden center (that seems to be well respected by the locals). And I watered enough that my water bills are really high (next year I'll look into a drip system, but there wasn't time this year). I don't think I watered too much or too little.

Nothing I planted is doing as well as it did in the 30 or so years I grew a garden in Nebraska.

Peppers are doing kind of ok, and the jalapenos seem be doing fairly well. I am getting very few Cayenne and even fewer Ghost and Habanero, but I did get some good bell peppers that ripened up nice. Not what I'm used to though.

My tomatoes got as big and bushy as what I'm used to; some are over 6'. But I am getting very few tomatoes off them. In Nebraska once they started producing I'd be bringing in a Walmart bagful every day at least and I put up a lot of salsa and made a lot of tomato powder. Here I bring in maybe one or two a day, and none at all some days. But the plants look healthy anyway.

The same goes for my cucumbers. Big long healthy looking vines with lots of yellow flowers, but just a very few cucumbers every so often. And I do see what look like little bees around them occasionally, though maybe not enough.

And it's the same for my okra, except that it doesn't look bushy and healthy; it's spindly and weak, and I had a hard time getting it to grow in the first place. I bring in one or maybe a few every few days, off several plants.

My kale is doing so so, but is not near as big as what I'm used to.

My basil plants are doing ok I guess; I made and froze enough pesto I should have it all winter.

Even the sage I planted, which I always thought of as kind of a hardy desert plant, is not doing as well as what I'm used to.

My garden is spread all over my half acre lot. Some of it is in a big deep 20' X 20' raised bed and some of it is in big pots in various places (these planters are plenty big). All of it has enough sun to be considered full sun (which is defined as at least six hours a day), but some of it has some shade various times or has light diffused through the thin foliage of a scrub Oak or Pinion Pine part of the day, while some of it has full sun all day. And I don't see a lot of difference based on location, though my full sun Jalapenos are my best Jalapenos, while my best Bells are in a place with occasional shade.

But I have managed to put up 18 quarts of salsa and about the same number of pickles (which is a fraction of what I usually put up). Since my cucumber and okra harvest is so small though I just put whatever I have in the pickle jars, so instead of a jar being all one or the other most of them are a mix, and all of them have at least a couple of jalapenos in with them. I do have some that are all Jalapenos.

I'll talk to some of the locals and see if this is typical of gardens in this area this year, and if it isn't, I'll try to figure out what I did wrong. Even the worst garden I ever had in Nebraska when I didn't know what I was doing is better than the one I had here.

Anyone here who has any ideas I'm interested in seeing them. I hadn't come back to this thread because I didn't know it would remain of interest to anyone for this long. So thanks for your interest!
06-22-2019 09:52 AM
Steve_In_29 This thread is over a year old and the OP's location is now given as AZ, so hopefully he pops back in and gives us an update as to how things turned out for him.
06-22-2019 09:13 AM
Originally Posted by unno2002 View Post

Can you provide a link to the Tucson prohibitions you mention?
I do not have a link and I'm not familiar with the exact wording of the ordinance. I do not live in Tucson.

A friend of mine moved to Tucson and told me about the neighbor who was threatened with prosecution. The guy moved there and was not aware of the ordinances. He planted the trees and someone reported him. He planned to fight the city until he talked to his attorney who informed him that the fines and total cost could be as much as $100,000 if he lost. The guy cut down the trees and sold his home. My friend also sold his home and left the area. That is as much as I know about it.
06-22-2019 02:30 AM
squeekk Well, I’m slightly south of Tucson. I’m not quite sure what Homedevense was talking about. Most of the Los Angeles refugees land in the Phoenix / snobbsdale area. But that’s another discussion entirely. Mom has a garden running year round. It’s pretty impressive. I do go over there and water when they are out of town. Pear trees are doing well, as are the apples, and oddly a few citrus. The garden is producing different things throughout the year. Kale, broccoli,etc... Though the house is on city water, all the gardens and plants are served by the well. Here in the Sahuarita/ green valley area, you need to go very deep on a well. And yes the Arizona soil is super hard, 2 rocks for each dirt particle.
03-28-2018 03:11 AM
Originally Posted by deprogramming services View Post
I camped out in a back yard in Prescott Valley last fall and the ground was so rocky I couldn't even hammer a stake in. Is that typical of the ground in the area I'm looking at, or is most of the ground tillable?
I've been doing a bit of research on gardening in AZ too and seems a jackhammer might be needed in some areas lol! Not sure if one can post links here but there are some good sites talking of raising subtropical and tropical fruit trees and addressing the alkalinity and salt in soil which can also be a problem in water. I've lived all over the world and haven't found a soil yet I couldn't coax a garden out of.

I suspect that raised beds, as one poster mentioned, might be an easier and quicker way to go. But I read plenty online on some judicious use of a jack hammer in AZ to create 'soil rings' around fruit trees to add nutrients deeper down. If push comes to shove you can always haul in a dump truck load of mixed fill dirt/sand, mix that with organic matter and potting soil and compost up a rich soil for mounds or boxes. I grew root vegetables and potatoes before in a sandy loam not even 10 inches deep where it was hot as Hades, same for corn, zukes, peppers, beans etc and they grew fine. Greens too.

Get some good non gmo seeds rated to your zone and don't let anyone tell you 'you can't grow that'. Don't know how many times I've heard that and have made bumper crop gardens with common sense shading techniques using growth cycles of vegetation that grows faster and can handle full sun to cover the 'wilters' planted underneath. You can always get shade cloth for your delicate greens too. Good luck and have fun in your new home!
03-07-2018 10:00 PM

Can you provide a link to the Tucson prohibitions you mention?
03-06-2018 06:19 PM
AZ_HighCountry Agreed. Here in the Prescott-Prescott Valley area that is a good idea. I know of a couple vineyards / wineries over in Cornville that are producing decent wine. Another person I knew over in Chino Valley had a decent sized garden.

Depending on how big your garden is going to be might now be a bad idea to hire someone with a tractor to come in and bust up the soil. Compost / mulch and a drip watering system are important. When we had our house in Glendale we had lemons, oranges, grapefruit, cherries, apples, peaches, grapes and a couple different types of peppers as well as tomatoes. Oh, and some green thing that looked like a skinny zucchini. Forgot what it was called; all that was there when we bought the house. It was a lot of work but we enjoyed it.
03-06-2018 04:33 PM
HomeDefense I live in Mesa, Arizona. I turned my entire backyard into a production garden. I have an orange tree, two apple trees, three pomegranate trees, a peach tree, a lemon tree, plus strawberries, blackberries, grapes, and the usual vegetable gardens.

We have two growing seasons in the Phoenix area. Green leafy vegetables love the winters. The summer crop is limited to whatever can survive the brutal sun.

Water is expensive, but most homes have a drip irrigation system that allows you to program the watering and conserve water. It is not unusual to go six months without a drop of rain.

Fruit trees can be an issue because not all will produce fruit in the Phoenix valley. You need to be selective. Due to the warm winters, you have to watch the "chill hour" ratings for trees. A chill hour is defined as the number of annual hours when the temp drops below 40 degrees. Most fruit trees will grow but will not produce fruit unless they are rated for 500 chill hours or less. There are only two apple trees, Anna and Dorset Golden, that produce apples.

If you plan to move to Prescott or Flagstaff, you will have only one growing season. The soil in Arizona looks bad and is alkaline, but does produce food. I made raised bed gardens for the veggies and garden crops that don't like the soil. You may have more flexibility in the Prescott or Flagstaff areas because you avoid the summer heat and the chill hours are not a problem.

Don't plan to move to Tucson. So many Californians have moved there that it now looks like Los Angeles. They have also piled on their liberal regulations, one of which does not allow you to grow any plant or tree that is not native to Arizona. I know someone who was threatened with prosecution for planting apple and orange trees.

The next time you visit Arizona stop in a local garden center where you plan to live. They will let you know what you can and cannot grow in Arizona. It can vary from one area to another.
03-06-2018 03:32 PM
deprogramming services
growing a garden in AZ

I'm planning on moving to AZ this spring or summer and would like to know if I will be able to grow a good garden there. I've had one in Nebraska most years for the last 30 years. My questions:

I want to live somewhere roughly between Flagstaff and Prescott. Is that area generally good for gardening, and are some areas better than others?

Is water so expensive gardening becomes prohibitive?

I camped out in a back yard in Prescott Valley last fall and the ground was so rocky I couldn't even hammer a stake in. Is that typical of the ground in the area I'm looking at, or is most of the ground tillable?

Is there anything about this area I might want to know?

Thank you for your responses.

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