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2024 Spring Garden Tips for Santa Fe

Cobalt Blue Delphinium
Mary Lou Cooper
Cobalt blue delphinium

KSFR reporter Mary Lou Cooper sat down with Lynn Payne, owner of the local Payne’s nursery stores, to find out about the do’s and don’ts of spring gardening in Santa Fe. Tips include:

1. You can plant some flowers like petunias and pansies when the weather is still cool, but it’s best to wait to plant flowers that don’t like cold weather.

2. You cannot grow healthy plants without healthy soil.

3. Avoid plants like hydrangeas which don’t like the dry winds of New Mexico. Plants like geraniums thrive here.

4. Once planted, water plants in pots twice a week…until the temperatures heat up, and then you’ll need to water more often.

5. When it comes to fertilizing, use water soluble fertilizer for plants in pots. Plants in the ground like granular fertilizer.

6. To repel pests, it’s helpful to plant companions like marigolds and chives amidst your flowers and vegetables.

Finally, the most common mistake amateur gardeners make is improper watering, especially overwatering which can deprive roots of oxygen.

Lynn Payne has worked in his family’s nursery business for more than 50 years.

Mary Lou Cooper reports on consumer issues for KSFR as well as on politics and elder affairs. She has worked for the U.S. Congress as well as for the Nevada and Tennessee legislatures, and remains a political junkie. She worked many years for an association of Western state legislatures and was a contributor to “Capitol Ideas,” a national magazine about state government. In 2016 Cooper received a public service award from the New Mexico Broadcasting Association for her KSFR story on Internet romance scams. She has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and from the National Federation of Press Women. She grew up in Oak Ridge, TN and received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta and her MA from the University of Texas Austin. She also holds fiction and screenwriting certificates from the University of Washington.