NEW! Santa Fe starts a ‘Seed Library’

Santa Fe Seed Library Kickoff-Saturday, March 23
If you are a gardener in Santa Fe, you should be excited about this. Santa Fe is starting a Seed Library in the Santa Fe Southside Library branch off Jaguar. All free this Saturday.

The Santa Fe Seed Library will provide open-pollinated seed to the Santa Fe Community and will encourage the development of a community of seed savers and seed stewards. The Santa Fe Seed Library is a collaboration between the Santa Fe Public Library and the Santa Fe Extension Master Gardeners. In addition to providing access to open-pollinated seeds, the Seed Library will offer a number of free public programs to help facilitate the growth of a community of climate-savvy gardeners.

This Saturday is the kickoff of it with guest speakers, info tables, a Seed Swap and the movie ‘Seed: The Untold Story‘ and of course seeds! I will be there representing Home Grown New Mexico with an info table on our classes this year and will be putting on a mini-seed swap.  It will be open from 1 to 4pm at Santa Fe Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Dr, Santa Fe, NM, Hope to see you there!

Perennial fruit care in spring

Strawberries grew unbelievably with the addition of Azomite last year

As far as perennial fruit goes, I already cut back the new raspberry plants a few days ago. They are a fall variety called Polana from Norse nursery online. They were fantastic last year with us harvesting lots of raspberries in their first year. So this is their first trimming. I trimmed them back within an inch or two of the ground and they are all still alive. I wasn’t sure as I forgot to water them last fall for a few months but with all the precipitation we got this winter, they are fine.

I also cut back the new blackberry plants called Triple Crown, and saw lots of new start-ups that rooted that I will move. Now I won’t have to buy some to finish up the blackberry row. Hopefully I will get blackberries in their second year.

Today I pulled away all the dead leaves around the rhubarb (Victoria) and they are starting to come up too. A very hardy perennial plant.

I checked the strawberries and pulled all the dead borage plants that grow up in the strawberry patch each year from dropped seeds. Borage is a good companion plant for strawberries and the bees love them. The strawberries need a haircut too-but not too short. The strawberries did fantastic last year.

The verdict is out on the artichoke. It came back last year in its second year but I don’t see any signs of life yet this year. They actually are not supposed to be grown here as a perennial because we are in a colder zone than they like, so we will see if it makes it or not.

Next up is to prune back the grapes and the apple trees and other fruit trees. I’m late on the apple trees but they need to be desperately thinned and pruned now before they come back to life. Last year I put Azomite, a mineral supplement, in my veggie garden which really helped the crops and I have some leftover which I will sprinkle around the fruit trees this year.

Plant peas this week!

Time to Plant Peas!

For me, I use St. Patrick’s Day to remind me to plant pea seeds OUTSIDE in my garden. Just an easy day to remember—we need to plant peas early so we can get some peas before we get too much heat.

I use a legume inoculate powder on the seeds. They pull nitrogen from the air and deposit it on little nodules on their roots.

Here’s some pea planting basics:
-Sun: They produces more in full sun in cool climate gardens. For warmer climates they prefer afternoon shade.

-Soil temp for pea planting: 40-75 °F– warmer soil will lead to faster germination

-Seed planting depth: 1″

-Space between pea seeds: I plant a double row of peas about spaced 2 inches apart in each row and each row is about 6 inches apart. I put them next to a trellis to grow up.

-Seed treatment: use a legume Inoculate for pea seeds.

-Days to germination: Approximately 12-14 days from planting seeds outside depending on soil temperature. They colder the soil, the longer they take to germinate.

So get out and plant peas soon!

Speaking of Seeds…

HOME GROWN NEW MEXICO IS HAVING THEIR ANNUAL SEED EXCHANGE THIS WEDNESDAY-This is a FREE event, so everyone is welcome! Please note new location this year. I’ll be there so hope to see you on Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 13th
4 pm to 6 pm

Home Grown New Mexico
Seed Exchange-FREE

If you are looking for free seeds for your vegetable or flower garden or have some to share, start this new gardening season with us at the Santa Fe Seed Exchange. *New this year– book sale of gently used gardening books and magazines-cheap!

Location: Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association building
2520-B Camino Entrada (next to Habitat ReStore on south side of building) • Santa Fe
Fee: FREE for everyone! No need to sign up-just show up!


NEW! Seed Starting Class-March 17

NEW! Seed Starting Class-March 17

DATE: March 17, 2019
TIME: 12 noon TO 2 pm
INSTRUCTOR: Jannine Cabossel/Tomato Lady
LOCATION: Tomato Lady mini-farm • 56 Coyote Crossing • Santa Fe, NM



Why start seeds when you can buy plants at the nursery? There are many reasons to start seeds inside early. Start plants from seeds if:

• You want to grow unusual varieties that are not sold in the nurseries—this is the #1 reason I grow many of my crops from seeds. So if you want to try that unusual tomato or watermelon, you’ll probably have to start them from seeds yourselves.

• You want to get a head start on spring—start many crops from seed and get them in sooner

• You hate buying more plants than you need—many plants are sold in pony packs-maybe you don’t want 4 or 6 plants of the same variety

• Many times the plants are already root bound—the number one problem I see from nurseries

• You can save money by learning to grow your own veggies from seed

• It’s FUN!!

Participants will learn:

• Which seeds should be started inside and which seeds can be planted directly outside later when it warms

• Learn what dates to start the seeds & what dates to put out in the garden

• Learn about different soil mixes and containers-which ones are best

• How to transplant the seedlings up into bigger pots

• How to care for your seedlings

• How to avoid spindly transplants by using proper lighting

Certain veggies are hard to start from seed like beets and peas. They don’t like to be transplanted and are direct seeded into the cold spring soil and many times the seeds rot in the ground before they can germinate. Let me show you how to grow them from seed inside so they can be easily transplanted without stressing them. Stress free plants are happy plants, happy plants produce more. There are many things you can do to get started successfully, and I will share my knowledge with you. Handouts provided to take home to guide you.


HOW TO REGISTER: PAY BELOW and I will send you a confirmation to your email that you give to PayPal. I will send directions before the class starts.

Step 2: TO PAY: Purchase this class for $20 here (you don’t need a pay pal account, just a credit card):

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Need to Contact me? Email me:

Greens started inside Jan 15

The weather outside has been very snowy since Christmas. More snow than I’ve seen in years. Should be a great spring for flowers. But inside I could not wait any longer so I planted some spinach, arugula and lettuce seeds under lights on January 15th. The greens popped up in 2 days and the spinach was right behind them. I guess they are as anxious as I am to get going even though the garden outside has 6 inches of snow on it and no end to winter in sight. But they are not destined for the garden. They will be going in the unheated greenhouse and the cold frame in about 5 weeks just in time for March madness (and I’m not talking basketball guys). And so the theory goes that I will have luscious greens come mid-March. I know it’s early but I looked up the last few times how early I’ve planted lettuce and spinach seeds and it’s always sometime in January. I guess I’ve recovered from the last season and looking forward to next gardening season.

Here we go again!