Gardening in New Mexico particularly the lower elevations of the Southwest poses special problems. The soil is sandy and dry and rain water is in short supply. However there are some things you can do to increase fruit, flowers and greenery if you come from this part of the country.
- Water - You should increase watering times on your garden and lawn. Especially during the hot summer months. Non native plants and trees are especially vulnerable to heat scorch and stress. Use a good drip system to water your trees and shrubs. Make certain the drip emitters are directly over the root ball of all plants. Set your water timer to about every other day about 20 minutes each time. Newly planted shrubs and trees need water twice per day for about the first month.
- Fertilize more often. Trees and shrubs require more nitrogen and potash. Flowering plants need more phosphorus. Fertilizers with these nutrients should be purchased at a local greenhouse or nursery. Be sure to follow directions accordingly.
- Use good rich composted material when planting. Compost should be back-filled into the hole along with current soil. About a 50/50 percent ratio.
- Use a good mulch on top of soil to help keep moisture in and weeds out. Eucalyptus and Cedar mulch work well. These type of mulches also help build a barrier to keep insects out.
- You should also increase watering times for your lawn (be sure to follow city restrictions). A healthy well kept lawn will keep away weeds and diseases. Watering should be done in the early morning hours. Do NOT water during night time as this may induce fungus problems.
- Fruit and Pecan trees need a fertilize with zinc. Be sure to purchase a fertilizer with at least a 5% of this essential tree nutrient.
- Inspect your plants regularly don't just plant and forget. Go out and enjoy the day...check each tree, plants, shrub flowers for insects or diseases. Early detection of any problems can reduce the chances of your plants dying or looking bad.
For more southwestern gardening tips visit guzmansgreenhouse.com