Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute Kitchen Angels Home Grown New Mexico

Grow your own food: Save money, eat healthy!


Starting a garden with tips from

Home Grown New Mexico provides educational opportunities to teach people how to raise their own food



Homegrown veggies from your garden

A great way to enjoy wonderful organic food is to grow some in your own yard. Here are a few good things that you can add this year. Home Grown New Mexico provides free classes to the public and gardening is the most popular topic for classes. Most classes are given at community gardens or locations outside to have a hands-on experience. There are also classes at many local nurseries: Payne's Nursery, Agua Fria Nursery, Newman's Nursery and the Master Gardener Association gardens.


Herb Garden

Grow herbs in your garden

Herbs are very expensive in the grocery store and come in small, plastic and non-sustainable boxes for one meal at $4. You can buy a plant for $4 and grow it all season in your garden and have a value of $80. These plants will do well in an area with morning sun and shade in the afternoon, under a tree or a larger plant. Herb plants are either annual (buy each year) or perennial (plant outside and live over the winter). An herb garden can be on your front porch in pots or recycled containers. The closer it is to the front door, the more the herbs will be used and maintained. These can be in a wooden box, pots inside of a container or small pots.

Buy all of your herbs from local places to take advantage of the local climate, and to buy locally. If you buy them from a big box store, they may not be the right variety for our climate. Some may die early because they are for a warmer climate.


Annual Plants


Homegrown basil from your garden saves money

Plant under a tomato plant or tree to provide afternoon shade. Tons of varieties are available and will grow in the ground or a pot from seed after May 15 (last frost date). Buy basil plants from a Farmers Market or local nurseries – Newman’s has the most varieties in town. Thai basil, Genovese basil (standard Italian basil that you see in stores) and a purple basil for salads and show are some varieties available. Lemon basil has been recommended to provide with flower arrangements to smell wonderful and can be purchased from Botanical Interests regionally.

Plant in full sun from seed after May 15 (last frost date). It will re-seed itself during the season. Plants will be three-feet tall. Do not plant by tomatoes or carrots. Other vegetables are helped by dill to repel bugs – like cabbage, corn, lettuce, onions or cucumbers. New Mexico climate is dry so the seed heads will dry quickly to place in a glass jar. Let them dry for 30 days before packaging. You can also make pickles with fresh dill from the garden.

Plant in full morning sun with afternoon shade. This plant does well in the spring, but will bolt and grow flowers as soon as it gets hot in June. Shade will help the plant, so find a place under a tree or with other plants to have it come back in the summer. Cilantro is one that you can find organic at the store to buy in the winter or if your plants do not grow well in the summer.


Perennial Plants

Parsley (will re-seed in your yard)
Mint (plant in a separate pot to keep from spreading)
Rosemary (for zone 5 to live in winter)


Growing Greens in a Pot

Greens from your garden

Lettuce, swiss chard and kale are plants that will live in any size pot. They do not have long roots so a 6” pot will work for these greens. They can make great salads all season. All can be planted in New Mexico in April and grow until October. Lettuce can be up to $8 per pound at the Farmer’s Market and it is easy to grow at home. If you have light inside of a south window, you can grow in a window or under a skylight. Outside of your front door is a great spot to remind you to use the greens and maintain the plants.

Plant from regional seeds from Botanical Interests or Native Seed Search. Pots need drainage in the bottom, but you can drill these holes in something recycled. Use local soil with compost included.


Tomato Plants at Home

Grow tomatoes and herbs in pots Tomato container garden Save money by growing your own tomatoes

A tomato grown in a local garden tastes amazing and will save money compared to buying at the Farmers Market or grocery store. Spend that money on other vegetables at the Farmers Market instead of tomatoes. These can be grown in the ground or smaller tomato plants can be grown in a large container garden. A whiskey barrel or Earthbox are a great size, but even a five-gallon bucket can grow a smaller tomato plant. The plant itself will be smaller but not the tomato size. Determinate plants and hybrid are good for these containers.

Here are some tips for plants: Botanical Interest's Tomato Bush Better Bush is a smaller plant in terms of roots. Plant outside as a gallon size plant past May 15 for our short growing season.


Explore Further

Home Grown New Mexico's website:

Free seeds helping Americans get by, live healthier:

Free greens: Edible weeds!

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The Way We Grow Fabric Grow Bags