Sandy Smithsson

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since Dec 03, 2018
Sandy likes ...
chicken food preservation cooking
learning to grow things better every year!
Northen New Mexico, 7500', zone 6b
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Recent posts by Sandy Smithsson

Camping with 5000 of your closest friends:

or.. what we do when we are not gardening!



Wayne Mackenzie wrote:I use tree tubes.
They’ve worked well at protecting from desiccating wind, UV, and critters.

What are tree tubes?  

5 months ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:

testing uploading images

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I'd recommend seeding the grasses during cool weather, just before several days of rain are expected. Might as well get them germinated as soon after planting as possible. I prefer fall planting grasses over spring planting cause the plants can get a better root system before hot weather arrives. Very early spring is almost as good as fall.  With other cover crop seeds, try to match planting dates to their preferred germination conditions. Again just before several days of rain are expected may reduce predation.

I would try in fall, since here we have wonky weather - DRY hot windy spring and cool rainy july/aug.  We have had success even on a slope broadcasting seed, then using a compost roller to put a layer of compost on top and pack it down/ contact the soil, and then watering.   We use a spreader like this one: Compost Spreader

5 months ago

Bonnie Kuhlman wrote:We're in AZ about 40 miles north of Prescott.  Elevation is about 4500', very alkaline soil, windy, late frosts, seasonal monsoons.  We've been here about 2.5 years, still trying to figure it out.  Previous owner left us with a small orchard, large blackberry patch, and fairly good soil.  One of our biggest challenges is the late frost.  It warms up in Feb. and trees start to bud, then late frost in May kills it.  We got a fair crop off the apple trees this year.  One plum actually had about 7 fruit but the birds got them.  That was the only stone fruit that's actually set fruit.

We have a hoop house, but haven't had much success in there so far.  Thought I could overwinter some of my potted plants in there, but overnight freezes took them out.  I'm thinking I'll just use it to start seeds later.  


We have the same late frost issues here.  Some of our trees that we have success with are (all late varieties) apples, peaches, an ornamental plum (that insists it is NOT an ornamental and produces huge amounts of the sweetest plums!), and a pie cherry.  The pie cherry does fantastic but buds later than sweet cherries, although one year out of five we dont have a crop due to a late freeze.

I see a LOT of apricots around me, I dont understand why when they just bloom wayyy too early to have reliable fruit.  But they make great shade trees so I guess the fruit is just a bonus.

Blackberries, raspberries, other brambles do well, and so do currants and their gooseberry cousins, they seems to not care about the cold and wind and the sun.

Oh, and wall-o-waters.  If we want tomatoes and peppers, have to use them!  One year I didnt, and had to replant the tomatoes THREE TIMES !  That was a lesson that I will never forget! Hard freeze in late May ARGHHHHHHHHHHH

5 months ago

kevin stewart wrote:Sandy
I assume you are west of flagstaff. I'll wave as i drive by.

Actally i did have april showers the first april i was out there. It snowed. I was so worried about my "primitive" roads turning into slush that i took off, not to return for months.

I don't have a "seed bank" as much as i save seeds, or is that the same thing? This year is the big seedling starter.

Shawn, have a look at the new mexico seedling program.
It's for people who own land in new mexico.

I am up north of Santa Fe.  We got DUMPED on with snow a week ago -  they are still piling it up in the parking lots as I write this.  
5 months ago

nancy sutton wrote:After wrestling with a jam jar with a handle on it for a few years, I had occasion to become familiar with the hospital's urine collection method - the 'hat'   I bought 2 from Amazon for minimal $, and now use them - never 'miss' or hit my hand    It is a bother to take out and empty into into the watering can, but it's natural and free. 

BTW, has it been addressed yet why dog pee yellows lawns ?  does ours?  Is it a matter of them using the same spot repeatedly, if posssible? 

My hubby has been testing this theory - peeing in the same general place in the grass (about a 3 ft area)  for a couple years now - the grass is not yellow like where dogs pee, and in fact it is greener than where he does not pee.  He does spread it out a little bit (Lol) instead of concentrating in a 3 inch area, so maybe that helps.  But still after so long no grass damage.

5 months ago
Oh my, I love allt he super cute hats you came up with!  

Sooo creative!

5 months ago

Michael Cox wrote:

Eric Thompson wrote:Roses respond great to willow water!  You should be able to propagate it.  As far as controlling it? Roses want to be a thicket and they will quickly develop an impassable area - but they may be a pain to try to train in a meaningful way.  So of course I would suggest doing it for the thrill and danger of what might happen

I propagated a bunch of different roses last year just by sticking winter prunings in a pot full of soil and leaving them outside until spring. Most of them rooted. I just used sections of 1 year old stem about 1ft long.

I would like to do this;  did you moisten the dirt?  

5 months ago
Hey All!  
I am new to premies, but am loving it so far!  I am looking for anyone else living in a high desert area with seasonal monsoons.  We have a unique weather pattern ( I laugh when I hear "April showers..." since April is one of our driest months!) - not till late Jul do we get rain!

I am at about 7500', and also have alkaline clayey soil, and I am looking for wisdom of anyone else dealing with this challenging set of conditions.



5 months ago