By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
It was an uncommonly dark morning recently, with a threatening rain in the distance. William Lindemann, a retired science professor with a doctorate degree, stopped by New Mexico State University’s Fabian Garcia Research Center. There was 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 said 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, 200 E. Picacho Ave.
With a teaching and research career spanning more than 40 years, how can soil still be so interesting? Dr. Lindemann – who will be teaching again this spring - explained 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 to the public. They are conducted from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday evenings in the Roadrunner Room at Thomas Branigan Memorial Library. See the complete list of speakers and Lush and Lean dates at www.las-cruces.org/1288/Lush-Lean-Workshops.
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 575/528-3500 from 8 a.m. to 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.
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 Thomas Branigan Memorial Library at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Note: This story was recently published in the Las Cruces Bulletin.