Hi, I just moved to ABQ and would like to plant a vegetable garden in my backyard. It is mostly dirt and weeds right now. Does anyone know what types of fertilizer are best for desert soil? Also, any suggestions for what grows well in this type of environment? I believe it is a zone 7.
Soil in Albuquerque is highly alkaline. As for what grows -- it depends on how much sun, heat, shade, etc. you have in your planting areas and how often you are willing to water. I've given up on most annuals because they fry in our hot sun. We turned most of our yard into Xeric plantings. Rose bushes do well here once you get them established, and I've been fortunate with lavender, rosemary and salvia. Weeds are a big challenge. Every drop of moisture seems to bring three new weeds. ;-)
If you can get truck loads of animal manure, add this to your soil as it helps feed, retain moisture to some extent in your heat and make a shaded area going North to South, then you should get some veg to grow, but go for fast maturing types, as if the veg is in the soil too long, then you will need a full time gardener to just water, shade is important as it stops the greenery getting scorched too fast, water last thing at night or very, very early morning before the sun gets too hot. there are a lot of fast maturing veg on the market now, also in Mexico, there are lots of community gardens where neighbourhood families get together to grow food plants so ask around or look up the phone books, these places would be good place to go for advice, good luck. Weenel.
PS, some veg dont like to grow on NEWLY manured soil so look in the library for books on local veg growing.
Go to this page. http://davesgarden.com/member_zip.php Change the zip code to your own. This will give you a list of members and subscribers in your area. Just click the user name to go look at their profiles and choose someone to Dmail and ask for local info.
Your soil may need some work. It varies greatly throughout the city from decent to sandy to useless clay but tilling and adding mulch can fix anything. Check out this site for useful information: http://www.abqmastergardeners.org/
Just came over here to look around and stumbled on this thread. If you want, come on over to the Rocky Mountain Forum. We've got a few members from down your way in Abq and Los Alamos, and all the way to Canada. We all have the same conditions, frigid winters, burning hot summers, worthless soil and no water. Lots of help, advice, and general chit chat. Come on over and say 'hi'.