Three of the most frequent question we get at the nursery is how to care for the plants and trees, do they really grow in the Phoenix desert and how soon will it produce fruit. I will attempt to answer the care and fruiting question in the FAQ page as it relates to the most commonly purchased trees from our nursery.
However before doing so I will make this statement, gardeners have been growing and killing plants for as long as anyone knows. No one is exempt from this fact and try as you might it cannot be avoided. We as gardeners can control only a small fraction of what a plant requires to survive. Soil condition, drainage, humidity, heat, cold, diseases, pests, winds, pollination are only a few of of the many obstacles that stand in our way and many well beyond our control.
I will also say that every gardener, novice or experienced has an opinion, and what works in one persons garden does not necessarily work for another. With that in mind I encourage you to follow the LINKS on our site, buy or borrow the various BOOKS listed and conduct research of your own using the search engine of your choice, then modify the information as necessary to fit your individual planting situation.
Let me address the "will that plant grow in Phoenix" question first. Undoubtedly you have heard as you may have gone to the many area garden centers around the valley that such and such plant does not grow in our desert climate. It is often assumed by many, including the employees at many garden centers that if they don't carry a particular plant or tree it doesn't grow here, well that is not true. Now, that is not to say that all of our plants and trees are simple to grow. I will be the first to tell you what will grow here and how to do it, and just as matter of factly, try as you might what will not.
For as long as people have traveled from place to place so have the plants, plant tissue and seeds of their native lands. Many, many plants and foods grown in the United States are not native to our country yet many have become staples of our kitchens, gardens and our economy. If not for this, many of the foods that we eat daily would have to be imported or gone without.
Gardening is a deep inborn instinct that we all possess. To what degree that instinct manifests its self is strictly left up to the individual. Many of our customers have come to our nursery after having exhaustedly searched for their desired plant through out the valley only to be told time and again that it doesn't grow here. Their stories are almost always the same and so is their common desire to be the final judge.
If not for this passion there would be no great pineapple or sugarcane plantations in Hawaii, or no great pecan orchards in the southwest, no apple orchards in the Pacific Northwest, no avocado plantations in Florida or California, no cotton fields, corn fields, citrus orchards, or vegetable farms in Arizona. Wait a minute, Arizona? Yes that is right, Arizona.
Stick it in the Ground and Watch it Grow!
Agriculture is a blessed industry in this state of rich soil, abundant water and mild climate. Crops grow year round, and some - like alfalfa - get three or four harvests from a single crop versus one or two in other states.
Arizona has specialty crops that command high prices -- Egyptian and Pima cotton and dates are three of the most popular. And "locals" are spoiled rotten because they can get fresh citrus during every one else's off season for peanuts [no pun intended].
From apples to zucchini, more than 100 different types and varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown in Arizona.
Here are some "gee whiz" facts guaranteed to win bar room bets...even with some of the locals.
2nd in the nation in production of angora goats, honeydew melons, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, cantaloupes and lemons;
3rd in the nation in production of Pima cotton, Durum wheat, principal vegetables and tangerines;
Top10 in the nation in oranges, onions, Upland cotton, cottonseed, grapefruit, watermelons, grapes and carrots;
Arizona farmers and ranchers raise 810,000 cattle; 115,000 hogs; 140,000 sheep; 38,000 goats; 350,000 chickens; 18,500 emus and ostriches and 55,000 colonies of bees;
In an average year, the dairy industry produces an average of 2.68 billion pounds of milk; the egg industry cranks out 81 million eggs and the bee industry pours out 3.3 million pounds of honey.