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  • Female
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • United States

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  • Mischa O'Reilly
  • Catherine, The Herb Lady

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Help with Black Spots on my Lady Banks Rose
2 Replies

I am beginning to see black spots on my rose vines....any help would be appreciated.Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Leigh Jun 22, 2012.

What will Javelina NOT eat
1 Reply

Perhaps someone could shed light on these critters who raid my yard a night.  Please tell me what I could plant that Javelina will not eat.  I have moved my herbs to hanging wall baskets.  These…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Catherine, The Herb Lady Sep 25, 2011.


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About Me:
Transplanted here from Virginia. Will certainly need help adjusting to growing in a desert climate. My first focus is an organic herb garden, so much help appreciated.

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At 1:28am on June 30, 2015, Bruno Serra said…

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How is everything with you,I picked interest on you after going through your short profile,I have something very vital to disclose to you,but I found it difficult to express myself here,since it's a public site.Could you please get back to me on( the full details.
Have a nice day.
Bruno Serra.

At 6:33am on September 16, 2011, Catherine, The Herb Lady said…

Hi Leigh,

The black plastic under rock landscaping has been around for a LONG time here and is now being reconsidered for a variety of reasons including the heat island effect.  I would guess your ground "sighed".  As to your question about too much sun.  We are in a climate similar to Provence and Tuscany with about 330+ days of frost free weather.  IF, and here is the important IF, you plant at the right time of the year for the various edibles shading is not usually necessary for most plants.  Summertime gardens benefit from dense planting because the issue is not about the shade for plants as much as it is about "soil" canopy - to minimize evaporation and keep the soil surface cooler.  Can we lose plants in 115? You bet.  But back to appropriate planting, basil here in the valley can get huge - bigger than an "easterner" would ever expect (And I grew up in New Jersey), because it loves the heat.  Dense planting means kind of shoulder-to-shoulder and away from wide rows.  Let me give you a short - hopefully visual - example.  I discovered what I refer to as "flower mulching" for hot weather planting by accident quite few years ago and use this visual image for explanation.  In June that year I wanted basil and knew it was way past the best time to put the plants in.  I got 6 basil small pots and planted them in about a 2 foot wide circle.  I watched as one after the other the outer plants dropped over a couple of weeks, until only the center 2 plants remained, thrived and were lush.  I contemplated what I had just seen and it was then obvious that the exterior plants shaded the "sides" of the center plants and canopied the soil around them, while allowing those center plants to have as much over-head sun as was available.  I now recommend for those planting into the increasing heat (starting in mid-late March) to get a six-pack of flowers when purchasing a preferred plant and using the image of a 12 inch diameter circle, plant the main plant in the center and surround with 3-6 of the flowers.  Some of the flowers may survive and if you choose edible ones you get a 'two-fer'.  Hope that helps understand a little more.  While you begin setting up your bed(s) remember the soil needs superior drainage.  If you amend the soil initially, most herbs do NOT need regular fertilizing.  It can actually produce less than attractive smell or taste.  Province as an example where many of the most loved herbs come from, is very sunny, hilly and rocky.

At 1:38pm on September 14, 2011, Catherine, The Herb Lady said…

Hi Leigh,


You certainly picked a good time to think about an organic herb garden.  Ask me questions, I'm happy to answer.  To begin with you do need to figure out a space in your garden where you will get at least 6+ hours of direct sun all year. The soil must be well draining.  You will need to learn when to plant what varieties for maximum success and it you do that you will be successful.  You can garden pretty much year round here, but there are 2 major planting times.  Cool Weatherl coming up (Oct-feb), then spring (Feb - Apr-depending).  There are many edibles besides herbs which can be planted in those times and at other times.  Herbs fall into the standard categories: perennial, (tender (basil) and hardy (oregano, rosemary etc.) and annuals or biennials like dill or cilantro and parsley most of the annuals and biennials are planted in and for the cool months.  Hope that gets you thinking.

At 2:24pm on September 13, 2011, Mischa O'Reilly said…

Welcome to the Valley Permaculture Alliance, a local 501C3 non-profit education organization that offers classes, training, activities, tours, events and demonstrations on various aspects of sustainable living around the Greater Phoenix Valley. You can read more about the VPA on the ‘About Us’ page, and explore the many groups and resources this Ning “social networking site” has to offer, as well as customize your own Profile Page and connect with new like-minded friends.

We encourage you to browse the discussions, blogs, videos, comments to get a feel for our incredibly resourceful community, and to share your interests as well. There are many volunteer opportunities to assist with classes and events, so please let me know if you are interested in helping out when available.

We offer a variety of classes to our members on a donation basis (usually $10 to $25) that goes toward venue hard-costs, also to our experienced and knowledgeable instructors, as well as to support the non-profit in providing quality education for improving our health, our communities and environment. See what classes you may be interested in attending - and feel free to contact us with any questions.




Valley Permaculture Alliance


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