GREETINGS AND WELCOME TO THE NEW SUBSCRIBERS!

Another quickie newsletter with a few announcements. I have been SO bad about newsletters this year! My apologies!

1) Summer Share starts are ready for pick up between May 29 and June 7. Email or message me to make arrangements.

2) We are having a plant sale on May 29 from 11-2 at my house. You can pick up your plants this day, too! Vendors will offer starts of zinnias, squash, marigolds, snapdragons, basil, and surely other things I can’t remember right this second.

3) When you’re done planting and want to lounge around and enjoy your beautiful gardens, consider getting some sturdy, locally-made furniture and a barn quilt! Patty and David Donaldson can spruce up your yard with their creativity. Let this barn quilt inspire you! It hangs in Patty’s outdoor kitchen where we enjoy happy hour sunsets in David’s comfy chairs. 

 

4) Don’t forget about Adapting to Climate Change in the Garden. Bookmark this for reference this season!

 

Ok, I’m off and running to get ready for next week. As always, email or message me with questions! 

 

 

 

GREETINGS AND WELCOME TO THE NEW SUBSCRIBERS!

Here are a few announcements. I’ll get more detailed in May when there is a lot of planting going on! Such a fun month. 

But for now, it’s (kinda) brief. What do you expect from a writer?! 

 

Spring Share starts are ready for pick up after April 24. Email or message me to make arrangements. Plants will be ready to put in the ground, but watch the overnight temps and cover them if it gets too cold. I usually just pile straw mulch over them while they adjust.

They can also stay in their pots for another week while you get the garden ready. Again, watch the temps, and bring them in or cover them if it’s going to be cold (things are looking pretty mild, but this IS the Rocky Mountains in spring). If you can’t plant them right away, be sure they are in the shade and well-watered. The sun will heat them up and fry them. It’s all about being aware of the environment and giving them what they need.

 

nannie plants’ Annual Plant Sale is Saturday, May 1 from 11-2 at Earthgoods. We have seven vendors with vegetable, flower, and herb starts, houseplants, succulents, shrubs, perennials, and trees. It’s kinda like one-stop shopping. This photo of me and Kristen Davenport was taken by one of the Taos Seed Exchange’s favorite people, Ellen Grable. Between the three of us, we had herbs, shrubs, trees, tomatoes, eggs, vegetables, seeds, and a seed exchange station! The plant sale that year (2019) was at Vagrant Heart, now closed. What a great location! Nothing is static.

 

One more thing is that seed exchange stations have been put out by Alianza Agri-Cultura de Taos. I turned it over to them as of this season, and the name has been changed to Auntie Nannie’s Seed Exchange, so watch for the signs! New and (way!) improved stations have been placed at the ReStore, Raels’ Market and the public library in Questa, Red Willow Center (tribal members only), the SPOT in Peñasco, ReThreads, Rio Fernando Park, the Talpa Community Center, and the Carson Cafe. Get your seed swappin’ on until we can do a huge seed swap. Hopefully next spring!

 

Ok, see you in May with more news and info about planting! 

 

GREETINGS AND WELCOME TO THE NEW SUBSCRIBERS!

The weather is so bizarre. It was 12º yesterday morning but will be in the mid-70s with lows of 40º over the weekend. Extreme much?! It’s going from unseasonably cold to unseasonably warm. Average temps this time of year are 60º and 30º. Thanks, climate change. Read about how to adapt to climate change in the garden. This is getting to be a hot (no pun intended!) topic for my writing.

CSA SHARES OF STARTS

 Summer Shares of organic starts of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, greens, herbs, and flowers can be ordered until April 15. Pick-up is in the end of May.

Renee’s Garden Seeds are available at the Taos Market in El Prado next to the Taos Diner. Soon they will be at KOKO, too! It is getting hard to reorder. Stock is low and delivery times long, so this is probably all there will be for the season.

People are asking about Spring Shares because of the warm days coming up. My advice when you’re losing your patience is to watch the calendar, not the temperatures! I never change my planting schedule even though warm sunny days are tempting. I’ve lost plenty of plants out in the garden by planting too soon. A few years ago I swore to never plant anything before the third week of April, and I’ve had a better success rate and way less stress! Spring Shares will be ready in the end of April. I’ll email everyone with details about pick up or delivery. Here are your red butter lettuce seedlings as of March 30 (not even close to ready!).

EVENTS

No seed swap this spring. Gillian and I have talked about maybe doing one in the fall instead.

On May 1 from 11-2, we will be holding the nannie plants’ Annual Plant Sale atEarthgoods on Bertha Street. We have seven vendors offering succulents, house plants, shrubs, perennials, and starts of vegetables, flowers, and herbs.

NEW ARTICLES

Adapting to Climate Change in the Garden – Hopefully, this will turn into a book once starts season is over. With every unseasonable cold snap, I’m more determined to git ‘er done.

Chayote: A Plant on the Rise– Chayote is a yummy and healthy vegetable I found a couple of years ago. I experimented with growing it and failed, but it’s still on my menu. Read about my trials here!

Here are your April Garden Chores.

Pray for moisture! It was a warm dry winter, and it doesn’t look like things are going to change much. Get a water collection system in place! Here’s to a luscious growing season with water, few bugs, and big harvests.

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April is the month for more clean-up and prepping things for planting time. Earth Day is April 20, so consider planting a tree for Mother Earth. 

Ramp up your garden prep by cleaning up debris this month. Gently rake it up or use your hands to avoid breaking off new growth of perennials and reseeders just popping up.

Last chance to get a soil test done before you start planting!

Get your compost piles organized. I have three that I rotate. One is old enough to put on beds, the second will be ready next year, and the third is the one I currently dump kitchen scraps into. Screen the compost that’s ready to use and add it to your beds. Turn it into your soil. Or not. Read on.

A couple years ago, I did an experiment with no-till. I put my compost on top of one bed. I got out my flat-tined pitchfork (I call that a dung fork), put it into the soil, and rocked it back and forth a bit. Then I stepped back and did it again. This is how you use a broadfork. I planted lettuce mix and spinach in that bed, and they grew as well as in a bed completely turned over. So I just ordered myself a real broadfork to do all my beds this way. The tines of a broadfork are designed to dig deep and loosen hardpan and compacted soil, so hopefully my beds will loosen up way below so I can make them sunken instead of slightly raised. But the real benefit of a broadfork is that you don’t disturb the soil structure or the microorganisms. You also don’t bring weed seeds to the top, which means less weeding through the season. We’ll see. Stay tuned for the report!

Divide your perennials and make new borders or share with friends. Take that dung fork, work it slowly into the center of the plant, and gently break it apart without hurting the roots, like you could with a shovel. The ideal way to do this is to use two forks back to back to break the plant up. Clean up the tops, and replant in a suitable size hole with added compost. Water in well, and mulch after the soil warms up a bit.

Plant perennial food crops this month, too. Rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries, and Jerusalem artichokes are a few.

Make sure your tools are ready to be used! Take them down to Rocky Mountain Forest & Garden by the north end of Placitas for tune-ups and sharpening.

Plant your cool-weather vegetables late in the month. Lettuce, kale, Asian greens, Swiss chard, broccoli, and spinach are a few crops that do best in cool weather. Get starts or direct seed them. Starts just give you a jump on the season. Buy some Johnny Jump Ups and pansies to brighten up your entryway. I saw some at Ace the other day.

Start tomatoes, eggplant, basil, and peppers in the next couple of weeks. Count back from your average last frost date (I use June 1st) 6-8 weeks for these crops. All the summer crops are available for ordering.

Enjoy the spring! Bulbs will be coming, and there will be new growth on perennials, shrubs, and fruit trees. The days will get longer and warmer. Savor this transitional month. A busy summer is on its way!

 

Short season tomatoes – Moskvich, Bison, and Super Tomato.

GREETINGS AND WELCOME TO NANNIE PLANTS!

(This is my first email newsletter in the new format. Please disregard any hiccups! I’m sure there are many!)

It’s snowing lightly this morning. Yesterday it was -10º at my house. I hope that’s the end of the brutal cold but not the snow! I dislike winter, but snow and cold are good for our plants. And also, winter makes you appreciate spring more. I spent many winters in Tucson, and coming back to Taos in the spring, I missed out on the excitement of the seasonal transition. I had already experienced 70 and 80 degree days, so a high of 50º meant nothing. But after suffering the cold like we have been, 50º will feel glorious in March!

This is the time of year to make plans for your yard. Think hard about vegetable garden plans, new walkways and outbuildings, and plantings of trees, shrubs, and perennials. Dream big and get done what you can. Make a budget and prioritize projects. I get carried away every year with projects but eventually have to whittle them down to what’s most important, practical, and affordable. My dreams are way bigger than my wallet, but I imagine that’s the life of a gardener.

Winter is also the time of year to create a plan for winter interest in your yard. Look around. Do you need some height or texture somewhere? Will the lines of a trellis add interest? We need visually pleasing yards year-round, and now that there’s snow on the ground, think about what you would like to see next year at this time.

CSA SHARES OF STARTS

All my seeds for starts have finally arrived! I was getting stressed wondering if stock was going to run out like it did last year. I was scrambling for seed midway through last spring, and I wanted to avoid that again. It was touch and go for a while, but all my supplies are in. I have over-ordered in the hopes I can supply everyone without worry!

As always, I have Spring and Summer Shares of organic starts and non-GMO Renee’s Garden Seeds. Spring Shares are mostly greens and are delivered in the end of April. Summer Shares are all those scrumptious warm weather plants we tend until frost, and they are ready in the end of May.

Speaking of Renee’s, there is a full seed rack at the Taos Market in El Prado next to the Taos Diner (which is now open for indoor seating at 25% capacity!). Bonus Packs and Scatter Cans are fully stocked, too.

EVENTS

There is no seed swap this year, but we are discussing locations for seed exchange stations. Seed donations are down because most companies sold out last year. If you have seed to donate to keep the seed exchange going, please let me or Gillian Joyce know! Donations from local growers started the Taos Seed Exchange back in 2013!

On May 1st, we will be holding a plant sale at Earthgoods in Bertha Street. Stay tuned for details. That’s a long way out!