PO Box 2458, Tijeras NM 87059

Mountain Gardens--finding success with plants for the high desert and East Mountains of New Mexico

Monday, February 28, 2011

...later in the month

   It's been several weeks since the last post, and since then we've had a storm that dropped us to -30 (and that's not windchill)! Records were set all over the state. We're still waiting to see what the damage is on the fruit trees outside. It looks as though most of the hardy natives in the unheated hoop houses came through fine, but the heater in greenhouse two failed, and some of the annuals we're getting ready for spring didn't make it. We had just received our big shipment of fruit trees and gotten them potted up. Early to say, but most of them look very good.

And the last several days have been lovely! Except for winds gusting to 50 yesterday--that's New Mexico.  the days warm up--we're longing for spring. Half the gardeners (who know better) start planting, then zing! We get hit again.

We continue to plant seedlings--we've started the onions, tomatos and peppers, and are about to put some greens in the grow box. I had half a dozen flats of leafy greens from last year in number two (I'm cutting them for the chickens), and was surprised at how much cold they took.

It's always a pleasure to go into one of the greenhouses and see something in bloom. Right now, the amaryllis, winter jasmine, bougainvillea (still!), cyclamen, and the fuschias are showing their color. And I brought in a pink daisy today to make cuttings from--it was covered! The days are getting longer, more light (sometimes more heat) is coaxing plants out of dormancy. Many of the potted fruit trees are starting to show buds.

Tomorrow, we give a talk at the local garden club on "What Not to Grow in the East Mountains." Many people get confused because, though we're so close, many of the plants they admire in Albuquerque won't grow well (or at all) in the mountains. ABQ is a heat island--zone 8. In the mountains, we're zone 4, zone 5 sometimes with protection.

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