10 things to do in May

No this IS NOT what my garden looks like right now-I wish!

NO, this IS NOT what my garden looks like right now-I WISH! This is the garden in early June in 2010.

Here are 10 OUT OF 100 things you could do in your garden in May. GET BUSY-9 DAYS TILL MAY 15th!

-Water, water, water–all existing trees, bushes, fruits and vegetables–we’ve had a very dry winter-everything is parched!

-Clean up any perennial beds from the fall if you haven’t already.

-Add composted (aged, old, cold) horse manure to your vegetable beds/turn over.

-Check/install/hook-up drip systems for vegetable beds. Get replacement parts as needed.

-Buy any last-minute seeds/or any vegetable starts you don’t have but still want.

-Buy those wall of waters for your tomatoes and row cover BEFORE you plant tomatoes.

-Transplant up any veggie you bought that is now too small for its pot.

-Buy any amendments, fertilizers and supplies you will need when planting.

-Harden off your plants before putting them outside in the garden.

-Fertilize with fish emulsion and seaweed any cool season crops you have. Start to harvest when ready.

-After May 15th, it should be safe to plant warm season crops-go for it!

OK- these are 11 things but like I said, there are probably 100 things we could do in the garden right now!!

10 things to do in February for the garden

Well February is upon us and although for most of us gardeners it is a quieter time of year, there are still things we can start to do to prepare for this coming season. Here are 10 things you can do in February.

1. We haven’t gotten a lot of moisture, so on a nice warm day, water your trees and bushes this February. Don’t forget to empty your hose of the water so it will be ready to water again. (Nothing worse than a frozen hose). If we don’t get significant moisture, we should water once a month for established trees and plants and more for those we planted last fall. Of course if the ground is frozen where they are-don’t worry about watering frozen ground.

2. Go over your seed catalogs, make your lists of what you want to plant this coming season (go ahead-go wild-order more than you need-I do!))

3. Last chance to order seeds so you will be ready to start planting.

4. You can start some seeds inside-spinach, chard, peas and arugula to be ready to transplant outside next month.

5. How about cleaning, sharpening, and oiling your garden tools (after you find them)

6. If you do start seeds inside, clean all your containers with 10% bleach/water to disinfect them.

7. Turn your compost pile if it isn’t frozen.

8. Check your vermicomposting red wrigglers. Have you fed them recently?

9. If you haven’t cleaned up your old garden be sure you do. Bad bugs hang out in dead leaves and plants and diseases can stay on your soil in dead leaves.

10. Read some good books-gardening and otherwise!

10 things to Do in April in the Garden

Here are 10 things we can do in our gardens this month.  As the season commences, we will get busier and busier which means I’ll be posting at night when it is dark and I can’t be out in the garden! (oh yea-I work too).

1. It isn’t too late to get a soil test to see what amendments you will need for this year. I just sent mine out last week.

2. Time to add AGED horse manure (at least 4 months old) to your beds and dig it in. Don’t use hot manure-it is too late for that. Use hot in the fall so it has time to cool off and break down. Every year I add more and the soil gets richer and richer. Our soil is so crappy that we need to enrich it for veggies. If you can’t find any old, aged horse manure, then buy some compost in bags from your local nursery and dig it in.

3. Finish cleaning out your garden and trimming perennials if you haven’t already.

4. Make some LARGE TOMATO CAGES. I use concrete reinforcement wire because it has 6 inch square holes to get you hand through to pick tomatoes and it is 5 feet tall. Go in with someone to buy a roll if you don’t need too many cages.

5. Transplant your little tomatoes that some of you are growing into the next larger size and give them light.

6. Check your drip systems and timers to make sure they are in good working order BUT do not keep them attached yet because we still can get freezing nights. If you don’t have a drip system, look into doing one. I use the store, Firebird here in Santa Fe to get parts and their expertise on the subjects. It’s not hard to do and really saves on the water and your time.

7. Start adding to your compost pile again. Heat it up. Turn it over. Use HOT MANURE to heat it up or powdered blood meal which is high in nitrogen. I don’t compost in winter because it is too hard for me to keep hot but it is a good time to start one now..

8. Put CORN GLUTEN down in your veggie garden paths. It is a PRE-EMERGENT for controlling weed seeds and is ORGANIC. You can order it from The Feed Bin here in Santa Fe. BUT if your weeds are up already, it acts as a fertilizer. (It is very high in nitrogen and that is why it burns the seedlings but will also feed weeds that get established). Don’t put in veggie beds where you will be planting any seeds as it will burn any seeds

9. Now you can plant carrots, shallots, beets, lettuces, spinach, all greens, onions, and garlic OUTSIDE. I will still use some row cover to protect them at night.

10. Speaking of ROW COVER, now is the time to get some from our local nurseries. MOST of them carry it (but not Home Depot or Lowes-no big box stores). The nurseries usually sell out. I would get some heavy weight for now and a lighter weight for summer or get the lighter weight and double it up for now. You can also order it online. Just google: row cover.

That’s it-Get busy!