PO Box 2458, Tijeras NM 87059

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

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer At Last?

What a long miserable spring. I was wearing my long underwear until the last of May! We finally planted the tomatoes, peppers, leeks and squash on the 29th (after telling my customers to wait till the soil was warm enough), and it froze that night!!! Luckily everything but the squash was tucked away in the Wall O' Waters (behind granddaughter Junie who is watering the last of the asparagus.) I'm going to have to start some more squash though, we're sold out.

The other veggies are going fast, too. Many of our customers have been back several times to replace veggies that have frozen. At the veggie class, we discussed putting in cool weather crops like peas, onions, greens early in spring, holding off on the warm season crops (like squash) until the soil temps hit 65 or 70.

A major disappointment--our fruit trees won't be ready this season, and we lost many to the terrible weather last winter. And yet, about a dozen container fruit trees we overwintered in the cold house (even colder than the barn!), came through beautifully. Mature roots make all the difference in this climate.

But summer is here at last. The mad greenhouse season is passing as all the annual and vegetable seedlings are yielding to the perennials--time for root pruning, cutting back, repotting, dividing--and starting the next round of seed to replace plants for next year.

Our grapes are showing promise. We started some 40 of these in the winter from unrooted cuttings, callusing the woody little sticks on the heat mats till roots emerged, then potting them up in the warmth of greenhouse two. We're hoping they'll be ready for sale in a few weeks. There are a variety of cultivars, and though we've still got some on the mat (three of the Swenson Red finally rooted!), there should be a few of each.

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