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The original item was published from 3/5/2020 4:45:06 PM to 5/7/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: March 6, 2020

[ARCHIVED] From the Ground Up: Las Cruces Utilities Lush and Lean Series

PHOTO 1 BILL LINDEMANN at Fabian Garcia2020

By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels

Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 3/6/20

It’s an uncommonly dark morning, with a threatening rain in the distance. William Lindemann, Ph.D. (retired soil science professor) is stopping by New Mexico State University’s Fabian Garcia Research Center, a garden area flush with rich soil – very similar to what some local residents might find in their yards if they live in certain parts of town.

Lindemann explains, that in Las Cruces, knowing what type of soil is half the battle when it comes to planting. “Some areas have low nutrients that you have to amend with organic matter, and some areas drain excessively, so even if you water your plants and haven’t accounted for the drainage or say drip irrigation system, it won’t be healthy for your plants or for water conservation,” Lindemann said. “Productive planting and harvesting come from knowing your soil before you plant and before you water.”

Learn more about what soil you might be working with – and how to make it better – at the Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Lush and Lean Workshop presentation. Lindemann will be speaking on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library.

With a teaching and research career stretching more than 40 years, how can soil still be so interesting? Dr. Lindemann – who will be teaching again this spring - explains that it’s not necessarily the soil itself, but the soil problems that need to be solved. For example, reclaiming land from mining.

“When you stack soil in a pile for years at a time, it loses the microorganisms that help plants establish themselves during reclamation,” he said. “When the stored topsoil is seeded, the plants have a difficult time in establishment. Instead, it is better to store soil spread out and irrigated, so that the microbes can stay alive.”

All Lush and Lean Workshops are free and open to the public. They are held Thursday evenings at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave., in the Roadrunner Room from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. See the complete list of speakers and Lush and Lean dates at

You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.


PHOTO 1: Dr. William Lindemann examines soil at the New Mexico State University Fabian Garcia Research Center. Learn more about your own soil, and how to make it better, at this LCU Lush and Lean Workshop at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 5:30 p.m.


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