Poll: What to GROW in NM?
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IDEAS of what will grow in HOT weather?
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Ideas on what to grow with little moisture?
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How/what to grow in New Mexico heat and poor soil?
  Re: (0...)

We live in New Mexico. In the country. 16 + acres.
Our biggests problems are the HOT temperatures and the POOR soil (very hard--whitish color in places where we would like things to GROW).
We have only lived here for 3 1/2 years and have been trying to add something to our place each year.
We cannot get anything to GROW or stay alive for very long.
We have had some success with our trees. We started them from cuts from mature trees (Austrees), and they are doing well, but we cannot find PLANTS that will stay alive or grow.
We have a FRONT yard with a pond in the center where we would like to plant (ALL FULL SUN AREA). We have planted a few trees around exterior of pond, they are only small at only about 1-2 years old.
We have a LARGE back yard, with a few (small) trees, 1-2 years old.
Our back yard is where we need IDEAS on how and what to plant to "landscape" the LARGE yard?
IWe need IDEAS on what would work for us?
We need some DESIGN and or SEPERATION [color:green] to our areas.
Please write with any ideas you may have.
July 12, 2006 [color:green] [/color] Big Grin
  Re: How/what to grow in New Mexico heat and poor soil? by sjl ( [br]We live in New ...)
First you need to contact your local office of the New Mexico State University USDA Cooperative Extension Service, http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/county/ and inquire about a good, reliable soil test done to see what you do have now and also dig in with these simple soil tests,
1) Structure. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. A good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer you soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.

Your soil is most likely alkaline, due to lack of rainfall salts build up and stay in the soil, and most likely, just like any other soil, is lacking in sufficient organic matter. The biggest problem you will have is finding enough organic matter to add to the soil to make a significant difference, but that is what your soil will need.
West Central Michigan along the lake shore.
  Re: Re: How/what to grow in New Mexico heat and poor soil? by KimmSr (First you need to co...)
I was going to suggest you contact the Cooperative extenstion service too and I'm sure they can tell you what flowers will do in the soil that is there. I agree about having a soil sample tested to see what the soil is lacking and what is needed. With that much land, it must be more than overwhelming. Can you divide that into other building lots and sell it? We were in Albuquerque and Santa Fe and all I saw was wind and sand and I don't think I'd want to live there but have relatives that have lived there for over 30 yrs. in Santa Fe and loves its beauty.
  Re: Re: How/what to grow in New Mexico heat and poor soil? by Pippi (I was going to sugge...)
Hi Dear,

I found a site that I think that help you with your concern. This might help as well http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_circulars/circ457.html.

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