Gardening Update from Patzxuaro, Mexico

August 23, 2010

Churchill is a vegetable gardener and frequent contributor here who has shared past articles about Growing Vegetables in Mexico and Gardening in Patzxuaro.

This latest report was sent in last month to update us on the growing conditions and latest developments as Churchill adds a new raised bed garden to an area cursed by poor soil:

Hard Work Pays Off to Create a New Raised Bed Garden

Hi from Patzxuaro! I hope the East coast is getting enough rain! Mexico seems to be getting it all.

I wrote you back in February or March about our building soil out in a shallow part of our field (near Patzcuaro, Mexico). We worked very hard hauling in volcanic sand, dried wheat straw, manure and mulch onto a shallow area of hard pan clay.

Then we mixed all this together to build our raised rows. We won’t have to work so hard at it in the future. The great thing is our crops out there are wonderful! I’d done a little worrying if we’d slaved for naught. We turned a useless piece of ground into a very nice raised bed garden.

Bountiful Harvests from a Great Selection of Vegetables

We have corn, mustard greens, spinach, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, curly chard, carrots, cilantro, red top turnips, fancy arugula, rhubarb and tomatillos. Other veggies up on the knoll garden include the most gorgeous kale I’ve ever seen, four foot tall tarragon, and a virtual hedge of oregano.

My greens did not die out during the winter at all. We planted as late as late December, and the hail storms we had seemed to nourish everything. Oh! And artichokes do very well here. As soon as the rain came in June, we planted again and everything is coming up.  We’re about to harvest our first Brussels sprouts.

We finally have our house under construction and should be able to move in January. It will be so much easier when we live out here!

A Touch of Green Envy from Northern Growers

Thanks for the update Churchill and the photo is beautiful and inviting… the setting there in Patzcuaro looks incredible! Good luck with the home construction and all of your raised bed garden plans.

We have been receiving more rain here in the East lately, but sadly the signs are becoming more and more obvious that summer is winding down and the days are growing shorter. We are not as blessed with a lengthy growing season as Mexico has, but there are great opportunities for growing fall vegetables that we will be exploring soon.

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  • Jim

    Thank you for sharing your experiences down there with us who wish we were. We are in the Texas hill country. Winters sometimes get down to 10 degrees, summers 105 or more. Figs, apples, pecans, peaches seem to take it all in stride. Good luck in the future.

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