Monsoon Gardening in the Sonoran Desert

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The  monsoon is considered our second spring season which offers another chance to grow all of your favorite warm-season crops like tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beans, and more. In this presentation, we will discuss traditional O'odham farming strategies and arid adapted crops such as tepary beans, melons, and corn as well as the indigenous planting and harvest calendar. We will also discuss the weather patterns expected during the monsoon season, how to protect your garden from late summer sun to monsoon winds, and what is appropriate to plant during this season. Melissa Kruse-Peeples has been growing in the Sonoran Desert for over 20 years and is a gardener, desert forager, and seed saver. 

Melissa Kruse-Peeples is a Master Gardener with the Maricopa County Master Gardeners program, a Program Coordinator for ASU Garden Commons at the Polytechnic Campus, and owns The Desert Smells Like Veggies offering locally saved seeds and plant starts. She has co-authored the regional guide Saving Seeds in the Southwest: Techniques for Seed Stewardship in Aridlands  and is a co-founder of the Phoenix Seed Swap, a local gardener meetup with events around The Valley. Melissa has a PhD in Anthropology from Arizona State University where she investigated the sustainability of ancient farming practices in the Southwest including how farmers maximized monsoon rainfall. Her motto is that your garden and your seed stash can never be too large as there will always be people to share it with. 



Additional parking can be found to the east of the library in Centennial Garage.