Vegetable garden newbie in northern NM needs advice!
I am a complete newbie to the idea of vegetable gardening, especially in a high desert climate like northern NM. But I have a small region of my lot (~30 ft x 20 ft) that I can't manage to get grama grass to take on (the weeds just keep taking over), so instead of my usual rototilling and replanting grama with little success, I thought I would try something different.
So here are my growing conditions:
-The area is just to the east of my wood fence and gets what I would estimate to be 8-10 hours of full sun per day.
-A water spicket is right there. The soil appears to drain well.
-Our moronic neighbors had a landscaper put down black dirt for them a few years ago that washed into our yard a few weeks later. It was completely laden with weed seeds and our lot has never recovered.
-The Cerro Grande fire came right through my lot 7 years ago. I don't know how much of the organic material has recovered, but with how well the weeds grow back there I have to believe the amount of organics nonzero.
-When I was intending this to just be a xeric meadow, I planted a few flame maple trees back there. They are doing reasonably fine, but are still small. Any long-term plans need to take that potentially-increasing shade into account (although they really don't provide any right now...they are about 1 inch in diameter at the trunk).
-When I planted those trees, I found that the soil turned to pseudo-rock about 1.5-2 feet down ("pseudo" implying I could still break it with a pick axe or bar).
I would really like to avoid having to bring in how much dirt/manure it would require to do this whole area as raised beds. Do you think this is reasonable?
Also, any recommendations on how to proceed such as soil modifications/enhancements, recommended vegetables, etc. would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks in advance!