The best options for a thriving garden
By Rachel Lee
Gardening has a variety of benefits for our health and the environment. When planting produce, you not only know where your food is coming from, but you get to reduce the number of trips made to the grocery store, and, you get to eat fresh-picked items, that offer the most nutrients. Adding flowers to your garden is great too, as it attracts bees and birds to your backyard and provides shade for other plants.
Unfortunately, spending any amount of time outside has become unbearable in the heat of Arizona’s summer. It seems like nothing would be able to survive under such conditions. But with proper care, there are a select few foods that actually thrive in Arizona during its hottest season. Here are those 5 plants that will brighten up your garden and mornings.
This crop thrives in weather that is warmer—and stays warmer longer—than usual. It is also heat- and drought-resistant, making it the perfect plant for Arizona’s harsh summers. The leaves are another bonus, as they are edible and keep your garden looking lush.
This heat-loving, fast-growing vegetable produces leaves that are rich in vitamins A and C, and are delicious in salads, soups, and stir-fries. Once planted, it often reseeds each year, too.
Okra is a great vegetable to grow in your garden because of its high levels of dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamins B and C. Luckily, exposure to a lot of sun will result in a steady supply of pods all summer. While it can tolerate dry soil, it does better when watered consistently.
Treasured for its fragrance and flavor, basil is an herb that attracts native bees. It’s also a favorite of culinary chefs. While this plant prefers warm air and soil, it does best when under shade. Be sure to water deeply and regularly to keep the soil moist.
Sunflowers are an amazing addition to any garden because of their beauty and unique characteristics. Along with an ability to thrive in the heat, this flower is one of the easiest to grow, requiring little to no effort. Plus, they provide shade for your other crops that don’t do as well in the summer.
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Rachel Lee is an editorial intern at Green Living Magazine who is pursuing a degree in global studies and sustainability at Arizona State University. Born and raised in Arizona, she has always been in awe of its unique landscape and hopes to engage in ways to preserve its beauty.
Photo courtesy of Binyamin on Pexels.