Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Baby Lettuce Lesson...

So recently we found these little guys, Gourmet Baby Lettuce growing in the oddest of places, between two railroad tie steps.  Is life not amazing?!  It's survives and strives & pushes through! I tend to baby my garden.  I fret and fuss about the soil and how much water is enough or too much.  This little lettuce had a lesson to teach me and Mother nature seemed to be saying, "look here's where baby lettuce wants to grow".  The steps here get very little direct light. So, this set us on a new course.

My goal is to someday have enough vegetables to feed us, year round.  I would love to can tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, salsa, pickles, all of it! To do that we'll need a bit more garden space I think. So I'm observing our yard anew to see where we can grow and how we can grow using what we already  have.

This led us to dig out a new, in ground garden bed.

I'm so excited about this bed.  It's on our side yard very near a large pine tree in our front yard.  It's easy access from the kitchen, yay!  Because it's so near the pine tree the soil seems to be perfect.  It was easy to dig out.  Michael and I finished it all including placing the rocks in under an hour. The soil is so rich and wonderful feeling, we didn't need to add a thing to it.  We already had the rocks that we've been pulling out of the back yard in order to make more room for flowers and veggies. This area of the yard gets mostly indirect light so I researched plants that might like that (besides our baby lettuce) and today we planted Everbearing Strawberries, Purple Bush Beans, Contender Bush Beans, Lemon Thyme, Chamomile, Greek Oregano, Onions, Italian Parsley, two Spinach varieties, Kale, some of that rougue Gourmet Baby Lettuce and red cabbage. 

In the Southwest the biggest garden hazards, that I've noticed at least, are the sun and Spring winds.  I'm learning that the rules of Sun/ Shade & where veggies like to be planted are very different here than in other parts of the country.  Now when I pick up a plant that says "plant in full sun" I chuckle a little bit.  Unless it's a cactus almost all plants like a little shade here.  I'm hoping these veggies will be happy.  Eventually I would love to see the strawberries take over. 

New in the garden this year are potatoes! I've never grown them before so I am super excited to see what happens.  We started them in the mostly shady side yard in a big pot and coffee sack. 

Last year, despite excellent soil, the plants in this bed did not do so well.  After observing it for awhile we notices that the sunlight is spotty.  Last year I tried planting nasturtiums, Sunflowers, cucumbers, zucchini and watermelon here, all sun loving plants.  This year I'm trying some of the colder weather root crops like onions, Carnival Blend Carrots and leeks.  We've planted spinach and lettuce here as well. 

One of our square foot garden beds is also planted with Spring veggies, beets, spinach, Red Sail lettuce, Kale & Red Cabbage. This bed is in full sun so it will be interesting to see how it does. 

Our tepee is planted with Peas at the moment.  Purple Triumph Pole Beans will be planted around the poles.  We're hoping for a play tepee by midsummer!

This bed at our front door is all about Spring flowers at the moment.  The boys were so thrilled to plant flower bulbs.  We're going to scatter seed here soon for Summer flowers and see what comes up. 

We've been working so hard at getting our garden beds ready and I'm tired but it hardly seems like work to me, I love it so much.  Are you beginning your garden planning? Any planting yet?

Until next time...


  1. I think your leafy veggies will definitely thank you for the new location. Growing in the southwest is challenging especially since our state has so many different zones, and those zones are not as forgiving as they are closer to sea level. The wind cuts sharp, and sun tells a very intense story. I live down in Los Lunas, and when we first planted strawberries, the only way they would survive is if we put a shade cloth over them. In the second year they did 'okay' without it, but our sun is so intense that I've even found sunflowers growing strong and taking refuge under full shaded pine trees.

    1. Wow, sunflowers in the shade. I wouldn't have thought. I really hope the new bed does well. I'm thinking we should have placed our sq ft beds in the side yard. Much easier to reach from the kitchen too. So nice to meet another in NM & I love your blog! I will be reading & thanks for visiting me.

  2. Oh Becca you have me wanting to get out into the garden! Your garden looks fantastic!!!
    We are trying to decide what to do in the way of gardening as the property that we are renting is for sale so we may be faced with a quick move this year. We were hoping that this would be the year that the property that we have been saving for would reveal itself at a price we can afford so fingers crossed that it all works out in the end! Stressful times but I'm doing my best at staying positive.
    Keep us posted on your garden's progress, it's still pretty wet here to start the seeds so I'll have to live through your photos for a while!
    I have enjoyed watching your love of gardening blossom over the years!

    1. Thanks Joey! You have been a gardening inspiration. Good luck with the possible move. We were so blessed to have been able to move last Spring, when there was still time to plant. Perhaps that will happen for you too. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  3. Flowers! Your hyacinths and daffodils are a beautiful combination Becca, and the beds are lovely and expectant! I haven't planted anything yet, although I have drawn a little planting diagram. I am going to try and add some bokashi ferments to my soil before the actual planting date. I'm excited to see what a little compost will do. Have a great day!

    1. Thank you! I bet your plants will love the compost. I was a little frustrated with composting but then we moved our compost heap and I found some good stuff. It was working even when I thought it was sitting there drying out. This season I'm going to compost in a 5 gallon bucket again as well as the big heap. It's so fast & I want some good fertilizer for my plants.


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