Good To Grow

Saturdays at 11:15am

Gardening in the El Paso Southwest has always been a challenge. Enthusiasts have to contend with a variety of problems: scarce annual rainfall, less than ideal soil composition, and extreme temperatures among others. But southwestern gardening aficionados always seem to find a way to keep our desert blooming, beautiful and fruitful.

Each Saturday, Good to Grow will answer the many questions gardeners may have about plants, growing conditions, and proper care for El Paso’s varied gardens.

Good to Grow won 1st place in the annual Texas Master Gardener Conference in 2010.

  John White, garden curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens on the UTEP campus, joins us to tell us about the upcoming Sun Country Landscape Conference.  The conference, which aims to increase awareness & education about trees in El Paso, will feature a Spanish-language tree maintenance workshop for area gardeners & landscapers on Nov. 19...a session for industry professionals such as architects & planners on Nov. 20...and a homeowner session open to everyone on Nov. 21.  Early registration is encouraged by Oct. 31.

Learn more at and connect with the West Texas Urban Forestry Council on Facebook at

Aired Oct. 3, 2015

Fall is a great time for planting.  Trees and shrubs planted now will be well established by spring’s growing season and endure next year’s heat much better. 

Wildflower seeds should be sown this month into weed-free, well-tilled soil.

Purchase spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, anemones, hyacinths, and ranunculus now, to ensure the best selection. 

  Trees are one of our biggest investments in our landscape.  When's the best time to plant them?  Which tree will grow best in your part of town?  Should you buy a staked tree?  We'll answer all these questions and more with John White, garden curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP.

Aired Sept 26, 2015.

Texas AgriLife Extension

  Earth-Kind Roses demonstrate superior pest tolerance and outstanding landscape performance, and they're some of the best types of roses to plant in our region.  Now that we're getting ready for our fall bloom, Norma & Denise run down what you should look for if you're thinking of planting roses in your landscape.

Learn more about Earth-Kind Roses here:

Aired Sept 19, 2015.

Salvador Vitanza, Facebook El Paso Bugs

  Norma & Denise talk about some of the questions that have been coming into the Master Gardener helpline recently (that number, by the way, is 915-771-2354).  Wooly aphids have been attacking pine trees, and spittlebugs are making rosemary plants look rather icky.  Plus, what's the best way to control those out-of-control weeds in your turf?

If you'd like a closer look at El Paso's coolest bugs, visit Salvador Vitanza's El Paso Bugs Facebook page at

Aired Sept 5, 2015.

Facebook El Paso Master Gardeners


  Denise & Norma are getting ready for cooler weather by sharing these September gardening tips.  Make sure you give your turf one last boost of fertilizer to carry it over into the winter and through the spring...deadhead and fertilize your roses to get them ready for their fall bloom...and sow your wildflower seeds directly into your garden beds.

Aired Aug. 29, 2015

Gardening Questions?

Aug 24, 2015

  Do you have gardening questions?  Submit your questions and photos here:  

You can also e-mail your questions to, or call Texas A&M AgriLife Extension at 915-771-2354, and they can connect you to a Master Gardener. Or, submit your questions, comments, and/or photos to the El Paso Master Gardener Facebook page:

Find the El Paso Master Gardeners on Instagram!

Here are some other helpful links: (Texas AgriLife Extension Service) to access the Extension Calendar and other Master Gardener activities. (El Paso Master Gardeners) to access a local calendar, colorful photos, and helpful information. for other gardening resources. (Recommended Ornamental Plants for Far West Texas)

(Home Vegetable Gardening).


    Denise & Norma talk with Sabine Green, a certified floral designer who will be leading a Floral Jewelry Workshop on Aug. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Garden Center, 3105 Grant.   Participants will learn how to mix fresh flowers with repurposed jewelry to create wearable floral art.  All supplies are included, but you are welcome to bring your own jewelry to repurpose!more info: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension 771-2354. Aired Aug. 8, 2015.

  With the summer heat, the last thing most of us are thinking about is gardening...but we are definitely ready for the fall to arrive!  And with the fall season comes an array of fall vegetables.  It's time to start planning for our fall veggie gardens, and Denise & Norma offer some helpful tips to get you on your way!

Aired Aug. 15, 2015.

Facebook, El Paso Master Gardeners

8:30 a.m. – 09:00 a.m. – Patio Garden Talk

7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Master Gardener Information Booth and Produce Sales

  Denise & Norma talk with Rainwater Harvesting Specialist, Doc Stalker about rainwater harvesting.  You don't need to buy any expensive equipment to collect precious rainwater for your landscape.  Doc tells us about how we can take advantage of passive rainwater harvesting by channeling rainwater runoff to our trees, lawns, and raingardens.  Learn more at

Aired Aug. 1, 2015.

El Paso Master Gardeners Facebook


   Denise & Norma talk about the signs of overwatering and underwatering plants and turf.  Plus, if you have trees growing in your lawn, prioritize the tree over the turf - it will likely need heavier watering.

Powdery mildew is also a problem with summer rains.  Find out how to control it.

And the El Paso Master Gardeners are experimenting with growing loofahs!  Denise tells us more.

Aired July 25, 2015.

  Denise & Norma talk about the upcoming Master Gardener class taking place in September.  Do you have time to dedicate to learning about horticulture and sharing that knowledge with the community?  Sign up before August 24. Registration information available at 915-860-2515 and online

Denise & Norma also talk about containers.  Terra cotta pots are beautiful, but they aren't necessarily good for your plant!  They talk about a clever way to keep those attractive pots WITHOUT harming your plants.

Aired July 18, 2015

  If your grass has brown spots, there are 2 likely culprits - a faulty sprinkler system or nasty little grub worms.  Denise & Norma explain why you shouldn't panic if you find 1 or 2 grub worms in your yard...and when you should head to the hardware store to find the right chemical to treat them.

Aired July 4, 2015.

  Denise & Norma talk about how you can keep your veggies, flowering plants, and lawns alive while you take an extended summer vacation.  Mulching, deep watering, and early harvesting are key.

Aired June 27, 2015

  Bugs - are they a benefit or a nuisance?  It depends!  Most people have the "spray and pray" approach when it comes to bugs, but Denise & Norma talk about why it's important to identify the bugs invading your home or garden BEFORE you take any action.  Sometimes a blast of water will take care of aphids or spider mites, and hand picking tomato hornworms off your tomatoes is better than spraying a nasty chemical on your veggies.  To learn more about IPM, Integrated Pest Management, view this helpful handout:

Denise shares another helpful link to help you decide how to best use pesticides (  Or follow the Insects in the City blog at

Aired June 13, 2015.

  Denise & Norma talk with Amber Carroll, County Extension Agent 4-H and Youth Development.  Carroll talks about the upcoming STEM Summer Camp presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, that features fun, hands-on activities that will teach kids age 9-12 (even though they won't realize they're learning!) about the environment, water stewardship, engineering, rockets, and nutrition.  The camp is July 13-18, 8am-noon, at the Ascarate Park Pavilion, 6900 Delta.  Sign up by calling 915-860-2515, or visit

Aired June 6, 2015.


   The El Paso Master Gardeners are in full swing this Spring & Summer, conducting classes, workshops, and informative talks across the community.  From the Farmers Market at Ardovino's and Downtown, to Gardening 101 workshops, there are plenty of ways for you to learn more about gardening in harmony with the desert.  Norma & Denise give a full rundown of the activities, and you can learn more by calling the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at 915-860-2515, or visit  Find the Master Gardeners on Facebook

Aired May 23, 2015

  Denise & Norma talk about some of the gardening activities we should be thinking about this month.  Now's a great time to install a new Bermuda lawn and to fertilize our existing lawns.  What annual & perennial flowering plants will add color to your landscape?  

Aired May 16, 2015.

  Norma & Denise welcome Picacho Hills resident Larry Felhauser to talk about the annual Art in the Garden tour taking place May 17, 11am-4pm, in the Picacho Hills neighborhood in Las Cruces.  This event features 6 gardens and 18 artists who are showcasing and selling their artwork to the public.

Learn more at

Aired May 9, 2015

Facebook, El Paso Master Gardeners

  Denise & Norma talk about a few of the most popular questions that have been called into the Master Gardener Help Line (915-566-1276).  What's the best way to rid my turf of weeds?  What's the best way to control invasive and hungry insects & bugs?  What small tree can replace my Mexican Elder?  

If you have plant questions, the Master Gardeners can be reached at 915-566-1276,, and on Facebook at

Aired May 2, 2015.

  With the Native Plant taking place this weekend (April 25 & 26), Denise & Norma talk about the 3 "P's" - the right PLANT in the right PLACE with a PURPOSE.  Keep those 3 P's in mind which picking the perfect native plant for your landscape.  Denise also tells us about a couple of her favorite plants which will be on sale at the plant sale - Mexican Flame and Gaura.  

The Native Plant Sale is April 25 & 26, 9am-4pm.

Aired April 25, 2015.

  Norma & Denise welcome back John White, garden curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP, to talk about the FloraFEST Native Plant Sale (April 25 & 26) and other FloraFEST activities.  We'll hear about the different varieties of drought-tolerant and adapted plants available at the sale, as well as an Earth Day tour of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens with John White and a talk on plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies with Lois Balin, both taking place April 22.  The FloraFEST Lecture is April 24, and features Gary Nored, an avid photographer of the Big Bend.  Learn more at

Aired April 18, 2015

  Denise & Norma talk with John White, garden curator for the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens on the UTEP campus.  John gives us a sneak preview of the types of trees that will be offered at the annual Native Plant Sale taking place April 24 & 25 at the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens.   Oaks, desert willows, Mexican buckeyes, and a whole lot more will be offered, with proceeds benefitting the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens.  Visit the Centennial Museums and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens on Facebook for more information

  Aired April 4, 2015.

El Paso Master Gardeners (Facebook)


   Denise & Norma welcome back Jan Petrzelka, President of the Master Gardener Association.  Jan shares essential tips in growing a successful vegetable garden in containers.  What kind of soil should you look for?  What size container?  What signs of distress will a plant display if it needs water?  Plus, Jan & Denise tell us their favorite varieties of tomatoes and peppers.  Need more tips?  Visit

Aired March 28, 2015.

  Denise & Norma talk with Jan Petrzelka, President of the El Paso Master Gardeners Association, about gardening in containers, specifically, herbs and vegetables.  How do you get herbs started in containers?  What type or size container is right for your plant?  

Learn more about container gardening in small spaces at the upcoming workshop "Summer Vegetables in Small Spaces," taking place March 28.  A sale of herbs & vegetables is part of the workshop!  Learn more and register here:  Deadline to register is March 26.

Aired March 21, 2015.

  Denise & Norma continue their conversation with Ken Futrell of Ewing Irrigation.  What do you need to know if you're switching out an existing irrigation system?  Ken also talks about the different types of polypipe, emitters, and bubblers that would work best for your landscape.

Aired March 7, 2015.

  Denise & Norma talk with Ken Futrell of Ewing Irrigation about what we need to know if you are thinking of laying down an irrigation system for your lawn or garden.  Part 1 of a 2-part interview.

Aired Feb. 28, 2015.


  Did you get flowers on Valentine's Day? Chances are they don't look so good now...but Denise & Norma will talk about ways to make those flowers last longer, and what flowers you can grow in your own garden that will bring color into your home.

Aired Feb 21, 2015.

  Denise & Norma answer some questions that have come in recently to the Master Gardener Hotline.  Is it time to prune back lantana?  How do we control winter weeds?  What fruit trees grow best in El Paso?

Do you have a question for the Master Gardeners?  Call 915-566-1276 or email!

Aired Feb. 14, 2015.