Master Gardeners of Los Alamos perennial garden. Courtesy photo
MASTER GARDENERS NEWS
The Master Gardeners of Los Alamos County are sad to announce that due to the Covid 19 precautions there will not be a Garden Tour in June as planned. In the future, the membership will be deciding if a Tour will happen later this year or need to be delayed to another year.
In the meantime, the Los Alamos Master Gardeners will be providing information on different gardening subjects to be locally publicized. Information will also be placed on the association’s website http://lamgonline.org/index.php and on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/losalamosmastergardener/.
Everyone is invited to ask a question about gardening in Los Alamos by contacting the Los Alamos office of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service 505-662-2656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Master Gardeners’ mission is to provide education to the public on safe and proven garden methods.
The current article is on Raised Bed Gardening. Tired of gophers, rocks and bending? Consider what Los Alamos Master Gardener, Denise George and her husband did to make gardening easier. Following is her story.
Raised Beds for Vegetable Gardening
By Denise George
After years of being outwitted by clever gophers and of listening to the complaints of my aging knees, it was time to investigate using a raised planting bed in our vegetable garden. By stapling strong steel mesh to the bottom of the bed, no gopher would be able to feast on our garden bounty. Planting, weeding, and feeding could be done in comfort perched on the edge. We opted for a kit which contained everything we needed for a 12’ by 4’ bed except for the mesh. It took only a day to assemble.
We filled it with a combination of compost, manure, and top soil in the expectation that the vegetables will thrive in such a fertile environment. This was the hard part especially since we underestimated the number of bags needed!
We laid drip irrigation hoses and in early April planted cold weather seeds: spinach, lettuce, beets, and, carrots, laid row cover, and waited for germination. We are now enjoying delicious fresh lettuce and spinach salads as we are thinning the rows.
In early May we planted bush bean seeds which germinated quickly as the weather has been so warm. We added two pepper plants and a few radish seeds.
Thus far we are calling the experiment a success although like all gardening projects it will require a few tweaks. For example, the soil in the raised bed dries out much faster than the surrounding soil. When we switch over the cool weather bed to warm weather vegetables, we will redesign the irrigation. It’s early days yet and many harvests to anticipate.