December Kitchen Garden Guide

Fall is a prime planting time in the low desert Arizona.

Nighttime temperatures begin to cool but the soil is still warm thanks to the daytime temperatures, which help seed germination. This is the time to take advantage of the plants that grow easily from seeds sowed outside. While other parts of the country are winterizing their crops in their gardens, we are still thinking about planting seeds or transplants

you might’ve started earlier or purchased from a nursery center.

Photo provided by Gardenary.com



Explore Cool Season Vegetables

Arugula

Beets

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage varieties

Cauliflower

Carrots

Celery

Collards

Kale

Lettuce

Radish

Spinach

Sugar Snap Peas

Swiss Chard

Turnips


 

It’s so simple and satisfying to GROW HERBS!

Grow Cool Season Herbs

Cilantro

Chives

Dill

Garlic

Mint*

Onions

Oregano

Rosemary

Sage

Thyme

Parsley



Some herbs grow easily from a seed start while it’s still warm outside. Just

germinate according to the package directions.


*Mint is a simple start from seeds. Be sure to plant any kind of mint alone as they

don’t play well with others in the garden.

 

Always add pollinator plants to a vegetable garden


They bring bee’s and other beneficial insects to your garden. The below are just a few of the great options:


Marigolds

Calendula

Yarrow


Even though these plants will tolerate the cool weather they do appreciate a cozy

blanket, so be sure to mulch your garden beds. You can use pine needles, cedar

mulch, straw, among others.


Consider row covers or a cloche to cover new seedlings and keep the birds out.

When we get closer to December add wildflowers to your gardens.


Pro Tip:

Mix your favorites with some sand to get more even coverage.


Recipe for Garden Success


1) You need a good location. Look for an area in your yard or patio that ideally

receives 6 hours of sunshine each day.

2). Heathy and nutritious soil is mandatory for great tasting vegetables! There are

plenty of great soil combinations, but here is one of my favorites:

I’ll put a recipe for raised bed soil in notes.

3). Make sure that your water is consistent. If you don’t have a timed system,

there are several small irrigation systems that attach to a hose bib.

4). Spend time in your garden every day. Observe the changes, growth, and note

what these natural jewels are doing. This is not only good for your plants, it will

also make you a better gardener. And spending time in the garden can be

absolutely magical.


Garden Maintenance

Adjust irrigation to a schedule for cooler days. Watch your plants carefully while

you make this transition.


Thin your vegetable seedlings!

If you plant seeds, you almost always have too many

that germinate. Check seed packets for spacing between plants and selectively

remove the extra seedlings.


Don’t forget to manage weeds. Pull cool season weeds as soon as they germinate

As soon as you see the little buggers!

And you can use mulch to help control them.

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