I had hill/valley watering set up, but my roomate showed me how to stake and bury soaker hoses. It A) looks great and B) waters everything without evaporation loss. our water use was a horrifying 1300 avg. gallons/day last month, so finding more efficient ways to water my garden and fish pond is a top priority.
I've planted nasturtiums to help cover and cool the soil, as well as help with bugs. I made the mistake of putting my herbs in the southern row of my herb-and-vine plot, so I'm hoping I can train the watermelon up its trellis to shade them before they fry.
My morning-glory and sweet peas might fry, but we'll see - I have them under the fish pond awning.I would love to keep them all summer, or at least long enough to collect seeds. I started everybody late, but not crazy late.
I'm hoping I could get suggestions for my general timeline below, and suggestions for readable agriculture books. I'm reading Square Foot Fardening, Extreme Gardening, Sunset Beginner, and a couple of other misc gardening books. It's amazing how few books really appreciate what it's like to garden in an area with five months of 100 degree plus weather with almost no humidity or rain. Extreme Gardening is the first I've found that has solid advice and information, as well as great information on companion planting and organic gardening.
May - harvest greens June - harvest greens - turn under - train/trellis gourds, squash, etc July - clear soil of spirng crops, cover with black plastic to kill weeds and bugs August - mix in this year's compost, cover back up with plastic to kill mold, insects, and fungi September - prepare beds for winter planting - start corn, harvest cucurbits, compost the vines