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Here in New Mexico, the experts say to play it safe and not plant your garden outside until Mother’s Day. In this high desert climate, we sometimes get freeze warnings, and even snow, through the first week of May. That wait gave us plenty of time to ponder our gardening methods. We wanted easy maintenance, not too big, and prolific plants so we could get some good tomatoes and peppers to eat and make salsa, and we also wanted some herbs. We have tried different locations, and we used those hanging topsy thingamajigs once too. The last two years have not been good.
We decided to try some type of container gardening. Nice wood planter boxes are great, but a bit spendy. We also checked out large plastic vase-type containers and even plain 5 gallon buckets. Then I saw an idea on Facebook that looked like it just might one of least expensive concepts. We bought two 42 inch, plastic-molded kiddie pools that cost only $9.95 and five 10 lb bags of Indoor/Outdoor Miracle Gro potting mix. They were on sale at Lowe’s for only $6.97 each.
We bought some very healthy tomato and pepper plants from a neat non-profit ministry that starts them in their own greenhouses. A few herbs from Lowe’s, and we were set. We also added some “start from home” garlic and green onions, which will both be food that feeds other blog posts.
The peppers, etc.
We actually set these up about 10 days ago because the 15-day Albuquerque forecast, which seems to change daily, predicted no chance of overnight temperatures below 44 degrees. Well, that did not quite happen. When Colorado got a major snow , we got cooler temps, but none were damaging enough, thank goodness. Then a dried up tree in the back yard fell over in some dramatic winds right into the kiddie pool gardens. With all this excitement the gardens are still intact.
I am hoping that this controlled method will make irrigation and weeding a cinch. Who knows? These inexpensive containers might even last more than one year, even in New Mexico’s hot, dry, summer weather. And, I will keep my adventure updated right here, even when I pick first warm tomato for dinner in a few months. Watch for my experiences with garlic and green onions soon.
See a follow up post on this here! And stay tuned for more!