Okay, my garden is a mess and not a little mess either. This month has had moments of cold(Arizona cold that is) and at the beginning of the month everything was wet from the rain we got for Christmas. In Arizona it’s always a nice change when we get rain, but we are so spoiled here that after two or three days of what we think is cold, we start complaining.
I still have broken things in my garden to clean up. I don’t even know how this got broken. My mother-in-law pointed it out to me one day when she was in my back garden area. I just scooted it together and said I will get to it later. That was on Christmas day. Since then I have been too busy trying to finish our Master bedroom remake we started before December.Between that and Christmas we just haven’t been out in the garden much. Plus, off and on we have been having rainy days so it’s a bit grey out there.
So what does a garden in Phoenix Arizona look like during January, well, not so great. At least our garden doesn’t because we have to do everything ourselves.If you come here on vacation during January and stay at one of our city resorts then you will see beautiful gardens every morning. We don’t live in a resort though, although my husband would disagree because when he steps outside he always smiles and says “We live in a resort, how did this happen” and I always laugh because he really doesn’t see the negative things in our yard, only all that life. Let me tell you something about having chickens, those little critters are messy creatures. To be honest I don’t see the mess as much as others either until someone points it out. Just wanted to share with you all that we are human here too and things all around us are not Instagram ready. I, like everyone else, does not live in a magazine.
Here’s how it works in January with our garden. With the cold weather in the evenings, we have to bring everything in. Then when the sun is up, we take everything out for some sun therapy. And once the sun starts going down , we bring them back in. We could leave everything outside covered in sheets but we do a combination of both. Not all of our plants need to be covered when it gets cold but some do. At the moment we are not having any freezing nights but we do get them.
Our Arizona room is a tad bit crowded when this happens. Plus, it is getting filled with items my husband finds at an auction he discovered here in the city. He was having so much fun that he had to take a break for awhile, not that we are getting too crowded, yet that is, but it was going to happen if he didn’t take a break. See that copper sink in the photo below, well my husband bought it at the auction for $26. He said it’s for the adobe he wants to build someday. Copper sinks are not cheap, even here in Arizona where we have access to lots of copper.
Our baby chicks got huge and fast.
My husband won this little chicken house at the auction for $10, which seems to be his price limit. I think he is just as surprised as me when he actually gets the item for the highest he will bid.
It was brand new in the box. They said there was a piece missing but it turned out to have an extra piece instead. This is an Amazon (returned item) auction that my husband is getting these screaming deals from. Normally these cute little chicken houses run around $170-$200. It is so funny to me when he comes home from the auction with a box of who knows what and then he puts it together to show me the treasures he has found. Now the little chicks are inside there until we transfer them to the larger coop.
The other chickens are doing okay. They have a much bigger coop and they also go out during the day to roam around.
My son and husband have started hydroponics to grow their tomatoes. Tomatoes are the hardest things to grow here and that is why they decided to try growing them inside this way.
We got one little lemon on one of our trees. We are still waiting for our other fruit trees. We need to figure out where we are going to plant them. That will be a challenge. I will let you all know how that turns out in our update for February. Some crazy rules we have to follow when it comes to seeds, we can’t sell seeds unless we can prove they are not copyrighted…someone, anyone, please explain how you prove where a seed came from, seriously?, this is getting out of control. A little sarcasm here but I guess a good way to tell if a seed has a copyright is to see if you get a second generation from their seeds and if and when it doesn’t grow…well there you have it, a seed that produces a plant that no longer produces again, that just tells me that there are some mad scientists out there creating some pretty freaky things so it must be one of those copyrighted seeds. Anyway, paranoia or not, just start collecting local seeds from your area that produce. Share those seeds and plants with your neighbors and friends. Encourage others to add more life to this planet.Even if you live in a big city, buy a pot and grow something.
We lost some plants, but that is January after all. It is rough in a desert climate.
The lettuce and tomato plants are starting to come up in the tubes my son made and planted.
One day out in the garden with pallets we picked up around the city, my son finished up this years heart gifts. Pretty wooden crosses that his dad help him make when he was on Winter break from college. A week late on the handmade gifts but we still got them. All our hand made gifts were a week late this year, except my yearly ornaments.
I still haven’t fixed the bird feeder, and you can also add the birdhouse to our list of unfinished items. In the Winter it is not only cold out there early in the mornings but the pollution here in the city has been up and down, going from being bad to REALLY bad. Anyone with breathing problems like asthma, needs to stay indoors during pollution advisory days.
I made some rosemary/mint foot soak this month from some rosemary and mint we always have growing in our garden, then I added some dried Jasmine from the garden to some pour and melt goats milk soap. Some of the soap I gave out for Christmas. These are some fun DIY’s I will hopefully post sometime in the future. My husband and son make Olive oil soap but that uses lye and it takes awhile to cure once made. I have watched them do it but I haven’t done any that way myself yet, we all need to make some later and experiment with different recipes as well. I think that would be so fun, but first I have to get that bedroom finished. We are even inviting our neighbors over to make soap with us because they want to learn that process. You know that old saying about teaching a man to fish, well, looks like we all will be fishing together. Everyone has some skill to pass on and teach one another with. The neighbor we will be making soap with makes some of the best tamales I have ever eaten, they are so yummy. Maybe we will make soap and tamales.
We also got an apple press from the auction. My husband paid $10 for it. So once again we have something new to add to our home. It did have a small part missing but my husband was able to get that piece from the manufacture.
Then our dollar store in our neighborhood was having a deal on apples the same week my husband got this. Only $1 for a 10 lb. bag of apples. We bought 8 bags since there was no limit. No one else was buying them in the store. The store employees kept announcing this special deal over the intercom but no one was buying them, so sad, apples are yummy. This newest auction item cost $1200.00 brand new unless that ad was some fake ad sort of thing, man I am getting paranoid with all the lies out there. At least this is what we saw it normally listed for. Up north at Our Little Red House there are so many apple trees that there are even some that are out in the wild.
Our goals for the garden for the upcoming month are-
Update and organize the chicken coop
Seal and repaint large wooden pots.
Prepare for our Spring garden some more, we have started on some things.
De-clutter in the garden
Repaint the wooden bench and seal.
Finish that birdhouse.
Glue the feeder back together.
Throw away that broken pot…maybe I should do that now.
So that’s it for our garden updates. Happy gardening everyone.