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  • Niki Knox

Spring Planting in Apache Junction: March Edition

Spring is finally upon us, and for us green-thumbed enthusiasts in Apache Junction, it's time to roll up our sleeves and get planting! March is an exciting month for gardening, as the weather starts to warm up, and the possibilities for a vibrant garden are endless.

Whether you're a seasoned #gardener or a novice with a newfound love for plants, here are some of the best plants, flowers, and vegetables to cultivate this March in our desert oasis, sprinkled with a dash of fun facts to keep things interesting!


1. Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)

Let's kick off with a local favorite that embodies the spirit of the desert – the Desert Marigold. These golden blooms add a burst of color to any garden and thrive in the arid conditions of Apache Junction.

Fun Fact: Despite their name, Desert Marigolds aren't true marigolds but belong to the sunflower family.


2. Purple Sage (Salvia dorrii)

For those looking to add some aromatic flair to their garden, Purple Sage is a must-have. This native perennial boasts stunning purple flowers and a fragrance that's irresistible to both humans and pollinators alike.

Fun Fact: Purple Sage has been used for centuries by Native American tribes for its medicinal properties and ceremonial purposes.


3. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-Eyed Susans are like the sunniest of friends, always bringing cheer to the garden with their bright yellow petals and dark centers. These hardy perennials thrive in the desert heat and are a favorite among pollinators.

Fun Fact: Legend has it that Black-Eyed Susans were named after a character in an English poem by John Gay, "Sweet William's Farewell to Black-Eyed Susan."


4. Cherry Tomatoes

Who doesn't love the taste of freshly picked cherry tomatoes? March is the perfect time to start planting these juicy delights in your garden. Not only are they delicious straight off the vine, but they're also packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

Fun Fact: The world record for the heaviest cherry tomato plant weighed in at a whopping 1,213 pounds, according to the Guinness World Records.


5. Jalapeños

For those who like to add a bit of spice to their culinary adventures, planting jalapeños is a no-brainer. These fiery peppers thrive in the desert climate and are surprisingly easy to grow. Plus, there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of picking your own peppers to add to homemade salsas and spicy dishes.

Fun Fact: The Scoville scale, which measures the heat of peppers, rates jalapeños at around 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units.


6. Bell Peppers

For a pop of color and flavor in your garden, look no further than bell peppers. These versatile veggies come in a rainbow of colors, including red, yellow, orange, and green, and can be enjoyed raw, roasted, grilled, or stuffed.

Fun Fact: Despite their name, bell peppers are technically fruits, as they contain seeds and develop from the flower of the pepper plant.


7. Zucchini

If you're looking for a prolific producer to add to your garden, zucchini is the way to go. These summer squash thrive in warm temperatures and can be harvested when they're still small for tender and flavorful results.

Fun Fact: The world's longest zucchini on record measured over 8 feet long!


8. Cucumbers

Stay cool as a cucumber this summer by growing your own! Cucumbers are refreshing and hydrating, making them the perfect addition to salads, sandwiches, and even cocktails.

Fun Fact: Cucumbers are composed of over 95% water, making them an excellent choice for staying hydrated on hot Arizona days.


9. Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)

Add a touch of elegance to your landscape with the Desert Willow. Known for its graceful, pendulous branches and trumpet-shaped flowers, this native tree is drought-tolerant and attracts pollinators like bees and hummingbirds.

Fun Fact: Despite its name, the Desert Willow is not related to true willows but belongs to the trumpet vine family.


10. Desert Bluebells (Phacelia campanularia)

Bring the beauty of the desert to your garden with Desert Bluebells. These delicate, bell-shaped flowers bloom in shades of blue and purple, carpeting the landscape with color. They're also excellent for attracting beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

Fun Fact: Desert Bluebells are known for their ability to thrive in poor, sandy soil, making them perfectly suited for the desert environment.


11. Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii)

Make a statement in your garden with the striking Desert Bird of Paradise. With its vibrant yellow flowers and feathery foliage, this shrub adds a tropical touch to the desert landscape.

Fun Fact: The flowers of the Desert Bird of Paradise are pollinated by birds, particularly hummingbirds, which are attracted to the plant's nectar-rich blooms.


12. Swiss Chard

For a colorful and nutritious addition to your garden, look no further than Swiss Chard. This leafy green vegetable comes in a variety of vibrant hues, including red, orange, yellow, and green, and is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Fun Fact: Swiss Chard is a member of the beet family and is sometimes referred to as "rainbow chard" due to its colorful stems.


13. Basil

Add some flavor to your garden with the aromatic herb, basil. This versatile herb is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and adds a fresh, peppery flavor to dishes like pasta, salads, and pesto.

Fun Fact: Basil is believed to have originated in India and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its purported health benefits.


There you have it - whether you're looking to add some color to your garden with #DesertMarigolds or spice up your meals with homegrown jalapeños, there's something for everyone to enjoy this spring. Your garden will be bursting with #color, #fragrance, and #flavor

So, grab your gardening gloves and get ready to watch your garden bloom! Happy planting!



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