Growing up in Alaska I was never able to garden or grow any of my own crops, so after moving to Reno I decided to give it a try. My other half and I got scraps of wood to build a raised bed in our backyard, and picked out seeds of crops we always wanted to grow including; tomatoes, basil, squash, corn, carrots, peppers, and pumpkins!
After planting our crops, it took longer than expected to start showing growth. It took about two months to start to show that our crops were alive and well. Living in a dry hot climate gardens need lots of love, water, and nutrients. I currently am watering my garden three times a day; once in the morning, once at lunch time, and once in the evening. The more water, the happier the plants!
We never thought that our tomatoes would take off as much as they have. They have taken over our entire raised bed. Next summer they will have to have their own raised bed. We have cherry tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes growing. One bite of our tomatoes and your mouth is filled with the best tomato flavor I have ever experienced.
I have always wanted to grow my own pumpkins! Growing pumpkins takes lots of time and love to help them grow big and strong. I am growing pumpkin pie pumpkins so that in the fall I can make one of my famous pumpkin pies with a pumpkin that I comes right out of my very own garden. They need lots of water, and as the pumpkins grow, they need to be off the dirt so that they don’t rot. I suggest using chicken wire and molding it into a bed that will help keep the pumpkins off of the dirt and help them grow big and tasty.
Another crop we decided to give a whirl was corn. Our corn has not grown as tall as we thought, but they are still juicy and delicious. To tell if corn is ready to harvest you cut a kerrnal open and a ripe cob will produce a milky liquid. I suggest wrapping up your corn in foil with butter and grilling them to perfection.
Besides crops, we also planted sunflowers. We only have two that have done well, but they are now 11 feet tall! Taller than our house, and looking ever so gorgeous! They are getting ready to bloom any day now. I love watching how they follow the sun and how the middle of the flower has amazing geometric shapes!