Writer: Kevin Robinson-Avila
ALBUQUERQUE - Growers can learn how to plant greenhouse crops at a free, hands-on workshop March 18 at New Mexico State University's Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde.
"For growers who use greenhouses, this is the time to start planting," said agriculture specialist Del Jimenez. "This workshop will show how to get set up inside the greenhouse. We'll teach participants the most effective growing techniques and the kinds of fruits and vegetables they can plant."
The science center sponsored a workshop in February on how to construct low-cost, solar-heated greenhouses, known as cold frames or hoop houses. The new workshop is a follow-up course for growers who plan to use cold frames.
Farmers in northern New Mexico are typically limited to a five-month growing season from May to September, but cold frames can extend the season to about nine months, from March to November, Jimenez said.
At the workshop, Jimenez will show how to make benches for plants inside the greenhouse. He'll discuss types of plant containers and demonstrate how to mix potting soils, including organic mixtures.
Participants will learn about greenhouse irrigation, including drip, spray and flood systems. Jimenez will discuss vegetables that grow well in greenhouses, such as lettuces, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. He'll also discuss cool- and warm-season vegetable varieties and show how to plant seeds and transplant seedlings.
Fruit specialist Ron Walser will show how to start and transplant small fruits suited for greenhouses, such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
The workshop includes hands-on learning. Participants will help install a spray irrigation system, mix soils and plant seeds.
The workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon. To get to the science center, turn west off Highway 68 at mile marker 7 (between Espaņola and Velarde).
For more information, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, call Jimenez at (505) 852-4241 or (505) 852-2668.
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