Author Archive: Brandon Merchant

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Choosing the Compost Method that is Best for You

Choosing the Compost Method that is Best for You

October 28, 2014 |

Gardeners are a meticulous bunch. Many of us enjoy spending our evenings and weekends in the garden, carefully observing the slow and steady changes that occur as it progresses steadily through the seasons. When it comes to our composting on the other hand, unfortunately, more times than not it’s “out of sight-out of mind” as […]

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A Long Plan for the Short Seasons

A Long Plan for the Short Seasons

September 10, 2014 |

Autumn is a wonderful time to be a vegetable gardener in the southwest. It is a time of reflection as we look back joyfully on our successes of the past summer and take note of our failures and how we may improve upon them next year. It is also a time of transition and anticipation […]

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Hot & Humid Monsoon Gardening

Hot & Humid Monsoon Gardening

July 5, 2014 |

During a recent road trip I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit an American landmark that I had wanted to visit for many years – the Mitchell Corn Palace of Mitchell, South Dakota. The exterior of the Corn Palace is adorned with decorative murals that are constructed almost entirely of corn kernels. It […]

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Coping with Summer Pests

Coping with Summer Pests

June 17, 2014 |

There is nothing more reminiscent of summer in Southern Arizona than the sound of cicadas buzzing away in the heated stillness. This pleasant humming provides the soundtrack for summers in our region and for those of us who have lived here our entire lives, their return is often a cause for celebration. For vegetable gardeners, […]

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Plant a Square Foot Garden

Plant a Square Foot Garden

May 10, 2014 |

Those of us who have been gardening in the Southwest for more than a few seasons have probably come to learn that the advice found in most gardening books and magazines just doesn’t work in our climate. One of the first lessons learned comes from following generic planting recommendations printed on seed packets. The planting […]

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Summertime Companion Planting

Summertime Companion Planting

April 10, 2014 |

Spring has officially arrived in Tucson! Warmer than usual temperatures made for an interesting winter growing season. Those that chose to protect last year’s warm season perennials during the few frosty nights we had early in the winter were rewarded with continued harvests into the new year, while many cold-loving crops bolted early due to […]

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It’s Tomato Time Tucson!

It’s Tomato Time Tucson!

February 25, 2014 |

March brings with it warmer weather and a new planting season in the Old Pueblo. Some of our fellow gardeners have taken advantage of the unseasonably warm temperatures in February to get a head start on their spring crops. Others, like myself, all too weary of a late spring frost have resisted this temptation. Regardless […]

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Gardening for the Health Benefits

Gardening for the Health Benefits

February 16, 2014 |

There are many great reasons to start a vegetable garden. Gardening is a rewarding hobby that exercises the mind, body, and the soul. Home grown produce is cheaper and tastier than produce you’ll find at the grocery store and the farmers’ markets. The greatest benefit of all, however, may be the fact the foods we […]

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Frost Protection for Southwest Gardens

Frost Protection for Southwest Gardens

December 5, 2013 |

One of the best reasons to be a gardener in Tucson is the fact that, in Southern Arizona, we can have a garden growing all year long. Unlike other parts of the country where the ground freezes solid in the winter, Tucson winters are mild enough to grow a wide variety of cool season vegetable […]

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