Garden Layout Tips Plant perennials together on one side of the garden or in different spot to avoid interference with working. Group quickly maturing crops together or plant them between rows of crops that mature later. (Interplanting/Succession) Plan the distance between rows according to cultivation methods. No sense in planting if you can’t get the tiller between the rows!
Soil Management Practices… pH is high (>7.0 alkaline) –Add sulfur to recommended amounts pH is low (< 7.0 acidic)-Not A Problem Never Add Lime’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’ Most veggies like pH of 6.8 – 7.0 Sandy soils need organic matter All soils can benefit from compost for humus and micro nutrients
Incorporating Organic Matter Fall ideal time Composted leaves, grass, manure Loosen exist. soil, then add amendments 1 soil : 1 compost provide good mix 10-12 inches total soil depth is adequate Add 10-20-10 fertilizer Mix soil, fertilizer, and compost Add water
Functions of Organic Matter Improves air & water drainage in silt & clay Increases soil pore sizes Improves water & element holding capacity of sandy soils Increases element levels as it decays Increases important soil micro organisms Makes soil easy to dig and plant
Sources for Compost and Organic Mulch Sandoval County Landfill – ph 867-0816 City of Albuquerque, Wastewater Utility Department – ph 842-9287 Soilutions of NM – ph 877-0220 (these sources are mainly for bulk quantities – packaged compost may be available at ABQ)
Fertilizing Plant Food Elements on front of bag Use granular sparingly–can incr. soil salts Use organic liquid or compost tea N-P-K Nitrogen % Phosphorus % Potassium % 5-10-5
Fertilizing Continued High Nitrogen Crops –Leafy veggies and corn High Phosphorus Crops –Pod and fruit crops High Potassium Crops –Root crops
Applying Fertilizers Broadcasting- spread amount of fertilizer equally over the entire garden and mix into soil before planting Side dressing- Mix half into the soil before planting and apply the rest later in the season on top of the soil on each side of the rows about 3-4 inches from the stem.
Applying Fertilizers continued Banding- place the fertilizer in rows dug 3 inches from each side of the row of seeds or plants and slightly deeper than the depth planted. Plowing Under- plow under added nutrient material. Top dressing does not allow nutrients to be leached into soil fast enough.
Growing Transplants Can grow varieties you want Start 6 – 8 weeks before outdoor planting date Use seed starting planting soil Cover plant containers to maintain humidity Provide some air movement Keep temperature around 70 degrees F Use grow lights if needed 10 – 12 hours of light per day
Damping Off Created by variety of fungi Fungi can be a problem with seedlings plants, and can effect seeds and germination Conditions that delay or slow growth encourage infection – cold temps, wet soil, poor drainage As roots mature, condition lessens
Solutions for Damping Off Sterilize plastic planters with 1% chlorine soln. Clear plastic containers can speed germination and control moisture. Use fresh, high quality seed. Avoid fertilizers until plants have second leaves. Good drainage is essential. Water soil with light mist spray, or set planter in water bath. Use sterile seed starting soil mix only. Saturate soil prior to planting seeds. Then no water until soil starts to dry out.
HARDEN off your seedlings About one week before transplanting: –Put your seedlings in a shady place outside for a 2- 4 hours –Then bring them back inside –Each day increase the time –Slowly begin dividing the time between the shade and the sun –After a week of adjustment the seedlings should be ready for the garden plot –Keep plants well watered throughout this process
Cool-Season Vegetables Prefer temperatures ranging from 60-65 degrees F. Intolerant of hot weather, but can withstand some frost. Short sunshine days are ok Fall time, plant August 1 st to avoid bugs, disease, heat and prevent bolting. Bolting- shoot out seed heads Cabbage, broccoli, radish, lettuce, chard, spinach, kohlrabi, etc.
Cool-Season Vegetables Many develop superior flavor and quality when they mature in cooler weather (example: broccoli) Flavor is improved with lite frost: cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, carrots, chard, turnip Lettuce and spinach tend to bolt and develop bitter flavor when maturing in hot weather
Temperature Tolerant Crops These plants can withstand a wide variety of temperatures, 55-80 degrees F. Onions, beets, garlic, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, beans, tomatoes, corn Soil temp. >60 degrees to germinate
Warm Crops Prefer temperatures at or above 70 degrees F. Usually a long growing season is needed Watermelons, sweet potatoes, eggplant, peppers, and okra
Planting Your Garden Direct seeding: Seed depth approx. 4 times the diameter of the seed. Transplants: Used to obtain earlier maturity, or if seed is expensive -Water immediately after planting in garden
Planting Methods Interplanting method- plant a short term crop with a longer term plant so more crop can be grown in a smaller space! Succession Planting- if using short term varieties, plant, harvest, and replant same crop to get maximum use of garden space and crop!
Companion Planting Want to add color and flowers to the veggie garden? There are benefits in doing so: –Marigolds with beans repel beetles/nemitodes –Tarragon with tomatoes controls disease –Nasturtiums throughout veggies deter aphids, beetles, and squash bugs –Radishes with cucumbers deters cucumber beetles –Chrysanthemums deter root knot nemitodes –Don’t mix beans with onions –Try attra.ncat.org for information
RAISED BEDS FOR VEGETABLES and GARDEN COMPOSTING CONFINES GARDEN AREA MINIMIZES NEED FOR FERTILIZERS AND WATER ALLOWS WALKING PATHS ELEVATES PLANTS FOR BETTER DRAINAGE ALLOWS GARDENING ON POOR SOIL CONDITIONS 3’ – 6’ WIDE TO REACH PLANTS FROM BOTH SIDES OF BED CONSTRUCT OF WOOD BOARDS RATHER THAN CONCRETE BLOCKS
RAISED BEDS with COMPOST BIN Drip irrigation not buried. Shade cloth if needed.
Spring Planting – Shading used only on “hot” days Note irrigation stub for drip system
New Shade Structure Framing (Note Rolls of Shade Cloth)
- Adding top board to increase soil depth - Adjusting bed width so all are same - Annual rye grass cover crop (Nov. 2012)
PLANTING TIMES Cold weather plants, March 15 – April 1, seed or plant sets (may have to cover for hard freeze). Cabbage, Broccoli, sugar peas, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach. Plant again July 15 – August 1 for second crop, especially winter crops like rutabagas and parsnips. Warm weather plants, May 1-15; beans, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, cukes, beets. Plant zucchini after July 1 to help avoid squash bugs.
NM Number of Frost Free Days Area 1: more than 180 days (Las Cruces, Lordsburg) Area 2: less than 180, more than150 days (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Roswell) Area 3: less than150 days (Farmington, Gallup) Areas 1 & 2 provide both an ample Fall planting window for many cool season vegetables
Cool Season Vegetables – Planting Guide for NM Area 2 (Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Santa Fe) Vegetable CropJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec Beets Broccoli Carrots Chard, Swiss Lettuce, Leaf Onions Spinach
Warm Season Vegetables–Planting Guide for NM Area 2 (Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Santa Fe) Vegetable CropJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec Beans, Pole Corn, Sweet Melons Okra Peppers, Bell & Chile Potatoes, Irish Squash, Summer Tomatoes
Extending the Growing Season Plastic row cover to heat soil Row covers to protect plants Supported or floating row covers Small or large size greenhouse (lots of selections in catalogs) Cold frames Create Microclimates for plant growth
PESTS Tomato horn worms – look for missing leaves, bare stems; find worm and remove to garbage can. Squash bugs – plant early and remove plants when bugs show up, or plant after July 1. Birds – use scarecrows; I use plastic grocery bags, especially for fruit on trees.
Tomatoes Most popular vegetable for home gardens Family - Solanaceae Direct seed or transplant Self fertile, wind-pollinated flowers
Disorders: Poor Fruit Set Insect or disease pressure Temps 95° F will prevent pollination and cause blossom abortion Excessive nitrogen fertility will cause vigorous foliage but low fruit set (all leaves, no fruit)
Disorders: Splitting Fruit Once fruit reaches mature color epidermis cannot expand High water input will cause fruit to ‘split’ Secondary fungal or bacterial pathogens quickly infect ‘split’ fruit
Disorders: Blossom End Rot Affects many vegetable & fruit crops Caused by Calcium (Ca) deficiency at growing point in fruit. Add gypsum Drought stress during fruit set prevents transportation of Calcium. Deep water
Tips for Tomatoes Buy plants/seed labeled V,F,N,T Hand pollinize flowers, if needed Use low nitrogen, high phosphorus fertilizers Deep water on ground, not on leaves Companion plant with marigolds Cover with row cover to prevent leaf hoppers Consider raising plants indoors from seed Indeterminate varieties yield large harvest
Hot Chile Varieties ( I don’t like these guys) New Mexican-type ‘NuMex R Naky (mild) ‘New Mexico 6-4’ (mild) ‘NuMex Joe E. Parker’ (medium) ‘NuMex Big Jim’ (medium) ‘Sandia’ (hot) ‘Espanola Improved’ (hot) ‘XX Hot’ (very hot) ‘Barker’ (very hot) Note: I grow Bell Peppers http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/02IK67t0Qo58p/340x.jpg
Onion Culture Sunshine day length critical to bulb formation: Short-day: require 10-11 hour days Intermediate-day: require 11-12 hour days Long-day: require more than 12 hour days Usually started as seed for fall planting Fall planting window, Area 1: Oct 1 Spring planting, Area 2: April 1 (Use plant or bulb sets)
Onion Culture Tolerant to frost or light freeze Shallow roots; water frequently Control weeds; Alliums don’t compete well
Onion Culture Harvest –May through August –Depends on variety –Seed vs. transplants Harvest when leaves begin to turn yellow and lodge Bolting may occur with cool spring temps -Plant resistant varieties http://www.allotmentgirls.co.uk/files/images/onion.jpg
Tips for Onions and Garlic Plant garlic cloves November 1 – 15 Plant onion bulb/plant sets April 1 – 15 Place high Nitrogen fertilizer 2-3 inches below bulb depth, add small amount of super phosphate, and till into soil. Plant bulbs 2 - 3 inches deep. Mulch garlic for winter months. Water frequently during growing season, and side dress with high N fertilizer. Stop watering and fertilizing when tops are dying and falling over.
Legumes Snap beans, string beans, peas, pinto beans Generate plant available nitrogen in association with Rhizobium bacteria
Bean Culture Bush or pole types Soak seed for an hour before planting to enhance germination. Inoculate seeds to improve germination Low humidity and high temperatures cause blossom drop (some shade can cool) Pole beans will shade other vegetables (plant on north side of garden)
Tips for Bush/Pole Snap Beans Plant when ground is warm (May 15) Use watering trench along side of seed row until seeds germinate. Don’t saturate the ground Apply all-purpose fertilizer when flowering Pick beans carefully and regularly to encourage new growth Select bean varieties that produce continuously thru growing season Select “stringless” varieties (esp. pole beans)
My Favorite Vegetable Varieties Bush Beans – Top Crop, Blue Lake 274, Dragon’s Tongue, Cherokee Wax (Pole – Blue Lake S-7) Beets – Cylindra, Detroit Red Cabbage – Stonehead, Red Acre Swiss Chard – Neon Lights, Bird food (just kidding) Sweet Corn – Honey and Cream (bi-color) Cucumber – Lemon, SMR-18 (pickles) Egg Plant – Ichiban Garlic – Spanish Roja (hard stem) Onion – any short-day variety(Candy, Walla-Walla) Bunching Onion – Evergreen, Italian Red Spinach - Bloomsdale
GENERAL GARDENING TIPS Irrigate mornings & allow soil to dry evenings to help prevent disease. Alternate irrigation days if possible. Shade tomatoes 30-50% during hot days. Water SOIL deeply and infrequently. Apply nitrogen sparingly. For iron deficiency, try liquid iron or copperas. Soil sulfur benefits N.M. soils, especially R.R. Mix granular fertilizers into the soil to allow plant roots to use nutrients, and water after application. Companion plants can help prevent disease. Rotate crops every year.
General Strategies for Gardeners Vigilance: Always stay on top of ‘current events’ in your garden Provide proper nutrition Use caution with pesticides & herbicides Use high quality seed Use adapted varieties Plant at the correct time Harvest at the correct time
WATER HARVESTING ROOF GUTTER DRAINAGE COLLECTION 0.25 INCHES RAIN WILL PRODUCE 15 GAL. WATER PER 100 SQ. FT. ROOF AREA USE WATER FOR HAND-WATERING VEGETABLES AND LIQUID FERTILIZING PROTECT STORED WATER FROM INSECTS AND DEBRIS CLEAN STORAGE TANKS ANNUALLY
STORAGE TANK (any type will do) ELEVATED WITH OVERFLOW SYSTEM
TANK (72 GAL.) with OVERFLOW (1” PVC) (note: use overflow to water trees or other plants)