By ELIZABETH LUCERO
My husband, Robert Lucero, and I started cultivating our ¾-acre property in Alcade about six years ago. In those six years, we have been very blessed and successful with our crops.
The first couple of years we closely watched how our garden was producing and made some adjustments by relocating where we planted certain vegetables.
We have two gardens, one, 20×30 feet and the other, 20×20 feet (courtyard garden). We have grown peas, carrots, radishes, several types of lettuces and tomatoes, green chili, pinto beans, cabbage, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, cucamalons, watermelons, several types of squash, strawberries and grapes.
We also have apricot, apple, plum and peach trees, different varieties (not successful this year due to frost):
Apricot: one Northern Native apricot; two apricots of unknown type
Apples: one Northern Native apple- Red Delicious; one red apple of unknown type
Plum: one red plum; one 1purple plum
Peach: one peach of unknown type; two Bartlett pear
One Year’s Cycle
Here’s what we do:
1. After fall harvest, we remove all dead/dry plants and till the earth to destroy bugs in earth.
2. During the winter months, we make our entire garden area into a compost bin by placing the ashes from our wood-stove, dead leaves and any organic composting nutrients. This helps the plants to grow bigger and produce more vegetables.
3. After the last frost, we start to prepare the garden by tilling the composting materials back into to the earth; at this point we add eggs shells for calcium.
4. In March, we start to design our garden by creating rows to maximize the space and prevent the plants from overcrowding. We plant peas, lettuce and radishes.
5. In mid-May, we water and weed every 2-3 days, depending on the weather.
We harvest until the first frost, generally in October.