Skip to main content

Is it too early to start planting my garden?

The average date of the last frost for Los Lunas, New Mexico is May 2nd 

Cool season veggies like spinach, lettuce, and radishes can be planted from seed starting about the 3rd or 4th 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 2nd or 3rd week of September. This fall crop can sometimes be productive into November and December.

Frost sensitive plants like tomatoes, chili, bell peppers, squash, melons, and eggplant cannot be planted until the danger of frost has passed. If planted before the last frost date you risk losing them all, even in the event of a light frost.  If you have young tomato or chili plants, etc. you can now begin to acclimate them to outdoor conditions. Place them outside during the day to get acclimated to the sun, wind, humidity, etc. and move them indoors or to a sheltered area at night. Watch the weather for your area and if there is no danger of frost you could even leave them outdoors overnight, but keep your eye on the weather as a late spring frost can kill them all one chilly night or morning.
For more information about what to plant and when to plant contact the nursery at www.treesthatplease@comcast.net or come by the store. We have starter plants available now for your garden.

Written By:
Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Weed Identification: Goatheads or Stickers

Goatheads ( Tribulus terrestris ) are native to Southern Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Goatheads are also called stickers, sticker weed, bullhead, devil’s weed, and puncturevine. Goatheads are easily recognized by their prostrate growth form, leaves with leaflets, yellow flowers, and stickers (Goatheads). If you miss’em visually then they will stab you painfully in the fingers as you work your garden, or stick to your clothing and shoes. Goatheads are the primary reason local bicyclists must get “thorn proof” tires for riding on area trails and streets. Goatheads have prostrate stems that radiate outward from one central point. Leaves are compound with smaller leaflets. Lemon yellow flowers form along the stems and fertilized flowers form fruits.   Fruits consist of several attached structures called nutlets (Goatheads). Each nutlet is a single seed that becomes hard or woody when mature. Each seed has two sharp spines that easily penetrat

Western Soapberry Tree

The Western Soapberry tree ( Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii ) is native to New Mexico. It grows wild from Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana westward through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, and Mexico. The fruit of the Western Soapberry tree is a drupe. Mature fruits are translucent, amber colored, and contain a black seed. The mature fruit without the seed will produce a good lather with water and has been used as a soap substitute. Fruits persist on the trees through winter. T he Western Soapberry tree can grow 1′-2′ annually reaching 25′-30′ tall and wide making it a good sized shade tree. Fall leaf color is an attractive golden yellow. Currently, there are no improved varieties of the Western Soapberry Tree. It grows well on the alkaline soils of New Mexico and is very tolerant of heat and drought once established. This tree is rarely affected by disease or insect pests making it an ideal specimen tree for your yard or landscape. S

Weed Identification: Sand Bur

Sand Bur ( Cenchrus longispinus ) is native to North America. It has other names like sand spur, long-spined sand bur, hedgehog grass, and bur grass . Sand Bur is an annual grass usually growing with a prostrate growth form. It is similar in appearance to other grasses prior to seed formation. Individual plants may be 3’ in diameter, sometimes larger. Sand Bur is a common weed of sandy soils but also grows well elsewhere. Sand Bur will often root at stem nodes that are touching the ground. The root system of Sand Bur is shallow and fibrous making them easily pulled (when immature). Sand Bur produces a flowering spike. As seeds begin to form Sand Bur is easily recognized by its numerous sharp or burred seeds or long spines. As the burred seeds mature they are easily separated from the mother plant and their sharp spines stick to virtually anything. Sand Bur can disseminate its seeds long distances because its sharp spines will hitch a ride on skin, animal hides,