Here are some pics of my garden this year. Now that we are in September, I wanted to capture it in all it’s glory before it’s gone. I’ve worked hard tweaking out the infrastructure with new framed beds and weed barriers and wood chips in the paths this year. Having retired from the Santa Fe Farmers Market two seasons ago has allowed me to do more in the garden. I also added some perennial fruit like raspberries and blackberries since I don’t need space for 125 tomato plants anymore! By mid-October or sooner, it will be toast with the first frost so might as well enjoy it while I have it. I have an abundance of flowers this year that I grew for my edible flower class and besides being beautiful and edible, they attract many beneficial insects and pollinators. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
I just heard last night’s snow was the earliest on record for Oct 14th in Santa Fe. The weather apps have said it was going to be 27°F last night. Woke up this morning to a light snow, ice and the temperature was 24°F here. Harvesting has been intense the last few weeks. Why is there always so much to pick in the end? The only annual crops left are a few kale, beets and cabbages outside in the main garden and greens in the greenhouse and cold frame. I’m not sure how they fared as I wasn’t able to go out and check today, and in truth, with 34°F for a high, I was in no hurry to see if they made it. They were covered with winter weight row cover with the hopes they make it and I will check tomorrow. I was more concerned the barn animals were ok with this first cold snap and made sure all the heaters in the water tanks were working and the chickens had their heat lamps on. I guess winter is here.
After a wonderful trip to Italy, I’m now back in the garden trying to get it finished. Seems I got a lot of dry beans in Tuscany at a Florence Farmers Market and have planted 4 different varieties-Fagioli Zolfini, Fagioli Piatellini Nuova, Fagioli con L’Occhio (a black-eyed pea) and Borlotti. These are dry bush beans. I love dry beans as I just have to plant them and after they are up, give them water and you don’t pick them till the end of the season after they dry. Not too many bugs bother them either at my place. They make great soups and stews in winter. So looks like this is the year of the bean.
But I have planted many other interesting crops this year as well. Other new veggies/fruits include the Bradford watermelon, Tahiti Butternut, a yellow zucchini called Rugosa Fruilana, Craupadine beets and my Fuggle hops and artichoke came back from last year and are doing well. Also 15 bare root raspberries I planted this spring are all up and doing nicely-the variety is Polona-I got them from Nourse nurseries online. My dream is to have so many raspberries I get sick of eating them (never!) And I’m starting a new thornless blackberry (Triple Crown) area in the garden. I got some beautiful 2 gal plants from Newmans for only $15.
And of course I have more tomatoes than I need but have cut down drastically since I am not at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. This year I’m growing more dwarf tomatoes than regular tomatoes and some of them are trials for Craig Lehouiller. All my tomatoes are caged and have row cover wrapped around them to protect them from the Beet leafhopper which passes a deadly virus to them here in the southwest called Curly Top Virus. The row cover is also great for protection from hail storms. It will come off when the monsoons arrive. Hope they do well and can’t wait to taste them. I haven’t eaten a tomato since last November when my crop finished as I won’t eat store-bought tomatoes. Guess I’m a tomato snob.
I’ve actually cut down the garden by 30% this year due to our drought. Pray for rain (no hail please!)
I’ll be on the Santa Fe Master Gardener’s Gardening Journal radio show with host Christine Salem twice a month now. My original show gives tips and advice about what to do in a vegetable garden each month as the gardening season progresses. This assumes you have an existing vegetable garden.
We are adding a Vegetable Gardening 101 show. It seems we have many people here in Santa Fe that either have never started a garden or haven’t had success here in our challenging garden area. Many want to be successful organically growing their own food and need help on where to start. So I will take us from the beginning through planning and building a garden, creating good soil, raised beds vs in-ground beds, starting seeds, transplanting plants, varieties that grow well for beginners and even harvesting tips. This will be more basic info but even advanced gardeners might benefit from some of the tips I’ll be giving.
Go here to listen to past radio show podcasts and pick up awesome information -https://giantveggiegardener.com/radio-show/
Here’s the rundown:
SHOW #1—my regular radio show-‘Monthly Veggie Garden Tips’
Where: airs on KSFR 101.1 on the Garden Journal
When: on the last Saturday of each month
Time: from 10:00-10:30am
Topics: What to do in our gardens for each month, problems that arise and solutions
SHOW #2—my NEW radio show-‘Veggie Gardening 101′
Where: airs on KSFR 101.1 on the Garden Journal
When: on the 2nd Saturday of each month
Time: from 10:00-10:30am
Topics: Beginning vegetable gardening from start to finish and everywhere in between.
In case you were wondering why I haven’t written on my site for a while it’s because I’ve been crazy busy
in my garden getting ready for the 2015 Home Grown New Mexico’s Kitchen Garden & Coop tour. I’m on the tour with 4 other great places this Sunday July 26 from 9 am -3 pm! Come check us out! Read on for details of how to attend this great event! All this info is also listed on Homegrownnewmexico.org
Sunday, July 26—OUR MAJOR FUNDRAISING EVENT!
Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour
Time: 9 am-3 pm
Cost: $25. children under 12 free. You can pre-pay below or pay at the tour at any of the homes. Cash, Check or credit cards accepted.
Locations: see below
The 5th Annual
Kitchen Garden and Coop Tour
Sunday, July 26, 2015 from 9 am to 3 pm
See five kitchen gardens in Santa Fe. Pick up ideas that you can use at your place or just enjoy these beautiful, edible and functional landscapes.
The properties on the tour this year will feature many gardening ideas—beautiful vegetable gardens, herb gardens, fruit and nut trees, backyard chicken coops, goats, beehives, composting, green houses, a neighborhood community garden, edible landscapes and rainwater harvesting systems. Master Gardeners will be at each location to answer gardening questions and support the event. Pre-purchase tickets here on the eventbrite button or buy them at the tour at whatever house you first go to.
5 Properties on tour-get the Home Grown tour_map (revised Jul 18)
#1 • Lisa Sarenduc, Suitable Digs
712 Chicoma Vista
Santa Fe, NM
#2 • Amelia Moody
1951 Osage Dr
Santa Fe, NM
#3 • Deb Farson
2215 Paseo de los Chamisos
Santa Fe, NM
#4 • Bert & Mari Tallant
2389 Camino Pintores
Santa Fe, NM
#5 • Jannine Cabossel, ‘The Tomato Lady’
56 Coyote Crossing
Santa Fe, NM
Garden Tour Bios
Lisa Sarenduc-owner of Suitable Digs. This property has unique green vacation lodgings on her sustainable property where she lives. Her property features a greenhouse, fruit and nut trees, raised vegetable and berry garden, greywater system, a dome greenhouse with fig trees, another greenhouse with olive trees, a large rainwater catchment system, 1.5 acres of native grasses and flowers lining her driveway using key line design, a swimming pond and is completely powered by solar energy.
Amelia Moody has been gardening at her home in Santa Fe for 10 years. Her lovely garden is continually evolving, as she acquires “gift plants” from her friends. She has mature fruit trees and bed with mixed plantings of vegetables, flowers, medicinal plants and cacti, keeping a constant supply of flowers pollinated by her own honeybees. A giant Saguaro Cactus skeleton dominates her back yard. She also catches water from her roof, storing it underground in a 1000gal tank. Chickens will supply her with eggs through the year. A well tended compost pile rounds out her very balanced landscape.
Deb Farson lives in a townhome with her cat Charley in town. She has been a master gardener for 5 years (in fact, she is the president of the Santa Fe Master Gardeners Association). She has been a Master Composter since 2002. Her property has a small footprint, but she has been able to pack in a lot of sustainability. Her perennials are xeric and include many native plants and shrubs in beds, pots and planters. She connects with the National Weather Service daily – measuring precipitation in Santa Fe. She catches rain from her roof to water her landscape – including raised vegetable beds. She fosters community – cooperating with neighbors in a truly neighborhood community garden. She crafts some of the best compost in town with the help of her neighbors, who contribute their food scraps all year round and get tomatoes in the summer in return.
Bert Tallant and his wife Mari have been gardening in Santa Fe for over 25 years. Their garden showcases many of the sustainable features that can be accomplished in an urban setting. They converted almost half of their property into a vegetable garden. In the compact garden, they grow a substantial portion of their food for the year, including tomatoes, chile, corn, squash and raspberries – lots of raspberries. Bert has experimented w/ espaliered apple trees along the walls that enclose the garden. They use water captured from their roof and piped to the garden underground. A newly captured swarm of honeybees buzz about pollinating and making honey. Eggs are gathered daily from their chickens. They make their own high quality compost gathering materials from neighbors and the city.
Jannine Cabossel-The Tomato Lady
Jannine can be found selling her heirloom tomatoes at the Santa Fe’s Farmer’s Market in the summer and features her artisan farm on the tour this year. She strives toward sustainability. Her 6.5 acre property includes 3000 sq ft of raised vegetable gardens that supply her with food year round, garden art and flowers that feed her soul, over 30 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, fruit trees, strawberries, grapes and raspberries, 2 busy beehives, many drought tolerant, bee friendly gardens, chickens that give her eggs daily, Koko the horse and her buddies-the goats, a terraced herb garden, an unheated greenhouse full of tomatoes now and greens in the winter, a cold frame for fall/spring gardening, composting systems and even a resting hut fondly called the Tea House. Be prepared to wander and get lost on this lovely property that will surely inspire gardeners.
It’s time to get growing!
Now is the time to seriously get into your garden. This is the busiest time of the gardening season with everybody wanting to get everything in their gardens. The day temperatures are now in the mid-high 70’s and the evenings are in the mid-high 40’s. PERFECT PLANTING WEATHER! Here is what’s been going on at my place. I feel I’m ahead so I actually have time to post something.
May 21-I waited to plant till after that last snow right after the May 15 date. All 120 tomato plants were in the gardens by May 21 with the help of Elodie Holmes, Lava Ewersmeyer, Mernie Ellessner and Janet Hirons and of course me! Many thanks to all my friends for their help! Boy, was I tired by the end of last week. This is the most tomato plants I’ve ever planted-hopefully it will be a great year and I will have many tomatoes to sell at the Farmer’s Market later this summer! I have 31 varieties this year. My favorites plus many new varieties. They are all in Wall of Waters (WOW) and I wouldn’t attempt to plant them at this date at our 7000 ft high altitude without them. Later the WOWs will be removed once the tomato plants reach the tops of them which will be sometime in June.
May 24-Meanwhile I’ve already put SEEDS in for Atomic Red carrots, Cosmic Purple carrots, Cylindra beets and Craupadine beets, transplanted broccoli-raab, Lacinto kale, Ruby chard, Argentata chard, Burgundy Amaranth and Zino fennel bulbs as of this week. All got row cover over them to give the transplants time to adjust in their new environment.
May 25-The peppers and eggplants are still inside, the little finicky darlings, basking in the windows as the nights are still too cold to plant them yet. If it stays warm I will put them in by the end of the first week of June.
May 26-I will NOW plant bean, corn, cucumber seeds, many flower seeds AND my giant pumpkins. I will also put row cover over them till they come up about 4 inches to keep the birds from eating them.