Valley Gardening: Water deeply, and then take a break

I have had numerous questions about watering lawns right now. My recommendation would be to water once DEEPLY and then take a break for 10-14 days. I understand that it is going to be pretty warm the next couple of weeks, but nighttime temperatures remain in the 25 to 32 degree range so hopefully that will slow the drying of the soil. It is still the beginning of April so slow down, and just understand the sooner you get your grass growing, the sooner you have to start mowing, etc.

I would wait to fertilize, if you can, until the end of April. As I sit here writing this, I remember that everything starts with the soil—vegetable gardens, raised beds, lawns, etc. Many lawns are very, very old in Alamosa. The lawns are tired, as is the soil. I remember that a friend of mine top-dressed her lawn with the FoxFarm Soil Conditioner that I mentioned last week. She (Cindy Villa, MV) raved about the results. If you use this product you are adding forest humus, worm casting, bat guano, and maybe most important, mychorrhizae—14 different varieties. AND, also five different types of Bacillus. I am not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know that helping your soil to regain some life, with live organisms, will be beneficial in the long run. Everything is better with good soil, absolutely everything.

I do have an email in to Colorado State University on what kind of watering they think we should be doing, so it will be interesting to see if I am close to what they recommend. I don’t know if I will get an answer soon enough to include in this week’s column.

I attended the city council meeting this past Wednesday and did get to hear a ‘fire report’ from Chief Don Chapman. It is looking pretty dire for the entire San Luis Valley at least through the end of July.  Everyone needs to be super cautious about burning weeds and trash. Now would be a great time to get rid of dried weeds that are up against outbuildings and fences. All it takes is one idiot throwing a cigarette butt out their car window that could start a grass fire….and if the wind is blowing like it has in the past, goodbye structures. 

While I am thinking of weeds and trash let me give you advance notice that the City of Alamosa will be having their three item pickups in May. They are willing to pick up larger items that are hard for many citizens to take to the dump. Please everybody…take advantage of this offer!! Let’s get the alleys in this town cleaned up. More details on dates in a couple of weeks and the city will also be putting out a PSA.

I hope to finish cleaning up the north side of the Green Spot this weekend. I have collected some of the Blue Globe Thistle seeds, if you would like some, $1 for a pack that will go to the Peyton Fund.  This thistle is one of my all-time favorites for how it looks, when it blooms, very low maintenance, and very low water needs. It doesn’t grow underground like the obnoxious, thorny field thistle. The seedlings are pretty prolific, but easy to hoe.

Judy Wiescamp came in this week and purchased a bale of soil conditioner for Mom’s Garden. She is honoring her mom, Clara Pace. Jan Oen also purchased a bale in memory of her mom Elaine Juelson Oen. Thank you so much!! And also more thanks to the 25 folks who signed the petition to get the Rickey Recycling Center open longer hours!

For all you folks asking, the onion plants will be in the week of April 23. Potatoes will come in from Center about that same time. Slow down, breathe, and breathe. If you are desperate to do some gardening, it is almost time to start your tomatoes and peppers. 

At the comedy/hypnotist show at Society Hall on Thursday, I was presented with an award from the Elks Club. To be honest, I’m not even remembering what it said, because I was quite surprised—to say the least. The plaque is at the Hall or I would tell you. From the bottom of my heart thank you—BUT any award I would ever receive first goes to my parents, and secondly goes to my supporters in Alamosa and beyond. I could not do what I do without you. THANKS!