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Why winter in Phoenix is one of the best times to garden

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, January 23, 2023 - 11:01am

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Winter in most of the country means cold — much too cold for much of anything to grow. But in Phoenix, winter looks a little different.

Melissa Kruse-Peeples, gardener extraordinaire, manages the garden at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus, helps the university with urban garden education and outreach and she runs her own gardening business, teaching consulting classes and workshops. 

Melissa Kruse-Peeples
Lauren Gilger/KJZZ
Master gardener Melissa Kruse-Peeples at her Tempe home.

The Show first visited her home gardens last summer —  she has one in her front yard and another in her backyard. Then, temperatures were in the 100s.

When The Show stopped by in January, it was rainy and cold (for Phoenix). But one thing was the same as it was in the summer: Her garden was overflowing with veggies. 

Kruse-Peeples says winter in the desert is, in fact, the best time to garden. She explained why.

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