Welcome to our first garden on the Virtual Garden Tour. My hope is that you will be inspired to learn how and what you can actually grow in the desert. Using mulching techniques and the correct planting calendar you can harvest food throughout the year. This garden is a beautiful example of that. Let me introduce you to the Gaccione Garden.
My name is Deana Gaccione. My husband Tom and I share this garden and its bounty with our three wonderful daughters, Jenae, Janna and Jaelin. My story goes back 24 years. That’s when we bought this property in Queen Creek. I have always been passionate about health and nutrition and dreamed of growing all our own food. However, life kept interfering and it wasn’t until six years ago that I actually got started. I had planned a long time and had done tons of research. I chose particular methods, varieties, etc., and now enjoy harvests from my gardens and orchard all year long. It has been very rewarding to experience “the fruit of my labor”. I give all the glory to God who has blessed me beyond my expectations.
My goal is to inspire others and help them to be successful too.
This was our garden in 2010
We started with raised beds filled with compost.
My husband built these to keep out the critters. They’re wired beneath to protect from ground squirrels.
In 2011 we planted our orchard
With over 60 fruit, olive and nut trees, we enjoy harvests all year.
Florida Prince Peaches and Santa Rosa Plums do very well here in Arizona.
Dorsett Golden apples also grow well in our hot climate.
Parfinka pomegranate on left. Organza bags protecting poms from insects.
Variegated Pink Lemonade Lemon.
Honey Tangerine with Prickly Pear behind.
Here is our Garden as it is today
At the center of the garden, just through the trellis, is our seating area. We spend a great deal of time here enjoying a view of the entire garden. Our cat, Simba likes it too.
The trellis and everything this side of it was developed this spring except the pomegranates on the left.
Loofahs are growing on the arch trellis. They were planted in April and really love the heat. The young fruit are edible and tastes similar to zucchini. If left on the vine, they develop into large loofah sponges. They have big yellow flowers that attract bumblebees.
We added this plot in February of this year. The ground was tilled and then composted manure, wood chips and our own compost was added several months prior to planting. More wood chips were added once plants were established.
Every garden needs a rabbit!
Mint for my morning green drinks and artichokes in the background. Beautiful clouds that day.
I always leave some artichokes to flower. They’re beautiful and the bees love them.
Roses just make me happy.
My Monthly Planting Schedule
A lot depends on the weather. I plant as early as possible and if weather permits, I’ll have an early crop. If not, I replant in a few weeks. When I am planting a frost sensitive plant early I have to provide frost protection. The easiest thing for most people is to wait until February to plant summer plants.
Spring peas, Lettuce, Chard, Broccoli, Beets, Spinach, Potatoes, Watermelon, Parsley, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, Green Onions, Leeks, Kale, Garlic, Collards, Cabbage, Turnips, Peppers (start inside), Tomatoes (start inside)
Eggplant, Cucumbers, Summer Squash, and Watermelon can be sown outside with frost protection
Green Beans, Lima Beans, Corn, Sweet Peppers, Bush Beans, Spring Peas, Cucumbers, Squash, Watermelon, Potatoes, Spinach, Turnips, Beets, Eggplant, Spring Peas
Okra, Sweet Potatoes, Eggplant, Cucumber, Summer Squash, Watermelon, Beets, Green Beans, Lima Beans, Corn, Bush Beans
Eggplant, Lima Beans, Cucumbers, Loofah so, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Watermelon, Okra
Carrots, Corn, Pumpkins, Winter Squash
Green Beans, Bush Beans, Sweet Peppers, Winter Squash, Carrots, Corn, Pumpkins
Potatoes, Chard, Garlic, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Broccoli, Kale, Peas, Green onions, Leeks, Green Beans, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Collards, Lettuce
Potatoes, Onions, Lettuce, Carrots, Spinach, Collards, Turnips, Broccoli, Garlic, Parsley, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Beets, Kale, Leeks, Green Onions, Chard
Onions, Green Onions, Leeks, Lettuce, Cabbage, Collards, Potatoes, Beets, Kale, Carrots, Turnips, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Garlic, Chard
Collards, Lettuce, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage, Garlic, Turnips, Beets, Green Onions, Parsley, Onions, Kale, Leeks, Potatoes, Spinach, Chard, Tomatoes (start inside), Peppers (start inside)