Tag Archives: Garden

2013-Container Garden Tips from Bob Ross

Bob Ross seedum

From Bob Ross in a flat container garden

Bob Ross gave a great class at our April potluck and we wanted to share it online. He has a weekly radio show on KSFR called Gardens, Food, and Santa Fe at 10am on Saturdays and opened a new container garden store in the Farmers Market building called Gardens. Customers can learn to create their own with his classes or have one designed one for them. While the primary focus is decorative he will help create food gardens. His inspiration came from gardeners around the country, including Flora Grubb from her location in San Francisco.

Beautiful, Bountiful & Easy

By Bob Ross at rwrlink@gmail.com or 501-2740

A container garden is a space with beautiful plants that drains well, has great plant selections and is in a lovely container for your space. It can be indoors or outdoors.

Seven Tips for Successful Container Gardens
1. Select the best containers for you
2. Create good drainage
3. Use the best planting mix without fertilizer (MetroMix 702 with Green Moss)
4. Be thoughtful with the plant selection and experiment
5. Manage your container placement
6. Feed your container gardens (MaxSea seeweed)
7. Maintain your creation

Thrill, Fill & Spill

Typically, but not always, container garden plant arrangements are planned around three design concepts: thrill, fill and spill. The thrill provides height, fill are middle height plants, usually full and often billowy and the spill specimens spread out and trail over the side of the container.

A few of the 2013 Container Plant Favorites

Bouvardia ternifolia
Japonica Striped Maize (plant 6″ apart for full color)
‘Blonde Ambition’ Blue Grama Grass
Allium fistulosum ‘Nabechan’
Goodwin Creek Lavender
Gaura ‘Pink Cloud’
Calamagrostis actuflora ‘Karl Forerster’ Grass
Melianthus major ‘Purple Haze’

Dependable Co-Stars

Artemesia ‘Brocade’
Dichrondra ‘Emerald Falls’
Wire Vine
Purple, White & Pink Trailing Petunia
Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’

To Till or Not to Till in Spring Gardens?

Spring has started and many are preparing their community, home and school gardens. Building soil is important in New Mexico. Jermaine Theragood provided a class today on how to add aged horse manure, soil amendments and compost to create soil.   He discussed how to top dress the soil around plants and use a broadfork to add holes in the soil without tilling a garden. He does not use a rototiller to start new gardens. Jermaine builds the soil sustainability without the use of fossil fuels with his broadfork.

What is a broadfork? It is a large garden fork that is two feet wide. Work on a large garden by using your body weight to insert and move the tool instead of your back and arms. This does not break up the soil, but allows additional space. Eliot Coleman writes about gardening year round and uses this concept for deep aeration of soil while preserving the structure and minimizing weed seed surfacing. This broadfork is one of the handiest tools for turning a garden bed.

Steve Dulfer from Dulfermetal makes broadfork in Santa Fe so we do not have to pay for shipping. It makes preparing your soil easy. 

Description from website: All steel construction with hardened tines make it lightweight and durable.  Cushioned rubber grips on 48″ handles make it comfortable and easy to use.  The 15″ width is just right for a planting row.  Simply step on the crossbar to drive the tines into the soil and pull the handles back toward you to break up and aerate lumpy soil ten inches deep.  Makes preparing new beds or turning in compost and other amendments a snap.

This is a great tool to add to your garden collection. It is less expensive than borrowing a tiller and maintains the soil in large pieces to keep the soil structure.

Native Bees

Paul Navrot provided a class at Milagro Community Garden on native pollinators and here is a summary and some of the tools.  This is the information that he put together and you can contact him below at his website.
The Native Bees Class on Sunday, May 20th included a discussion focused on the cultivation of non-honey producing, North American bees.   These non-aggressive pollinators serve an important ecological function in agricultural practices of all scales that incorporate crops not dependent on wind-pollination.  Gardeners, or anyone interested in supporting, cultivating, and observing these crucial roles in the ecosystem can rear mason and leaf-cutter type bees by building habitat.  Adult bees rear larvae in nests created using mud or vegetation – mason and leaf-cutter types respectively, in bored holes that are found in tree trunks.  A gardener can imitate this habitat by drilling horizontal, or slightly downward holes in dead wood that receives morning sun and is protected from rain and snow.  A paper lining or cardboard tube inserted into this cavity can allow the harvesting of young in the event of incomplete emergence the following year.  Special attention should be given to integrate a diversity of flowering plants, particularly natives, in garden compositions for sources of nectar and pollen. Included as part of this class was actual construction where the class built and installed a bee-brooder-post at the Milagro Community Garden.  Employing basic carpentry, the class quickly transformed two pieces of untreated ‘two-by-four’ into a bee brooder that is capable of rearing hundreds of mason and leaf-cutter type bees.  The brooder-post serves as highly conspicuous place where people can observe the life processes of pollinators while they assist in the fruit and seed setting of crops in nearby gardens.
Published resources for more information regarding native bees …
Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees,” by Dr. Beatriz Moisset, and Dr. Stephen Buchmann.

The New Mexico Native Bee Pollinator Project

Penn State Extension, “Wild Bees as Alternative Pollinators

This Template will help you drill holes for your bees- drilling template

Pablo Navrot’s website/ garden journal

Become A Yardmaster at the Railyard

Here is an announcement from the Railyard Stewards on an opportunity to help keep the park beautiful and learn about the landscape.

We’ve Been Working on the Railyard

Discover how one day of your time, 24 hours over the year, will help the Railyard Stewards keep the Railyard Park on track. Orientation for the new Railyard Yardmasters volunteer gardeners is Saturday, March 24 at the Railyard Community Room, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Local experts will discuss the history, design, and gardens of Santa Fe’s favorite outdoor public space. To register, or for more information contact Alanna of the Railyard Stewards at 505-316-3596 or alanna@railyardpark.org and visit www.railyardpark.org.

Railyard Yardmasters garden together to keep Santa Fe’s favorite public space vibrant and beautiful while learning about life in the high desert. No prior experience or knowledge is necessary! There are many incentives to being a Yardmaster including free training and workshops, the intangible reward of enriching the visitor’s experience of the Railyard Park, and dedication awards.

Did you know that the Santa Fe Railyard Park was created through one of the largest community park planning projects in the country and has won numerous awards? The Railyard Park is an innovative 10-acre outdoor space with community food gardens, unique recreation areas, xeriscaped gardens, and meadows of native grass and wildflower. Along with coordinating the Yardmasters and service learning opportunities at the Park, the Railyard Stewards fill the park with positive, engaging community activities. The more we bring this care and programming to the park, the safer and more vibrant it becomes.

Community Gardens 2012

Do you want to grow vegetables, but don’t have enough space in your yard? Want to learn more about gardening from your neighbors? Meet more people in your area? Join a community garden this year.

Santa Fe has eight community gardens. They are gardens that are divided into individual plots of approximately 10’x12′ but will vary between locations. They have five to thirty-five plots in each garden. Each plot is leased to families or people in the neighborhood for an annual fee of $15-$25. They are open from April to October or some locations may be open year-round. Garden members have access to their plot during the garden season.

The Parks Division has opened four gardens in city parks in the past few years. There are also gardens on privately owned land that are 15 years old. Two more gardens are planning to open in Tierra Contenta this year in Plaza Contenta and at the Zona del Sol location as Earth Care builds youth, community and education gardens. Despite the differences, the gardens all operate in a similar way. Residents can join the gardens in March and April. Each garden has a group of neighbors that coordinates the community, plans activities and may offer classes.

Here is a list of garden contacts:

1. The City of Santa Fe Community Gardens are Sunny Slope Community Garden, La Familia, Maclovia Community Garden and Frenchy’s Community Garden.  Contact Jessie Esparza at 955-2106 for details.

2. Plaza Contenta is opening a community garden in 2012. Contact Dave at 986-2934 or dave@phaseonerealty.com.

3. The El Dorado School Community Garden has a  website for more information.

4. The Milagro Community Garden on Rodeo Road is currently accepting new gardeners and has a waiting list. Email milagrocommunitygarden@gmail.com for information.

5.  Railyard Park has a website  www.railyardpark.org for more information on joining the garden and events and workshops.

Come to Home Grown New Mexico’s March 27th Potluck at 6:30pm at the Santa Fe Complex on Second Street to meet Fabian Chavez and Jessie Esparaza from the Parks Division to discuss community gardens in city parks. Bette Booth from the Community Garden Council will also be available to discuss updates from the spring planning meetings and her experience as a community garden member. Watch our website menu Community Gardens to see updates and additional information.

Seed Starting Class March 3

Garden Seed Starting Class
Saturday, March 3
10:00 to 11:30 am

Presented by Home Grown New Mexico and the Railyard Stewards

Jannine Cabossel, a Master Gardener and ‘The Tomato Lady’ at the Santa Fe Farmers Market will teach a class on how to start seeds for your garden. Jannine has extensive experience in growing vegetables organically on her 2000 square foot garden using all organic methods. Follow her blog. COST: Suggested $10 donation

LOCATION: This event will take place in the Railyard Park.  Meet at the community room behind SITE Santa Fe, off of Paseo de Peralta.  It is a metal corrugated building.

QUESTIONS: Contact homegrownnewmexico@gmail.com or call 473-1403.  Visit homegrownnewmexico.org for details of other community homesteading classes this year.

Santa Fe Community Garden Tour

The community gardens will host the first annual Santa Fe Community Garden Tour on Saturday, September 17 from 1pm-4pm.  Gardeners will be available in seven locations during these hours to give tours, answer questions and provide information to sign-up for the 2012 garden season.  This is a free event.

Gardens include: Frenchy’s, La Familia, Sunnyslope, Railyard Park, Maclovia, Milagro and Hopewell.  A map of these locations will be posted on santafecommunitygardens.org before the tour.  Most locations are near downtown and have a short distance to drive or bike.

The tour is self-paced so guests can visit the gardens in any order.  Visit your neighborhood garden or visit one or all of them if you do not have a community garden yet.  Parking is available at all gardens.  Please park on the street at Maclovia and Sunny Slope as there is not a specific parking lot for those city parks.

BEFORE THE TOUR: Come by our table at the Harvest for Peace event at the Railyard Park from 10:30AM-1PM.  It is presented by the Railyard Stewards and Roots & Shoots and will have live music, fun & educational activities, face painting and a parade at 12:30.  Home Grown New Mexico will share the table and will have recipes for refrigerator pickles, samples and vegetable identification games.

Come to the tour to see local food, meet gardeners and see amazing vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers.  Some gardens will have garden fresh food and herb water for you to enjoy.  Learn about hoop houses, fall/winter gardens and water catchment. Hear the stories of the plants and critters that lived in the gardens this year.  Visit one or all seven community gardens.

For more information and map: Call 473-1403 or santafecommunitygardens.org

Photos of the Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour

We enjoyed seeing all of you at the Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour.  Thank you to everyone that took photos and sent them to us.  We will be posting photos of each location so that you can remember some of the beautiful plants, lively animals and great ideas from the six homeowners.  If you have more photos, please send to homegrownnewmexico@gmail.com or call 473-1403.  These are photos of Don Emery’s gardens by Sky Bat Studios.  More will be posted next week in our Kitchen Garden & Coop Menu.

Entering Don’s garden at the Welcome Table

Cheerful volunteers from the parking area to the welcome table and the garden

Raised beds, cold frames, pots and planting areas are all used in this garden

Guests enjoyed the different areas of herbs, vegetables and fruit trees

Temperature controlled cold frames extend the season of greens and vegetables

Guests looked at the fresh greens

Swiss chard!

Thank you for joining us

Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour

Don’t miss the First Annual 2011 Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour on Sunday, July 24 from 9am – 2pm.  This is a fundraising event for Home Grown New Mexico and Edible Santa Fe.  Visit six gardens and talk with the homeowners. Other features of the tour include:

  • Vegetable Gardens & Fruit Trees
  • Backyard Chicken Coops
  • Examples of Fine Potagers
  • Cold Frames & Container Gardens
  • Master Gardeners

The location addresses are listed below with a brief description. A map will be posted by Sunday, July 17.  Visit gardens in any order as tickets will be accepted at all locations.  Tickets will be $35 on the day of the tour at any tour location (cash or credit card), but buy them now online with the discount code CLUCK.  All discounted tickets must be purchased online by Saturday, July 23rd.

Tickets are sold online at Brown Paper Tickets
click here to buy tickets

Questions: homegrownnewmexico@gmail.com or 473-1403


1- DON EMERY 930 Paseo de Andres
Don Emery is one of our faithful board members at Home Grown New Mexico. Don’s love of culinary gardening grew from his passion for cooking. What began with a couple raised beds seven years ago, developed like a finely tuned recipe. Today he has fourteen beautiful home-made specimens complete with hoops and covers, amidst numerous containers filled with happy veggies . His temperature controlled cold frame makes even the most seasoned gardener green with envy. Don also constructed a lovely potting shed, planted fruit trees, installed perennial edible beds and grows several potato varieties in straw. His attention to detail makes Don’s gardens are as aesthetically beautiful as they are utilitarian. A ‘not to be missed’ on the tour.

2- SONDRA GOODWIN 1615 Cerro Gordo Road
Why did Sondra Goodwin buy half an acre of concrete, asphalt and Astroturf six years ago? Because, she had a vision of Eden concealed beneath it. It took three years to remove the last of the concrete exposing hardpan dirt- like a rock. After another three years of digging, amending, and bed building, it is a truly spectacular potager teaming with life and beauty. Sondra grows most of her own food, through all four seasons. Surplus is shared or stored in her root cellar for winter enjoyment. Aside from traditional heirloom cultivars, she enjoys growing unusual varieties like tobacco, Campanula ranunculus, molokhia, shiso, water spinach, Japanese mugwort, and long snake dancer melon. Sondra preserves sauerkraut, jams, salsas, pickles and honey from her bees, and tends a small covey of quail and several ducks.

3- NATE DOWNEY and MELISSA MCDONALD 1104 Don Gaspar Ave.
Nate and Melissa’s property offers a double meal deal. They are co-owners of Santa Fe Permaculture, an ecological landscape-design, consultation, and installation company. Their spacious yard is truly an example of their success.  Perennial vegetables and herbs are artfully tucked amidst flowers, berry bushes and stone fruit trees. Three 4’x8’covered, raised beds feature the annual veggies; a bean tee-pee entertains the kids, while their five hens occupy a passive solar, multi-room coop. Nate and Melissa have a water catchment and cistern system capable of collecting 22,000 gallons of rainwater in an average year!  The tour doubles as a book signing. Nate will be on hand to sign his new book, Harvest the Rain.

Bob, a life-long gardener and retired biology teacher moved to their present home three years ago with his partner Jerry and began transforming the property with finesse. A quaint picket fence now encloses two raised veggie beds and the hen house- a not to miss, luxury, two-story adobe suite with clearstory windows, vegas, beams, canales, flagstone portal, and run. Masonry beds overflow with ripening harvest. Grapevines, raspberries, gold and red currents are tucked and trellised. Potted tomato plants line the walk, while two enormous Bing cherry trees shade the patio. They have two hand-painted topbar hives and a specifically designed flower garden that provides pollinator habitat. All this and much more to enjoy and inspire!

5- THE BAKER FAMILY 2053 Camino Lado
The Bakers live on a small residential lot in central Santa Fe, and every square inch of which is packed to its potential, producing an abundance of fresh fruit, flowers, veggies, berries, and nuts. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Reese owns and manages The Rain Catcher Inc, a full service design/build landscaping company. Rainwater is collected in above and below ground storage tanks and used for irrigation. Gray water from the house is channeled to fruit trees and a constructed wetlands that filters the water and fills a small pond. They are developing a ‘food forest’ landscape where most of their annual vegetable garden is intermixed with perennials.  All this, plus bees and five happy hens in a homemade coop of recycled materials. A great example of what one can accomplish in a small, city lot!

6- STEVE and MORIA PETERS 1706 W. Alameda St.
The Peters are life-long horticultural experts, plant professionals and gardening educators. They double as residents and caretakers of the Tres Placidas del Rio Co-housing Community garden. Nestled along the Santa Fe River and tucked beneath a canopy of elms and cottonwoods, the gardens are nearly a ¼ acre of cultivated land, teaming with life. Aside from the cornucopia of vegetable crops, perennial beds overflow with herbs, raspberries and asparagus.  Sable Saanen dairy goats and chickens occupy the home-made straw bale barn, complete with it’s own water harvesting system. Animal bedding and kitchen waste feed impressive compost piles that feed the soil, which feed the edibles – that in turn, is gratefully received by all community members.  A wonderful model of community gardening!

Volunteer for the Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour

Sondra Goodwin's Garden Beds

Bob Zimmerman's Chickens

Do you want to see amazing edible gardens and backyard chicken coops in Santa Fe?  Volunteer for the Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour on Sunday, July 24th.  We are hosting this with Edible Santa Fe as a fundraising event.  Tickets are on sale at Brown Paper Tickets for $35.  The tour will include water catchment, permaculture, heated raised beds, unique vegetables, fruit & nut trees, herbs, chicken coops, hand-painted beehives and a barn with goats.  Here are photos of two locations on the tour.

We need volunteers for the morning, afternoon or all day.  Here are some opportunities to be involved:

July 22 afternoon to pick-up tables

July 24 early morning to assist with posting signs before tour

July 24 morning from 8am to 12pm at one of the tour locations

July 24 afternoon from 11am to 3pm at one of the tour locations

July 24 all day from 8am to 3pm at one of the tour locations

July 25 morning to return tables

Volunteer activities will include assisting the homeowner at tour sites, directing parking, ticket taking, answering questions and posting event signs. There is a required 1 hour training on July 16 or 17.  You don’t need to be a garden or chicken expert to volunteer!  Most of the questions and activities will be around the event.

Home Grown New Mexico also has monthly events, computer work and other ways to help.  Visit our Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour page for more details or contact Amy at 473-1403 or homegrownnewmexico@gmail.com.