Home Farming in Eldorado

Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Vegetable & Herb Garden

The Vegetable & Herb Garden was begun in 2009. It was originally one-half the size, but a year later was enlarged to 12 ft. X 19 ft. It is made up of several raised-bed partitions. Each board is 8ft. X 6 in. X 1in. with gravel between two of the rows for easy access. Each growing area is 4 ft. X either 8 ft. or 12 ft.

A trench was dug all around the perimeter and 3 ft. of chicken wire was laid in it to keep out the gophers. Another 3 ft. of chicken wire was strung on posts all the way around the top of the garden to keep out the rabbits. (It doesn't stop mice or birds!) Six-foot bamboo screening was cut in half and wired to the chicken wire to act as a wind break. There are two breaks in the chicken wire on one side of the garden that are used as gates. In 2013, sturdy wooden gates with latches were added making it easier to enter and leave the garden.

The garden areas were dug up from the original soil and amenities are added each year to boost the organic content. The amenities include Soil Mender Plus, horse manure and mulch made from kitchen scraps throughout the year.

Each year vegetable seeds are begun in the sun room of the house in March to be planted in the garden after the danger of the last frost is over on May 15th. (Some cold-hardy plants can be put out a little earlier). In January seeds are chosen and ordered. Most are ordered from Fedco Seeds.

The herb garden occupies a portion of the vegetable garden. It is 4 ft. X 10 ft. and is left alone except to add new herbs and mulch each year. Among the herbs that are grown are rosemary, tarragon, thyme, oregano, marjoram, basil, summer and winter savory.


2014 Activities

Spring / Summer Garden

Herbs
Herbs
Collards
Sweet Corn
Spinach
Arugula
Collards
Sweet Corn
Spinach
Turnips
Collards
Sweet Corn
 
Broccoli
Chard
Sweet Corn
onions
Broccoli
garlic
Sweet Corn
onions
Broccoli
garlic
Sweet Corn

 

The sweet corn did not do well, but everything else grew very well. For some reason there were fewer insect pests this year than in the past. There were no flea beetles at all which was very unusual. The monsoon rains came in mid-July and it rained off and on until the end of August. After that the weather was not exceptionally hot, so I was able to keep up with the watering.


2015 Activities

Spring / Summer Garden

Planted Fedco seeds for vegetable garden in peat pots in the sunroom on March 17th. Eighteen pots of each kind were planted. Included were: Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard, Red Russian Kale, White Egg Turnip, Donkey Spinach, Arugula, Nero di Tuscana Lacinato Kale, Early Wonder Tall Top Beet, Fiesta Broccoli OG/hybrid, Vates Collards, Piracicaba Non-heading Broccoli, Fun Jen Chinese Cabbage, Shuko Pac Choi/hybrid, Cracoviensis Lettuce OG.

After the turnips, boc choy and dino kale finished producing they were replaced by zuchini and yellow squash.

herbs
herbs
brocolli
collards
herbs
herbs
brocolli
collards
herbs
arugula
Dino kale
Russian kale
onions
turnips
Dino kale
Russian kale
onions
turnips
chard
beets
spinach
boc choy
chard
tomatoes
spinach
boc choy
peppers
tomatoes

2016

1st Planting

Vegetables from Fedco Seeds

herbs
herbs
Fiesta OG Broccoli
Vates Collards
herbs
herbs
Nero di Tuscana Kale
Green Lance Chinese Broccoli
herbs
Ice Bred Argula
Fordhook Giant Chard
herbs
White Egg Turnip

Joi Choi Pac Choy

herbs
Jereico OG Lettuce
 
Sungold Tomatoes
Space Spinach
   
Tomatoes
Astro Arugula
   
Tomatoes

 

All of the plants were planted from the sun room where they had been growing from seeds for 6 weeks. All of the greens were all eaten except the some of the Astro arugula, Ice Bred argula, Space spinach and Vates collards by quail. The tomatoes were not touched. A cover of netting was placed over part of the garden which was planted with Green beans.

2nd Planting

herbs
herbs
Fiesta OG Broccoli
Vates collards
herbs
herbs
Nero di Tuscana Kale
Eggplant
herbs
Joi Choi Pac Choy
Eggplant
herbs
White Egg Turnip

Fordhook Giant Chard

Eggplant
herbs
   
Sungold Tomatoes
Space spinach
Fordhook Green Beans
 
Tomatoes
Astro arugula
Fordhook Green Beans
 
Tomatoes

All of the Space spinach, White Egg Turnips, Joi Choi Pac Choy, Giesta OG Broccoli and Nero di Tuscana Kale were eaten by the quail. Only some of the beans germinated, but some were also eaten by quail. They don't seem to like the Fordhook Giant Chard!

Summer Garden

(Planted peppers and squash in late June)

herbs
herbs
Vates collards
herbs
herbs
Padron Peppers
Eggplant
herbs
Padron Peppers
Eggplant
herbs
Yellow Zucchini

Fordhook Giant Chard

Eggplant
herbs
Green Zucchini
Shishito Peppers
Sungold Tomatoes
Shishito Peppers
Tomatoes
Astro arugula
Fordhook Green Beans (scattered)
Shishito Peppers
Tomatoes

 

The monsoon rains began in August and everything in the garden responded favorably.


2017

All of the cool weather crops were started in cow pots from Fedco seeds in the sun room on April 20 and were put out on May 7 (5wks). Strung party banners around the newly planted crops and put each plant in a paper cup with the top cut out for protection from the birds and mice.

herbs
herbs
kale
collards
herbs
herbs
kale
collards
herbs
chard
squash
tomatoes
herbs
chard
squash
tomatoes
herbs
arugula
squash
tomatoes
onion sets
arugula
squash
tomatoes
onion sets
squash
tomatoes

 

Within one week of planting the mice and quail ate all of the collards and kale. They didn't seem to mind the festive adornment. That area was resplaced with various peppers and Japanese eggplants. Later more squash and pepper plants were added. Two cucumber plants were also put in where the kale and collards were along the back fence.


Making a Raised Covered Bed for Winter

In the summer of 2012 a raised covered bed was added to part of the vegetable garden to protect leafy greens (arugula, bac choy, totsoi, chard, spinach and beets) that were planted on August 3 to be grown into the fall and winter.


Activities by Season


Some Interesting Internet Sites

NMSU - Vegetable Gardening in NM Home Grown NM
Nat'l Gardening Assn. Vegetable Gardening Guru