This year's crop (so far) has included last year's cherry tomatoes, the various herbs, and leaf lettuce on top of hoping that the Bird's Eye chilies and jalapeños pull through the winter. We're going to try some Big Boy Tomatoes, Serrano Chilies, and Poblano Chilies to go better with dishes that we've deemed appetizing enough to try. Thanks, public television.
I realized that although I've started up many of the herbs and lettuce again in individual pots indoors (hooray for utilizing my original gardening corner!), there has not been nearly enough sunlight for them to flourish properly. Sigh, I am never going to get this quite right.
Also learned that I can actually safely start up the cherry tomatoes again. You know, instead of in June. >_<
This is theoretically a good time to start my leaf lettuce and jalapeños indoors to get them sturdy enough to put outdoors but the lettuce started to take off and then stopped while I'm crossing my fingers about the latter.
It was a little bit of a battle to try to figure which growth zone our city was in. The USDA scale primarily seems to focus on average minimum temperatures of a region and rates a plant's hardiness or ability to withstand those temperatures. That would make us a Zone 9 (10 with subsections). On another hand, the local university had a different scale that took into account our states varying altitudes and what that does to our temperatures and sunlight (as well as our increased alkaline soils) and rates our particular city as a Mid-Altitude Desert area between 2,000-4,000 ft in elevation and therefore a Zone 4 (out of 5). I tended to believe them more, lol. Apparently, there's also a great resource called Sunset Magazine but I'm under the impression that they also have regional guide books as well, that rated us as a Zone 12 but I have no other idea of what that entails. :P
Regardless, this new information combined with the tiny and somewhat vague seed packet maps helped me figure out nice times to start my plants indoors. Now if I could only make it more sunny. Did I really just wish for more sun in a place that has sun 360 days of the year? Oye, I am so going to pay for that one. I think if we keeping living in the desert, I would love to build a little greenhouse one day. Or, you know, have a plant-growing lamp. FMIL and I went to one of the local hydroponic stores over the summer and the equipment is out of my price range right now for it being one of many of my hobbies. That would be so cool to try though. Technology and gadgets and nature and being nearly fool-proof... XD Sounds perfect for me.
Eh, I just went and thinned out the sprouts that I have. The more I think about it, the more I'm getting excited again about this new gardening venture. I guess a lot of my enthusiasm had waned with the winter weather coming in. Why on earth would I find it easier to go out in +100 degree weather to dig a trench than to walk out wrapped in a fluffy robe nursing a mug of hot chocolate to water the plants? Just all sorts of backwards. Sleeping when you're all toasty is lovely though.
Now I'm pining to be back in bed. Genius work, lol. Gotta go do something productive.