Gardening in Los Alamos County can present challenges to even the most experienced horticulturists. Los Alamos newcomers often have trouble getting plants to thrive or even survive. More often than not, they previously gardened where "you stick a plant in the ground and it grows." Plant survival in Los Alamos and White Rock is not only determined by temperature, for rarely is extreme cold the limiting plant growth factor. Combinations of low humidity, drying winds and physical properties of the soil compounded by the innumerable microclimates throughout the county influence how well plants perform here.
Water is one of the most urgent issues facing New Mexico. Complex problems of supply and demand, ownership and water quality are intrinsically inter-related. As a natural resource and basic element of our environment, decisions affecting water quality and quantity should be based on proven scientific understanding. Together with the Los Alamos County Public Utilities Department, the Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Service has set a goal of continued water reduction in the future. The following links are meant to help Los Alamos County homeowners better utilize water in their landscapes.
Labs for New Mexico Soils
Laboratories for evaluating New Mexico soils.
Colorado State University Soil Sample Submission Form
The test includes an analysis of pH, soil salts and nutrient levels in the soil as well as an interpretation of the results. Soil testing is a great way to evaluate salts, nutrient availability and the effects of adding composts or other amendments to the soil.
General Water Conservation Publications
The Home Vegetable Garden
Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Service
475 20th St.
Los Alamos, NM 87544
Phone: (505) 662-2656
Fax: (505) 662-2913