In February our members learned from speaker Lee Ann Aronson, Maricopa County Master Gardener, how to grow tomatoes for a winter and a summer crop. Aronson gave us detailed methods to grow tomatoes successfully. Even in hot weather keeping roots cool to 75 degrees was possible by mulching 6-10 inches above the ground. The mulch kept soil surface temperature even, soil evenly moist, maintained humidity and kept bugs off the tomatoes. However, when air temperature exceeds 95 degrees tomatoes will not form from flowers.
In March the club members went to the Desert Botanic Garden on the first Friday to see beautiful wild flowers in full bloom and to appreciate the extensive renovation in the Garden that allowed visitors to view the plants at closer ranges by having raised beds and many more walkways. At our regular meeting on the third Tuesday, speaker Krys Hammers, the president of Desert Rivers Audubon Society, talked about attracting birds, butterflies and other wildlife to our gardens. She helped us identify the birds we can find in our yards and at our lakes. We learned about attracting songbirds other than doves, pigeons and grackles.
Anyone interested in how and what to grow in our desert is invited to attend as a guest. The club meets monthly on the third Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel House in Sun Lakes Country Club. If you want more information or are interested in becoming a member of the Sun Lakes Garden Club, please contact Nancy Sjolin at 883-3411 or visit our website at www.sunlakesgardenclub.com.