FARMINGTON — Outside the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center annex are 17 raised garden beds. Right now, the beds are barren, waiting for members of a local garden club to plant the seeds.

On April 3, the 50+ Dirt Diggers Garden Club will have its first meeting. Meetings are a 9:30 a.m. at the Senior Center Annex, 208 N. Wall Ave.

Club members take part in all aspects of gardening from planting to weeding and watering. The members are also involved in composting.

"The garden has been successful since 2010, and we continue to learn more techniques and expand," Judi Zeigler said in a written statement.

Last year, the club grew a variety of plants including tomatoes, chilies, squash and beans.

Zeigler said the group uses the square-foot gardening method, popularized by Mel Bartholomew in his book and PBS television series, both called "Square Foot Gardening."

The method involves planting small, condensed raised beds. It also relies on using specific soil mixtures to decrease the amount of water the plants will need.

Each raised bed is divided into sections, and the number of plants in each sections depends on that plant's size. For example, a single tomato plant might take a full square, while herbs like basil would have multiple plants in each square.


The typical raised plot is 16 square feet 4 feet long by 4 feet wide and is divided into sixteen sections. The size is based on the human anatomy. The average arm is around two feet long. Bartholomew reasoned the smaller beds are easily adapted, and the gardener can reach the entire area without stepping on the soil.

Raised beds at the senior center annex have a variety of heights. Some beds allow people to stand beside them while gardening and others are built for people in wheelchairs. There are also ground-level beds, which are 4 feet wide by 8 feet long.

The garden club has also been learning about vermiculture, which is composting using worms. The garden raises its own worms.

New members are welcome to join the club, which meets on the first Wednesday of each month during the summer. When: 9:30 a.m. first Wednesday of each month

Where: Bonnie Dallas Senior Center annex, 208 N. Wall Ave.

More Information: 505-566-2256

Hannah Grover may be reached at; 564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover.