June 30th, 2010

Test Garden Update: Leslie Doyle, Las Vegas, NV

leslie_d_tnIt’s sizzling HOT in the desert. 108 degrees yesterday in the shade on the porch and 110 today. It is much hotter in the sun out in the garden, probably 130 or more on the crushed granite paths. My vegetables are green and lush and growing fast in the heat and I am still putting transplants into the garden.

I’ll go out in the garden about 11 pm tonight, turn on the floodlights, and make sure the soil in the beds is still moist. Then I’ll look at the backsides of the veggie leaves for insects and put in a couple more veggie plants. So far I haven’t see any whiteflies, aphids, or squash bugs. This may be due to my June planting.

In past years I’ve started transplanting my seedlings in April. This year it was very windy and I decided to wait for the spring weather to settle down. This was a good decision, because the spring insect pests hatched before there was anything in the garden for them to attack, and I think they must have starved to death or left my garden. Maybe they went to your garden? Sorry.

Because we have a long growing season in Las Vegas it is not important for me to transplant veggies into the garden in the warm days of late winter and early spring. But this has been the practice in Las Vegas and is widely taught. Not just because the farmers practice this, but because the weather has warmed and gardeners are anxious to plant, and for the most part, they can. But I am not convinced that early planting is the best thing to do, or the easiest for the home gardener, given the insect and disease issues that accompany zillions of hungry hatching insects.

So, I am watching my plants to see if I can determine if there are less insect problems this year, with my June transplanting, as opposed to last year with an April and mostly May transplanting. 

Four varieties of test beans in my garden.

Four varieties of test beans in my garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomatoes growing in my new front-yard bed over silver reflective mulch.

Tomatoes growing in my new front-yard bed over silver reflective mulch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watermelons transplanted three weeks ago between the gusty winds. The white powder is horticultural grade diatomaceous earth for cockroach and fire ant control.

Watermelons transplanted three weeks ago between the gusty winds. The white powder is horticultural grade diatomaceous earth for cockroach and fire ant control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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