Sunday, February 10, 2013

The wisdom and pitfall of Pinterest

Let me start this by saying, I love Pinterest. I mentioned in a recent post that we got our seedling-pots-out-of-toilet-paper-rolls idea from there. It really is great for things like that.

In fact there are TONS of great tips on Pinterest. Including keeping lots of calcium in the soil for your tomatoes to keep them from splitting and spraying buds with Epsom salt in order to make peppers and tomatoes more abundant. These are all great tips! This year I am trying out a Pinterest tip that I can't vouch for just yet, pinching the suckers off my toms and strawberries for more fruit. I'll let you know how that comes out in a few months!

But there are some things on Pinterest that seemed to be planted there by evil elves just to screw with desert gardeners. If you live in Arizona, you need to remember you are not just a gardener or a back yard farmer, you are a DESERT gardener. That is significantly more hardcore than your Midwestern and Southern counter parts.

This is one of those posts:

I've seen it a bunch of times now. The problem with this post is twofold.

Number one, there is almost nothing save for corn and sunflowers that can tolerate full sun in the desert. And even those two things would probably like a little mid day shade. Honestly, you cannot grow things in full sun here, much less carrots and lettuce.

Number two: while I think I've said before I can't make carrots grow in the summer here, others have, so I guess that's only half a problem. But the lettuce in the picture with the "partial sun" implies you could do this in the summer time. You can't plant lettuce in the summer. Unless its inside. Lettuce "bolts" which means it grows really tall and bitter really fast. Like overnight fast. That's nothing to do with how much sun it gets, it's the heat. Anything over 85-90 is too hot for lettuce out here. So for my purposes I will make the blanket statement, salad is for winter! If you could conceivably make this veggie spicy or picture yourself eating it in the summer, then it's a summer food (toms, peppers = salsa! Spicy! Summer food! Corn with hot peppers, delicious = summer food! Watermelon, good in summer) and allll of it needs shade.

This leads me to my next Pinterest lie:

It's probably a little hard to read, especially on the mobile app but its saying when to plant what. Including crazy things like broccoli getting planted may 1. No. That's a winter plant. Peppers, transplant June 1. Only if you don't want to ever eat any peppers cause the whole plant fried in the sun before you had a chance. Tomatoes, may 20, that might work for your second round of toms, but you should start them much earlier if you want to eat anything before August. Anything planted in may has to not only use its energy to create fruit but also to fight off the heat! If you could read the source on there you'd see the problem: University of Minnesota. I am reasonably sure that there is zero overlap in our seasons. When we think its summer they are buying their second winter coat.

So there you go, know your source! If you are reading garden advice not specifically tailored to a desert climate, you are probably reading a source that will ultimately lead to your disappointment! Good Luck new garden friends!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:The farm

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