Some people may negatively hurl the word “basic” in my direction for my unabashed love of fall, but I’m already dreaming of cooler weather, getting outdoors more, a sensible amount of pumpkin delights, and my other favorite fall flavors like apples, cinnamon, and caramel. I’m also especially excited about planting my fall garden and while cooler weather may take a while to reach Phoenix, we’re starting to prepare our garden now!
The spring garden was such a success and such a great family activity that we are expanding our garden for fall. Here’s a little re-cap of what I had for my spring garden and how everything is changing or not for the fall:
I started the spring with two main containers for a little container garden. One specifically dedicated to flowers (sunflowers and zinnias) and one for jalapenos and bell peppers. Everything was planted from seed aside from the small bell pepper plant, which has flourished and given us lots of peppers this summer. We’re keeping that plant in and seeing how it does this fall. I’m pruning some jalapenos but giving others the chance to finally bear us some fruit since just when they were about to do so this summer we were hit with extreme heat followed by a little gopher problem that totally stripped the stalks of all their flowers and leaves! I’ve been impressed with how they bounced back so I’m going to try and give them another go with a little more space and see how they do before I decide to plant something else instead.
The flower box was awesome this summer giving us gorgeous happy sunflowers and a few zinnias- the ones that bloomed were gorgeous but the heat and wind claimed many others- I also think I planted too many too close together and didn’t prune them well enough. I’m not sure what I will re-plant in this box for fall but it will still be specifically for flowers
I also added a small pail of wild flowers thanks to free seeds from honey nut cheerio’s save the bees campaign. I have another pail that I planted basil in which was doing well until it was DEMOLISHED by our backyard pest problem. I still have to decide what I want in that container 🙂
*Raised Garden Bed:
We bought a raised garden bed to expand our growing this season. WE are going to try some square foot companion planting and do a mixture of vegetables and flowers. I used an online planner to help with our projected layout:
Not everything will go in at once so we have a plan and a schedule all set and highlights include both a summer and a winter squash, kale, more sunflowers, nasturtiums, and marigolds! I’m not sure if we’ll follow this exact plan as we have yet to buy garlic or tomato seeds, but I’m hoping to get some from my local library’s seed sharing program if they have any left by the time I get there. Add that to the list of things I love about libraries! I’m especially excited about the late season sunflowers as I got a different color variety than the ones I planted this spring and still have seed leftover from spring too so I’m looking forward to the different shades. I’m also excited for one of our final seeds we’ll plant- the sweet peas which have to wait until mid-october for cooler weather. (This also gives us time to get something on the back of our raised bed for them to climb as they grow!)
*Indoor Herb Garden:
I have been thinking about trying out an indoor garden for a while now. I actually had a pinterest pin saved since back in grad school with an adorable little
window herb garden based in tea tins. The thing that pushed me to take a leap and embrace this option was this incredible sweet gift my friends gave me during my California trip which is a gorgeous container meant to grow organic sage.
It was such a thoughtful, perfect gift and came at the perfect time. So once I knew I was going to be attempting the sage indoors I figured I should bust out the tea tins I’ve been saving and and add a few other herbs to keep the sage company. My kitchen window doesn’t get a ton of sunshine thanks to our porch, but I’m hoping it’s enough to keep the seedlings happy! I’m planning to try some basil, cilantro, and lavender too. We’ll see how they do 🙂
The Rose bush: Our mini roses suffered a tragic lawn care accident which I’ve promised not to blog about in detail, but shortly thereafter we got a full sized rose bush that has been doing beautifully. The blooms are red, white, and pink- a fire snow variety that I’m pretty sure my husband picked out as an ode to Game of Thrones. This is planted directly in the ground between our container garden and our raised bed and I love it oh so much.
So that’s all the goings on in our backyard. Send me good thoughts for a successful fall garden without getting too overwhelmed with the new additions. Especially since we are attempting to use hand watering for all of these (maybe we’ll have the budget next season for a drip system!) but, as always, we’ll just be thrilled with every piece of the journey. Does something sprout? That’s a win. Does it grow more? Win. Does my kid smile while he waters them with his very own special watering cans? Double win. Do we get fresh flowers and veggies? Bonus.
Any of you planting gardens this fall? What are you most excited about growing? Any fellow desert gardeners have favorites that thrive here? I had one reader last spring tell me she has very good luck with radishes so we are considering adding those to our garden plans!