Companion plant chart with natural insect repellant tips

Very cool:

Companion Planting Guide

by Peter Dilley July 30, 2010


IDEP’s Companion Planting Guide
Click here for full PDF

Sometimes you end up wishing you had a resource at hand to make it easier to apply Permaculture principles. This was the case for myself when it came time to start thinking about beneficial groupings of plants and those groupings that do not go well together.
This is what I often find lacking with the current publications on offer from PRI and from those in the community. There is a lot of good knowledge locked up that could benefit so many of us in applying permaculture principles.
A simple A3 or A4 information sheet or booklet of a small number of pages is easy to mentally digest and take in and very handy to have as a reference, either printed out and hung up on the wall or on the computer when we sit down and start thinking about designing our gardens or food systems.

Very cool.  We'll be planting a lot more basil, especially in between mustard.  Aphids love mustard, but I've never seen one on a basil leaf.

August Farmers’ Almanac planting calendar

I can't believe it's AUGUST!  Time sure flies when you're busy.  We've taken lots of pictures of the garden last week, but haven't had time to upload anything.
We even had some rain on Friday and yesterday it's been mostly cloudy and today again.  Unusual, but we're taking the opportunity to work outside most of the day.

Gardening by the Moon Calendar from the Farmers' Almanac
August 2010
1st-2nd Barren Days, Do No Planting.
3rd-4th
Root Crops That Can Be Planted Now Will Yield Well.
5th-6th
Any Seeds Planted Now Will Tend To Rot.
7th-8th Most Favorable Days For Planting Beets, Onions, Turnips, And Other Root Crops. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens.
9th-13th A Barren Time. Best For Killing Weeds, Briars, Poison Ivy, And Other Plant Pests. Clear Woodlots And Fence Rows.
14th-15th Good Days For Planting Above Ground Crops. Excellent For Sowing Grains, Winter Wheat, Oats, And Rye. Plant Flowers.
16th-17th Plant Peas, Beans, Tomatoes, Peppers, And Other Above Ground Crops In Southern Florida, California, And Texas. Extra Good For Leafy Vegetables. Plant Seedbeds.
18th-20th Cut Winter Wood, Do Clearing And Plowing, But No Planting.
21st-22nd A Good Time To Plant Above Ground Crops.
23rd-25th Barren Days.fine For Killing Plant Pests.
26th-27th Favorable Days For Planting Root Crops, Fine For Vine Crops.
28th-29th Barren Days.do No Planting.
30th-31st Root Crops That Can Be Planted Now Will Yield Well.

Tomatoes, salads, peppers, mice and snake


It’s been another very busy week.  Many clouds, but no rain.  And hot.
We harvested our first little Riesentraube tomatoes, the Al Kuffas are delicious and the salad is doing great.

Salad and tomatoes from the garden

On the down side, the mice are eating all our squash and zucchini along the fence and in the 3 sisters bed.  They also ate all the beans.  So it’s really only 1 sister now – the corn is looking good.
The ants are ferociously devouring  dead mice in the traps as well as the glued-on nuts.  I don’t usually consider ants in the garden much of a pest.  It’s xenical orlisat fascinating how they slice up and then carry dead insect parts and “stuff” away.
Fortunately, we have some squash, zucchini, melons and cucumbers in the caged beds.  The peppers in the last bed aren’t growing at all. We planted them out over 2 weeks ago and they’re doing nothing.
I did a bit of reading yesterday and apparently we’re not the only ones having trouble with our peppers: bell peppers not growing
The earlier peppers are really slow to get going too. A couple of the “hot peppers” from last year’s Henry Fields order have little peppers now and several plants have been flowering (including the heirloom Black Hungarian), but the plants are still so SMALL.
7/2/10 – the pepper is now almost as big as the plant

Maybe they’ll finally get going now that it’s WARM at night, 81 was the low last night.   Up until a week or so ago it got down to the 60s.  Or maybe they’re not growing because it is too hot during the day.
I spread some coffee grounds in the beds last week and we have a few more months in our growing season.  Hopefully we won’t get an early October freeze like last year.
I’ll update at the tomato blog about the Al Kuffa and Riesentraube first tastes.  The Violet Jasper and Mini Orange are thriving and have many baby tomatoes and flowers.
Just the other day a neighbor remarked that he hadn’t seen or heard any rattlers yet this summer.
I totally missed the snake too yesterday evening when I walked to the garden.   Jose noticed it stretched out in the middle of the driveway, apparently snoozing.   I was lucky I didn’t step on it.
Picture taken with flash, it was already dark

It’s not a good day when you have to kill, but they DO bite and we’re not up to the $17k helicopter ride to the hospital.
I’d prefer the snakes eating the mice and us eating the squash, but somehow it just doesn’t work like that.

Farmers’ Almanac July planting schedule and OTHER calendars

I noticed that the Farmers' Almanac is often a day ahead of other Moon Planting calendars and apparently there are various methods and of course time zones to consider.  An in-depth discussion:
Moon calendar for growers
I find it most incredible how coherent and on topic the Marijuana growers are.  Not what I expected.
And I sure was surprised how quickly the seeds sprouted when I planted a couple days before the full moon.   Maybe because it's warmer now?
Have to test this a few times.
Farmers' Almanac July schedule:

Gardening by the Moon Calendar from the Farmers' Almanac
The Farmers Almanac Gardening by the Moon Calendar is determined by our age-old formula and applies generally to regions where the climate is favorable.
July 2010
2nd-4th Good Days For Planting Beets, Carrots, Radishes, Salsify, Turnips, Peanuts, And Other Root Crops. Also Good For Planting Melons, Cucumbers, Pumpkins, And Other Vine Crops. Set Strawberry Plants.
5th-6th A Barren Period.
7th-8th Root Crops That Can Be Planted Now Will Yield Well.
9th-10th Poor Days For Planting, Seeds Tend To Rot In Ground.
11th-12th Most Favorable For Corn, Cotton, Okra, Beans, Peppers, Eggplant, And Other Above Ground Crops. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens
13th-16th A Most Barren Period. Kill Plant Pests And Do General Farm Work.
17th-18th Favorable For Planting Peas, Beans, Tomatoes, And Other Fall Crops Bearing Above Ground. Sow Grains And Forage Crops. Plant Flowers.
19th-21st Extra Good For Fall Cabbage, Lettuce, Cauliflower, Mustard Greens, And Other Leafy Vegetables. Good For Any Above Ground Crop That Can Be Planted Now. Start Seedbeds.
22nd-23rd Seeds Planted Now Will Do Poorly And Yield Little.
24th-26th First Day Good For Planting Above Ground Crops. Last Two Days Are Good For Planting Beets, Carrots, Salsify, Irish Potatoes, And Other Root Crops.
27th-28th Good Days For Killing Weeds, Briars And Other Plant Pests, Poor For Planting.
29th-31st Good Days For Planting Beets, Carrots, Radishes, Salsify, Turnips, Peanuts, And Other Root Crops. Also Good For Planting Melons, Cucumbers, Pumpkins, And Other Vine Crops. Set Strawberry Plants.

We're hoping for some monsoon rains — nothing yet so far.

The first little squash – plant on Monday and Tuesday

This looks like the first pollinated squash in the Three Sisters bed:

It's bigger than the babies that dried up after they didn't get pollinated.
I tried to pollinate zucchinis, but the pollen from this plant didn't work and we didn't have male and female zucchini flowers at the same time.
From the Farmers' Almanac:

14th-15th Plant Tomatoes, Beans, Peppers, Corn, Cotton, And Other Above Ground Crops On These Most Fruitful Days. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens

We'll try to get some more planting areas ready today.

Farmer’s Almanac Gardening by the Moon

We've been gardening by the moon for a few months now and try to schedule our plantings accordingly – weather permitting.

Gardening by the Moon Calendar from the Farmers' Almanac

The Farmers Almanac Gardening by the Moon Calendar is determined by our age-old formula and applies generally to regions where the climate is favorable.

June 2010
1st. Plant Late Beets, Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, And Other Root Crops.
2nd-4th Poor Days For Planting. Kill Plant Pests, Spray, Fertilize, Do General Farm Work.
5th-6th Favorable Time For Planting Late Root Crops. Also Good For Vine Crops. Set Strawberry Plants.
7th-9th Cut Hay Or Do Plowing On These Barren Days.
10th-11th Good Days For Planting Root cymbalta coupon Crops.
12th-13th Seeds Planted Now Tend To Rot In Ground.
14th-15th Plant Tomatoes, Beans, Peppers, Corn, Cotton, And Other Above Ground Crops On These Most Fruitful Days. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens
16th-19th Poor Period For Planting. Kill Plant Pests, Clear Fence Rows, Clear Land.
20th-21st Favorable For Planting Peas, Beans, Tomatoes, And Other Fall Crops Bearing Yield Above Ground. Sow Grains And Forage Crops. Plant Flowers.
22nd-24th Extra Good For Planting Fall Lettuce, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, And Other Leafy Vegetables. All Above Ground Crops Planted Now Will Do Well. Plant Seedbeds.
25th-26th Poor Planting Days. Cut Hay Or Do General Farm Work.
27th-29th Plant Late Beets, Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, And Other Root Crops.
30th. Poor Day For Planting. Kill Plant Pests, Spray, Fertilize, Do General Farm Work.

Let's GROW!

After years of growing a few veggies and herbs in small hardware cloth cages in the Joshua Tree desert between Grand Canyon West (Skywalk) and Lake Mead, we finally got serious last year.
We fenced in a garden (rabbit fence) and planted fruit trees.  We also planted California Peppers and African Sumacs along the southern property line to get a wind break.  The spring and summer winds are ferocious.
We have two raised beds at the house for salads and we’re growing grapes and garlic.
We built two swales on our hill to catch run-off and for easy watering and we will be planting berries and herbs.  We almost finished our grey water system to reuse our shower and laundry water for landscape irrigation.
Our 24 x 5 ft adobe addition to the south side of the house serves as mini greenhouse and we have been growing herbs and tomatoes through the winter WITHOUT heating.  Our local dirt doesn’t have enough clay, but we used the adobe blocks only as filler (not structural) and due to its excellent thermal properties, the LOW was 42 degrees last winter.  It also stayed surprisingly COOL (compared to outdoors) last summer.
Our new LARGE greenhouse should be finished in a few months and we hope to grow veggies through the winter.
Some of our neighbors also started gardens in recent years and in Kingman, John and Dea opened Grandma’s Best (Farmers Market) earlier this year.  They used to sell veggies at a roadside stand and now offer a wide variety of produce.
Most of their veggies come from the Phoenix are, but they hope to sell LOCALLY grown food.  I love the pecans from the pecan orchard on 66 and a few weeks ago they had delicious locally grown baby cucumbers.  Their prices are often lower than the supermarkets and we always try to stop there first when we get to Kingman every few weeks.
The purpose of our new site is to keep track of what we’re growing, our problems and solutions and to share our research and gardening experiences.
The other night I spent hours reading up on Sweet Annie (wormwood) and yesterday I posted all the TOMATOES we’re growing.
Of course we’re extremely busy transplanting, fencing (those darn COWS!) and finishing up the last growing areas, but we’ll try to post some pictures ASAP and list the many melons, squash, peppers …
We trying to keep track of what grows best in our harsh climate and we mostly grow organics and heirlooms.  No chemical fertilizers and no pesticides.
We might also have some plants and maybe even veggies for sale and other gardeners in the area are welcome to offer their surplus too.
More and more people realize that factory food is designed to slowly kill us.  Almost every packaged food contains high fructose corn syrup and most corn is genetically engineered – potentially turning your intestines into pesticide factories.
Almost all processed food contains MSG. The totally corrupt FDA allows corporations to hide MSG not only under numerous names, but it can be included with “natural flavors.”
Almost everything advertised as low calorie contains Aspartame.
Another toxin very difficult to avoid.  I can’t even find any gum or mints without it.
We started reading the labels on packaged food last year and there’s very little left to buy if you want to avoid known carcinogens and toxins.  While I’ve been eating crap for many years, I enjoy gardening and there’s really no reason to buy toxic food.
I even finally gave up ice cream, my FAVORITE supermarket food.   The current replacement is blended vanilla almond milk with bananas.
Please feel free to comment and locals are welcome to start their own blogs too.

Other news

The timing was PERFECT, just as we got done planting all the trees it SNOWED. It melted by evening, but it was great to get badly needed moisture.

The dogs LOVED the snow and played outside all day.

We THOUGHT that this is Mormon Tea, but several neighbors told us that it’s not, but don’t have an id yet.  They smell really intense, a bit like citrus.

A few weeks ago we got some gravel for the grey water system.   We ordered some sodium bentonite (clay) in Vegas to water-proof it some more.  We planted a California pepper on each side of the dirt mount on the left and will plant “something” on the hill once we’re done with the new garden.

We transplanted some garlic from pots to the Southern bed and it’s amazing to see how the roots grow straight through bio char.

We got dirt from the bed on the north side where we grew corn, squash and other veggies last year.  Fortunately we screened the soil, because we found a bunch of these nasty grubs.

On our way to Dolan Springs we followed this water hauler for a while.  Sad.

Thanksgiving bio char, cow pies and plastic pipe

We had a late huge lunch and since it was one of the warmer days, decided to go for a drive.  Had to get rid of a dead mouse anyway and to not just waste fuel, we took a few buckets and shovel to bring some cow pies back for the garden.

Along the way to the corral, we saw this fire pit and we got a full bucket of bio char.

At the corral we interrupted the cows’ Thanksgiving snack:

Little Andy (the puppy) bucks like a bull when he sees a cow, he’s hilarious.  Got to take a video of him next time.

Continue reading “Thanksgiving bio char, cow pies and plastic pipe”