Eighty-two Food Garden Varieties for Las Cruces

During the May 2008 Master Gardener monthly meeting there was considerable discussion about creating lists of plants suitable for Las Cruces gardens. To start the process of developing a master list of food plants that we have experience with and know will grow well here, I have assembled my list culled from 7 years of planting records for my garden.

The selections reflect my personal tastes, interests and gardening style and have all produced well in my sandy garden soil, with irrigation. The list is of course incomplete and noticeably lacking in shrub, vine and tree fruits. Hopefully, other MG’s will fill in the blanks and expand all categories with their own preferred varieties. I also omitted the traditional culinary herbs, although I grow and use most of them – they may warrant a separate list that includes instruction on culture and use.

I have photographs of most of the plants and edible parts on this list, if things develop to the point where that image content can be published. Seed sources are noted for those varieties that are single sourced or may be difficult to locate.

Some general growing instruction including seasonal sensitivities and basic horticultural requirements would help everyone grow food more successfully and be particularly useful to gardeners new to our region. So, when we have a vetted list, a few paragraphs on the peculiarities of our seasons, weather and disease vectors would be a welcome addition.

The list of varieties is available in both rich text and pdf formats. (right click (windows-platform) in the rtf file and save target as – to download and open the file in your word processor program) Please feel free to add to it, if you find that helpful.

The NMSU Extension publications for home garden varieties are available as linked below. They contain a wealth of information.

Growing Zones, Recommended Crop Varieties and Planting and Harvesting Information for Home Vegetable Gardens in New Mexico - (http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_circulars/circ457B.pdf)

Vegetable Variety Recommendations for New Mexico Backyard and Market Gardens

I look forward to seeing a useful list of food plants for Las Cruces in the near future.

till next time,

Darrol Shillingburg
Doña Ana Extension Master Gardener


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