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Thread: My First New Mexico Garden!

  1. #1
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    My First New Mexico Garden!

    In June I wasn't having very high hopes for what I had planted because growing here is SO DIFFERENT than Michigan! We got some good soaking rains in July and things exploded!
    I planted the sunflowers in April, and the vegetable garden in May. The soil isn't very good there (yet) but we got one Dinosaur kale plant (out of how many seeds did I plant?), a decent amount of spinach (until it got too hot) and lettuce in late in June, collard greens by July, finally some yellow wax beans and a few green beans.

    I have learned A LOT on my first attempt at gardening in the desert! One, you HAVE to use straw for mulch, otherwise it drys out way too fast between waterings. The soil needs A LOT of conditioning; I have been faithfully composting all of our kitchen waste and will start adding it to the vegetable garden when things are finally done (which will be soon, as it has been bone dry lately). I will have to get landscape cloth for next year to keep the sun from beating down on all the tender plants.

    Some things I did do right - I had a lot of time in early spring due to the lock down, so that is when I built my 7' x 10' vegetable garden. I encircled it with chicken wire, which I buried 6" into the soil to keep critters from digging under the fence, and that worked really good. I think just a few mice may have gotten in, but the rabbits and squirrels were kept out. Some birds may have gotten to a a few seedlings, but they didn't do that much damage. Maybe I was just lucky this first year!



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  2. #2
    Senior Member Rosemary's Avatar
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    That is a fantastic result from a first year garden in such a harsh climate!

    I gardened in Phoenix & Tucson and a few things that worked for me were -- a sunken bed, to collect the rain; shade cloth - this was the difference between no tomatoes and lots of tomatoes, as the plants otherwise fried in the July-August heat; soaker hoses and long, slow watering. I got a lot of information from a pamphlet that was published by the Univ. AZ, which I found in my library - it might be online now.

    One thing I read that was quite interesting was that there are a lot of similarities between growing vegetables in the low desert and in Alaska, as both have very short growing seasons!

  3. #3
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    You have to start somewhere, 7'x10' is a good size to manage and the success you have had makes it worthwhile. Is it hard to get straw because you could almost bury it in straw for a few years to build up the soil. This does also contribute weeds but they can be composted. Keep us posted as I know nothing about desert gardening.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Exquisite!

    I like to think every bit of compost will make it better yet.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Very nice!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Great job, and I especially love the sunflowers!

  7. #7
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    Very nice! It sounds so daunting, but your results are wonderful!
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  8. #8
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    Similar gardening efforts here on the high plains of Colorado. Yours is well on its way and looks great. Straw has been the magic component for me too as my gardening space used to be a parking lot for an RV.

  9. #9
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Good for you, SiouxzQ! What determination! Are there many other gardeners in your proximity?
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

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    Great job - looks good!

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