Vegetable Growing Calendar
Written by craig braddick

Vegetable Planting Calendar

It is not often we link to an article on an outside website but when we saw the Arizona Cooperative Extension and The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Vegetable Planting Calendar for Maricopa County – we wanted you to see it. Authored by Kai Imeda and Kelly Murray Young, its tables will give you all the info you need to know on planting vegetables and when to harvest them so you can enjoy eating them when they are at their most tasty and nutritious. Click below to read this must have guide!

AP Nursery Sells All Your Gardening Needs

AP Nursery is excited to help you transform your outdoors with all your gardening needs in Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Tempe, and the rest of the East Phoenix Valley. Contact us, today!

Growing Desert Marigolds
Written by craig braddick

Growing Desert Marigolds

Baileya multiradiata is a North American species of sun-loving wildflowers native to the deserts of northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States including our own state of Arizona. Although called a desert marigold, it is only a remote relative of the true marigolds of the genus TagetesBaileya multiradiata is a short-lived perennial to annual that forms a clumping patch of silvery-green foliage which bears many tall, naked stems, each topped with a bright yellow daisy-like flower head. Read on to learn more.

Growing Desert Marigolds

It is not always simple to choose the right plant for a dry, hot and windy landscape. Sometimes, additional effort from the gardener despite their best efforts can’t make plants grow in this situation. If your landscape has such conditions, try growing tough and pretty desert marigold plants. Desert marigold are showy, solitary flowers that thrive in these difficult conditions. Get started growing the desert marigold flower by planting seeds in a sunny area. Desert marigold plants are not picky about soil types, but they do need good drainage. Furry, silvery foliage will soon appear, followed by blooms of the desert marigold flower. While it is not necessary to water regularly, an occasional drink makes flowers grow quickly and results in a bigger bloom. Caring for desert marigold is this easy. Use desert marigold plants as part of a wildflower garden in hot, dry areas. Once planted, the desert marigold flower drops seeds for multiple plants to grow from later on. If reseeding is not desirable for your landscape, remove spent blooms before the seeds drop. This deadheading also encourages more flowers to bloom. Now that you’ve learned how to grow desert marigolds, get some planted in the desert landscape where other plants are hard to grow. Information about desert marigolds say they’re native to Mexico and grow well in most western areas of the United States. Plants may be damaged when temperatures reach below freezing, so protection in these situations may be necessary.

Photo: Chris Curtis, 2006. Other source:  https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/desert-marigold/growing-desert-marigolds.htm

AP Nursery Sells All Your Gardening Needs

AP Nursery is excited to help you transform your outdoors with all your gardening needs in Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Tempe, and the rest of the East Phoenix Valley. Contact us, today!

Therapeutic Gardening In Trying Times
Written by craig braddick

Therapeutic Gardening In Trying Times

With many people self-isolating at the moment because of COVID-19 – your attention may be turning to making the most out of your garden. Here are some top tips to help you relax and make your garden look beautiful at the same time!

  • Order summer-flowering bulbs and seeds now.
  • Have a general tidy up, removing leaves and other debris from flower beds and borders. You can cut back the old dead growth of deciduous grasses and herbaceous perennials now, although, if you’d like to be wildlife friendly, it’s best to leave these until early spring. Clear borders and beds back to bare soil. Put the dead organic matter you’ve cleared away into your compost pile or bin to break down. If your soil is workable, dig a 5cm layer of organic matter – such as well-rotted manure, compost or recycled green waste – into empty garden borders.
  • Now’s the perfect time to give your greenhouse a good clean, ready for the seedlings and cuttings of spring. Wash the outside of your greenhouse with disinfectant or detergent, to remove algae, moss and general grime. This will let in more light during the growing months, while removing potential homes for pests and disease. Make sure you disinfect the inside of the glass too – overwintering pests and disease can survive in the smallest nooks and crannies. Sweep out any plant debris on the floor and benches, and wash with a hot solution of garden disinfectant such as Jeyes Fluid. While you’re there, wash pots and seed trays to help prevent diseases like ‘damping off’ from infecting your young plants. Ventilate your greenhouse well over the next couple of days so it dries thoroughly. Once your greenhouse is clean and shiny, take time to inspect the structure for any damage to glass or vents and replace any broken parts.
  • Hunt down and remove hibernating pests now – it will save you a lot of trouble come spring and summer. Take a closer look at the crowns of your perennial plants and check for any slugs, snails and aphid colonies sheltering for the winter. If you still haven’t cleared last year’s pots of summer bedding then do so now, checking for white-vine-weevil larvae, which live in the compost and feed on plant roots. Destroy any larvae that you find and be prepared to treat for vine weevils this year, using parasitic nematodes or chemical drenches.
  • Check fence panels, gates and trellis for any sign of weather damage or decay. Fixing any broken structures now will give you more time to spend in the garden during the spring and summer. Replace any broken segments or structures. Next, clean fence panels and gates with a power washer to remove dirt, moss and mildew. Use a stiff brush to help remove stubborn grime. Let the wood dry completely before applying two coats of stain, paint or wood preservative on a dry day.
  • Give your tools a clean and a sharpen during the winter months. Maintaining your garden tools will help preserve them, saving you money in the long run and helping prevent the spread of disease. Dirty secateurs are notorious for introducing bacteria and fungi to fresh pruning wounds. Use strong detergent, hot water and a scourer to give bladed tools a thorough clean. Sharpening your tools will also improve their performance; they’ll be easier to work with and will give cleaner pruning cuts. Once sharpened, apply some oil or WD40 to blades and hinges.
  • If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to set up a compost area in your garden. This could be as simple as buying a ready-made compost bin or you could build your own using spare wood. A compost area provides somewhere to put all your organic waste. Once it has broken down, you’ll get a lovely, rich compost your plants will thrive on. Make sure you have a good mixture of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper and woody prunings. And to help the process along you’ll need to turn your compost with a garden fork each month to keep it aerated.
Source: https://www.thompson-morgan.com/top-10-spring-garden-tips

AP Nursery Sells All Your Gardening Needs

AP Nursery is excited to help you transform your outdoors with all your gardening needs in Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Tempe, and the rest of the East Phoenix Valley. Contact us, today!

Full Sun Succulents and Cactus
Written by A&P Nursery

Full Sun Succulents & Cactus

If you live in a hot and sunny region of the world, like Arizona, your plants need to choose the right plants.  Full sun succulents and cactus are drought tolerant plants that can handle more hours of sunlight per day, higher heat, and tolerate drought conditions.

Top 7 Full Sun Succulents & Cactus

Selecting the best succulents and cactus for your sunny and hot region will make your landscape easier to care for, use less water, and simply be more enjoyable. There are PUT A NUMBER favorite full sun succulents and cactus that thrive in sunny hot landscapes.

Agave Americana

The Agave Americana features big yellow flowers when it blooms, grows about 4 feet in width, and can grow up to about 8 feet tall.  They live between 10 and 30 years.
Moroccan Mound

Moroccan Mound

Moroccan mound gives your landscape a completely unique textured plant. With numerous stems this plant will grow to about 5 feet wide and grows well in full sun light.
Ocotillo

Ocotillo

Ocotillo is a visually stunning addition to any landscape with its tall cane-like stems.  When it rains enough leaves will appear and it blooms red flowers during late spring.
Candellia

Candelilla

Candelilla is a favorite full sun succulent as it grows numerous small pink flowers and has many straight stems that are waxy.  Landscapers love this as a filler plant for full sun.
Barrell Cactus

Barrell Cactus

With multiple variations such as the golden barrel cactus this is a great cactus for full sun conditions.  They grow brightly colored flowers throughout the year and stay small.
Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly pear varieties are so good in full sun conditions and heat that they are nearly synonymous with all drought tolerant landscaping designs. They flower in March – June.
Hedgehog Cactus

Hedgehog Cactus

Hedgehog cactus is immensely popular as it grows well in full sun and doesn’t usually grow more than about a foot tall.  It does spread out to grow about 3 feet in width.

Full Sun Succulents & Cactus For Sale

If you’re living in or near Mesa, Queen Creek, or Gilbert; A&P Nursery has the plants you’re looking for.  We grow our succulents right here in the valley, so you know they’re already used to the full sun and heat.

We carry a wide range of succulents and cacti to fit any landscape need.  From commercial landscapes to the front yard of your home we can help you select and plant the right succulents and cactus for full sun and Arizona’s heat.  Browse some of the full sun succulents and cactus we carry and stop by to select your plants.

How To Grow Cilantro In Arizona
Written by A&P Nursery

How To Grow Cilantro In Arizona

To grow Cilantro in Arizona you’ll need to plant the seeds in September and continue to plant seeds once or twice per month until April.


Fresh cilantro or coriander is best fresh, and you can’t get fresher than your own herb garden.

It’s easy to plant, grow, and harvest cilantro anywhere in Arizona.

We will show you how to start and grow you own cilantro in your herb garden in this post.


How To Grow Cilantro Indoors

In colder climates in Arizona growing your cilantro indoors is a necessity.  Growing indoors is also good for having the herb at arms reach while you prepare your favorite meals.

1.      Buy Cilantro Seeds

The first step in growing your own cilantro is to get seeds to plant.  You can stop by our plant nursery and purchase cilantro seeds or starter cilantro plants.

2.      Soak The Seeds

Seeds naturally grow given the right conditions, but we can help them along.  Your cilantro will germinate more quickly if you gently crush the seed husks and then soak them for about 48 hours.

3.      Select A Growing Spot

You’ll need to set your cilantro near a window where it gets sunlight for only a portion of the day.  You can choose to move it manually, but it’s best if this happens naturally as it will require less work.  Cilantro needs to have shade and protection from full sun for most of the day.

4.      Plant Cilantro Seeds

Lay out your grid in the pot so that there is about 3.5 inches between your plants.  The seeds need to be planted about a quarter inch deep in the soil.  Avoid packing the soil down after planting as they’ll germinate better in loose soil.

5.      Water Regularly

Cilantro grows best when it’s grown in soil which is kept moist.  You shouldn’t over water but ensure that it’s moist before you leave for work in the morning.  If it’s especially hot you may check it when you return in the evening.  Mulch can be added if the soil is drying out too quickly during the day.

6.      Harvest Weekly

Cilantro is used in a wide variety of dishes.  From Indian and Mexican to Chinese and Vietnamese it’s a staple ingredient in some of the world’s most savory dishes.  Take advantage of your cilantro plant by harvesting and using it weekly.  This is an annual plant, so don’t expect to live forever.  To harvest cut off the top third of the plant.  The leaves are the best part for cooking and carry all of the flavor.

How To Grow Cilantro Outdoors

Growing cilantro in your outdoor garden isn’t as hard as people make it out to be.  You may have started the plant in a pot indoors, but if it’s grown too large you’ll likely need to transplant it.  To grow cilantro outdoors you’ll follow steps 1 and 2 from growing indoors.

1.      Selecting A Spot Outdoors

Much like growing indoors you’ll need to have a spot that gets morning sun, but is shielded from full afternoon sun.  Cilantro grows better when it’s cooler and without Arizona’s full intense sunlight.

2.      Grow Between October & April

Cilantro grows best when temperatures stay at or below about 75°F. For this reason you should anticipate the best time to grow cilantro outdoors is the wintertime in the Phoenix valley.  Cool and sunny is cilantro’s favorite weather.

3.      Prune & Harvest Often

When cilantro is allowed to grow too much without being used it “bolts”.  Bolting means that it is growing seeds.  You can avoid this happening too quickly by pruning and using your cilantro.  With that said all of the plants will eventually go to seed so you’ll need to be planting new cilantro seeds about every month or month and a half.

4.      Seeding For Next Year

At the end of the growing season, which is usually about April in Arizona, you should let your cilantro go to seed.  The seeds can be left to drop and grow the next year, or you can harvest them for culinary purposes.

Cilantro Seeds & Herb Gardening Supplies

If you want the very best cilantro seeds, plants, and gardening supplies; A&P Nursery can help!  We sell easy gardening starter kits, seeds, plants, soil, fertilizer, gardening tools, and much more!  Stop by one of our four locations in Mesa, Queen Creek, or Gilbert Arizona.

Gardening How To Start
Written by A&P Nursery

Gardening: How To Start

The first step to start gardening is to choose the type of garden you want: flowers, herbs, or vegetables. Then choose a location in your yard.

How To Start Gardening

Landscapes are pretty plain without some color and growing your own herbs and veggies provides the freshest produce for your family.

It takes a little work, but it is possible to start gardening and enjoy seeing new flowers or having fresh herbs and vegetables.

In this post we will show you how to start gardening using simple steps.

Step 1. Decide The Type Of Gardening

The way you step up your garden, the size, and the location all are affected by the type of things you want to grow.  Some plants to better in full sun while others enjoy some shade.  Even if you decide you’re going to grow flowers you’ll need to decide if you want perennials or annuals.  If you want to grow an herb garden you’ll need to follow the sun needs for the types you want to grow.  Vegetables have similar needs to some flowers, so you might be able to choose one location and have some of both in your garden.

Step 2. Choose The Location For Your Garden

Most flower varieties and all vegetables grow better with full sun for about 6 hours a day.  Take a day and watch how the sun fills your landscape to decide the best location for your new garden.  Some yards won’t have a full 6 hours of sun per day.  Thankfully many plants can survive and grow well even without the recommended sun light.  Pay attention to plant tags as you shop for options and ensure you don’t plant something that requires more sun than you can consistently provide.

It’s best to choose a location that isn’t out of sight, as then it might be out of mind.  Put it near the entrance to your home or by a window you like the view from.  It’s also a good idea to choose a location that is easy to get water too with your hose.

Step 3. Clear A Spot For The Garden

If you’ve got lawn where you want your new garden you’ll have to remove it.  An easy way to do it is to block the sunlight going to the lawn and let it die.  This can be done with a tarp, newspapers, or cardboard.  If you’re in a hurry you can manually dig your lawn out with shovels.  This will leave the ground a bit uneven and you should level it out before trying to do anything else.

Step 4. Enrich Soil

For things to grow well the soil needs to be rich with minerals and nutrients. You can add compost made of old manure, grass clippings, and old leaves.  Make sure you work the organic matter into the soil, especially if you dug your sod out as the ground is likely compacted.  Only till your soil when the moisture level is right.  If the soil is too dry or wet it can ruin it.  Its best to till your soil when you can form a ball but it doesn’t stick together if you drop it.  Tilling the soil and adding organic matter is a good step to do at the beginning of each gardening year.

Step 5. Choose Gardening Plants

Choose plants for your garden that either fit a need or are visually stunning to you.  Make sure you’re choosing plants that will work well for your sunlight, soil, and climate.  Choose veggies you love such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, or lettuce.  Other gardeners want to wow visitors with color and will plant annual flowers such as marigolds, snap dragons, geraniums.

Step 6. Plant Your Plants

Most plants should be planted after there is no risk of frost.  In warmer areas of the world this can be done earlier or during the fall as freezing temperatures are unheard of or unlikely.  For perennial flowers the fall or spring is a good time to plant them.

The way you plant each type of plant or seed will depend on the species.  Read your seed packets or young plant guide to know how deep and close together you should plant them.

Step 7. Make It Rain

It’s critical to provide enough water for newly planted veggies and flowers.  As they get larger you wont need to water daily.  Once the roots have established you’ll have to judge how often to water based on how often it rains, the humidity, and the type of soil you have.  If you see any of your plants wilting during the hottest part of the day; it’s a clear sign they need water. Water when it’s cool in the morning and allow the water to run slowly and soak in.

Step 8. Lay Down Some Mulch

Mulch is a great way to keep water in your soil and weeds out of your garden.  It’s best to use a decomposing mulch for vegetable gardens and annual flowers.  Whereas perennials benefit from mulch that lasts longer.

Step 9. Put In The Work

Gardening is rewarding yet it does take a commitment.  Make sure you stay on top of your watering and weeding.  Don’t let things get too dry or weeds so bad you don’t want to pull them.  You can support more aggressive growth by using liquid fertilizer once a month and a dry fertilizer about half way through the growing season.

East Phoenix Gardening Centers

If you want to start your garden and live in the East Valley of Phoenix; A&P Nursery is here to help!  We offer easy gardening kits, vegetable and flower seeds, transplant plants, fertilizer and much more.  Visit one of our 4 locations in Mesa, Queen Creek, or Gilbert, Arizona.

What To Plant In December & Gardening Tips
Written by A&P Nursery

What To Plant In December & Gardening Tips

Is it cold weather yet? The very first half of December is considered to be mild, but the cold weather may hit hard during the second part of the month. Any type of frost sensitive plants that are in containers need to be brought in to be covered. You want to make sure that you apply frost protection to any plants that are sensitive to the cold, if there is a freeze warning. You can use fabrics like N-Sulate, old sheets, or burlap. You should never use plastic as it will cause the plants to burn where they are in contact with it.

WATERING | WHAT TO PLANT | PRUNING | FERTILIZATION | PROBLEMS

Aloe plants will also continue to bloom during December. So look for blooming:

  • Jojoba
  • Mount Lemmon Marigolds
  • Cascalote
  • Paperflowers
  • Shrubby Bulbine
  • Desert Marigold
  • Chuparosa
  • Firecracker Penstemon

Ice plants will be growing actively as well as plants like Dudleya, succulent geraniums, echerveria, cotyledon, and Kalanchoe.

If you have to place decorations for the holidays on your trees and plants, please be sure to wrap them around your plants and trees loosely and be sure to remove the decorations once the season is over. Don’t place any costumes on Saguaro cacti or other types of columnar cacti, as this stops the cacti from being able to photosynthesize. But, placing lights on any frost sensitive succulents and cacti can help to add a few degrees of protection during the cold months.

The yuccas of the Chihuahuan Desert like the Beaked Yucca and Faxon Yucca may easily rot whenever it is cold and wet. Be sure to plant them in well-draining soil and if they happen to be on a drip system, then ensure that it is turned off. The Mohave Desert Yuccas will be actively growing during this time period, like the Mohave Yucca and the Joshua Tree.

If rain during winter has happened, then you may have weeds. Continue to weed your plants, so that the spring won’t have you trying to catch up. Some weeds that you can find in your garden during winter are:

  • Sowthistle
  • Hoary Bowlesia
  • Red Brome
  • London rocket
  • Bur clover
  • Arabian and/or Mediterranean grass
  • Prickly lettuce
  • Many mustards
  • Filaree
  • Cheesewood

Watering

Any winter dormant container plants need to be watered once a month or less. Winter growers that are in containers will need to be watered once per week depending on the weather. Irrigation timers need to be off. Giver your landscape plants deep watering at least once a month. Vines, groundcovers, Annuals and herbaceous perennials need to be watered to a depth of 1 foot. Water shrubs need to be up to 2 feet and trees need to be up to 3 feet. Wildflower seedlings will need to be watered once every 2 weeks or at least once a month if there has been no rainfall. Water vegetable and herb plants as needed to no more than 12 inches.

What to plant

Continue to plant succulent winter plants like ice plants such as Dudleya and Kalanchoe.

Native plants to transplant:

  • Desert marigold
  • Fragrant evening primrose
  • Blackfoot daisy
  • Brittlebush
  • Penstemons
  • Globemallow

Herbs to transplant:

  • Johnny jump-ups
  • French Sorrel
  • Pennyroyal
  • Feverfew
  • Roman and German chamomile
  • Calendula
  • Salad burnet
  • Borage

Herb Seeds to Sow:

  • Parsley
  • Hollyhocks
  • Florence Fennel
  • Fennel
  • Dill
  • Chicory
  • Chervil
  • Caraway
  • Borage
  • Cilantro

Vegetables to transplant:

  • Kohlrabi
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Leaf and head lettuce
  • Asparagus

Vegetables seeds to sow:

  • Turnips
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Peas
  • Green onions
  • Mustard greens
  • Collards
  • Carrots
  • Bok choy
  • Beets

Pruning

Continuing to prune deciduous trees like the Chaste Tree, Cat-Claw Acacia, and Desert Willow. Don’t prune Palo Verdes or Mesquites. Resist your urge to prune the damage to any plants because of the frost and be sure not to prune cold sensitive plants. Just wait until spring. Many agaves will be semi-dormant during this time and the dead, old leaves may be removed by gently pulling them from the base. Resist the urge to pull off the dead leaves that are firmly attached, as this may damage the base of your agave plant.

Fertilization

Landscape and container plants won’t have to be fertilized until it is springtime. You may keep fertilizing winter vegetables if it is needed.

Problems

Aphids can be found on your winter herbs and vegetables. Before you spray for aphids or remove them with insecticidal soap and water, you need to make sure that there is not any type of beneficial insects that are working for your plant.

Phoenix Valley Nursery & Gardening Stores

If you’re looking for the best locally grown herbs, cactus, bedding plants, and trees; we have everything you’re looking for.  With 4 locations around the East Valley of Phoenix we can help you start any gardening project or take your garden to the next level.   Click here for the addresses and phone numbers of our locations in Mesa, Chandler, and Queen Creek.