Growing vegetables is a big part of our spring and summer around here. We like to grow our own food as much as we can. Once you start you get spoiled. The produce in the grocery store, while it looks good, pales in comparison when it comes to flavor and freshness. We just had green beans last night from the store. They looked great. The taste?....Meh.....
Don't get me started on Whole
Foods Paycheck either. You don't really save money gardening unless you happen to shop there. I don't know why they have all those buttons on their cash registers since it seems that they simply take the number of items you picked out and multiply it by $20.
Back to gardening...
Growing veggies is great but your results are going to be in direct relationship to the quality of your dirt. Great dirt = healthy plants = awesome vegetables.
Step 1: What Is Great Dirt?
From a plant's point of view great dirt is soil that is composed of neither too much clay (doesn't drain) nor too much sand (drains too fast) and chock full of decomposed organic matter. Plants need the soil to be light and fluffy so that they can grow their roots easily. Fluffy soil also means it's well aerated which the plants appreciate since they need air underground too to do their growing magic.
How does the soil in New Mexico look from a plant's point of view? Not so good. If NM dirt was being tested for the above requirements we'd have to pick...D-none of the above. Our soil tends to be either just clay or just sand and since our climate is arid enough to keep all but the scrappiest of plants from thriving we don't have much of a natural cycle of organic material building up.