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Showing posts from April, 2012

Time to Stop and Look at the Iris!

Irises are in bloom now so take time out to enjoy the multitude of colors! Irises are extensively grown as ornamental plants in home, business, or botanical gardens.   The Iris takes its name from the Greek word for rainbow, referring to the wide range of flower colors that are found among all the many species. Irises are grown from rhizomes (rhizomatous irises) or, from bulbs (bulbous irises). A rhizome is a plant stem that is usually found underground. Rhizomes are also referred to as creeping rootstalks or rootstocks.   A bulb is a short stem with fleshy leaves or leaf bases. Bulbs or rhizomes are dug and separated from larger clumps every two or three years to keep plants healthy and prevent crowding. Propagation of Iris is usually done about one or two months after the bloom season, usually in July or August. These dug and dried Iris bulbs or rhizomes are then available in the fall for planting or ordering.   However, now is the time to get out and observe the great v

Is it too early to start planting my garden?

The average date of the last frost for Los Lunas, New Mexico is May 2 nd .    Cool season veggies like spinach, lettuce, and radishes can be planted from seed starting about the 3 rd or 4 th week of March. They germinate rapidly and usually in less than one week they are above soil. The photo below shows radish seedlings one week after planting. These radishes were planted from seed on March 30, 2012. The cool season crops are tolerant of late spring frosts so give those who are anxious a chance to get back into the soil and the garden. The photo below shows spinach seedlings (look closely) just breaking the soil surface one week after they were planted, also on March 30, 2012. The cool season crops generally will be ready for harvest as early as 3-4 weeks after planting. They will produce until the heat of summer arrives. A second crop of cool season crops can also be planted in the fall, after the heat of summer, generally the 2 nd or 3 rd week of September. This fall crop