garden, April 30

As I said before, there is a reason that Santa Fe’s average last frost date is listed at the end of May. We’ve had a few weeks of really warm weather — upper 60s and into the 70s — and Sunday, it snowed. A mostly-sunny, wet, sleety type of snow, but still snow. The lows are dipping down into the 20s and 30s this week.

Over the weekend, luckily, I got some things done. I’ve been closely examining the yard to see where I can put in one or two more raised beds. The elms, I’ve concluded, are just not going anywhere. I could pull them and gird them and poison them to my heart’s content, but the sad fact is that there are more trees in my neighbor’s yard, which means the roots will find their way in despite my efforts.

And I figure, if I can’t dig down, then I’ll build up.

Right now, I plan to build two more beds, three feet wide by six feet long, and 24 inches deep. (By “I plan,” I mean getting my more handy boyfriend to build them, as I didn’t pay close enough attention in theatre shop class to remember how to do it myself.) This should give me enough room to for melons, cucumbers, and summer and winter squash (all of which need about two square feet of space per plant) and a few other goodies. In addition, I’m using a reduce/reuse/recycle mentality, and am gathering everything imaginable to use as containers. Tires? Old plastic tubs? Expect them to be filled with topsoil in the next few months.


Seedlings enjoying the sunny windowsill.

I made an impulse purchase this last weekend, and came home with a bunch of berry vines. Two varieties of raspberry, one blackberry, and two different kinds of grapes. I have no idea if they will grow in this climate, and the online opinion on the topic has been mixed. But I’m going to plant them anyway, care for them the best I can, and hope they survive — my neighbors across the street have grapes that grow over their fence, and it doesn’t seem like they do much of anything to help the process along.

The radishes are coming along at lightning speed, and should be ready to be harvested by mid-to-late May.

radish seedlings

radish seedlings

My next investment is going to be rain water barrels. With as dry as the summers are here, I want to try and take advantage of any spring rains that we get. It’s amazing how much water we waste when you start paying attention — I’ve been putting buckets under the faucet when I’m waiting for the water to heat up, and even to capture some of my shower runoff. It’s more than enough to water all of my containers, and it’s startling. A few drums would do a lot to offset the water bill and conserve.


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