I am trying again with corn this year, and so far, it's coming along well. (I've figured out that last year's corn problem was lack of proper pollination. There are lots of videos out there on how to painstakingly pollinate corn when the time comes, but the azplantlady suggests simply giving the stalk a good shake to help with pollination. That, I can handle.)
I've decided to try a "three sisters" technique, where I interplant the corn with beans and squash. (Well, actually, beans and pumpkins, but same idea.) Here's a pic of the corn and beans getting started. The pumpkins are too small for a good picture yet.
I have very fond memories of my mom growing corn and pumpkins when I was a kid, so I definitely want to make it work for my little munchkin if I can. If I remember correctly (which is not a guarantee at all), I think my sister and I would play in my mom's corn patch in the back yard. It probably made her crazy that we were stomping all over her garden. I definitely remember the excitement of pumpkins--searching for them like prizes on the vine and watching them turn orange. I don't know why pumpkins in particular were so darn exciting as a kid, but they were.
Next up, we have okra. Loyal readers know that I am pretty much obsessed with okra. Mostly, I'm obsessed because the only store I've found it in around here that sells okra is half an hour away. Which means, if I want to eat it, I pretty much have to grow it. Plus, it's one of those rare plants that actually like Arizona summers. Here's a little okra seedling nestled up to a little sunflower seedling:
I don't have as much okra as I planned yet. So far, I only have about half a dozen seedlings. I'm not sure why more seedlings aren't popping up, but I've ordered another pack of seeds from Native Seeds and plan to see if they are more successful.
I'm not 100% sure where I'll put them though, since I have some volunteers in the place where I planned okra. I'm pretty sure they are volunteer honeydews, but time will tell. Here's my favorite garden model (and my most loyal reader's granddaughter), showing off the volunteer plants (i.e., the ones with the yellow flowers):
The munchkin got me some beautiful flowers, which I'm also planting. Yesterday, I planted a pentsimmon. I put it in a corner where it will get afternoon shade. I'm hoping that will help it with the Arizona heat.
The kiddo also got me a vinca, which is supposed to do really well in Arizona, and a purple flowering bush. (I can't remember the name of the bush right now. Maybe I'm just not getting too attached, since I'm skeptical it will survive the summer.)