Fresh From the Garden: Northern New Mexico Gardening Tips

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:

The garden has been prepared to plant peas, radishes and lettuce
The garden has been prepared to plant peas, radishes and lettuce

 

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.

May: Peas growing along the fence, s d[spring mix of lettuce, and tomatoes, far left.
May: Peas growing along the fence, s d[spring mix of lettuce, and tomatoes, far left.
Summer: (front to back) lettuce, radishes, green chile, peas.
Summer: (front to back) lettuce, radishes, green chile, peas.
September: Green chile background, tomatoes in the foreground, cucumbers, left.
September: Green chile background, tomatoes in the foreground, cucumbers, left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harvest of tomatoesand cucamelons.  Photo by Elizabeth Lucero
Harvest of tomatoesand cucamelons. Photo by Elizabeth Lucero
Canned Tomatoes and Pickles.
Canned Tomatoes and Pickles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green chile roasting.  All photos by Elizabeth Lucero
Green chile roasting. All photos by Elizabeth Lucero

We harvest until the first frost, generally in October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Response
  1. Cassandra Naranjo

    I like your story. It gives me an idea of how to get the most out of our garden, this past year was the first year that we planted. I haven’t helped with a garden since I was a young girl staying a my maternal grandmother’s house. So any tips I can get are useful, because I want to “relearn” how to grow a garden organically, for the fruitful bounty as well as the opportunity that gardening presents in teaching my grandson eye/hand coordination skills and the joyful look on his face. Thank you.

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