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.

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KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat October 25, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Sun Country Landscape Conference

  Denise & Norma talk with John White, Garden Curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP, about the upcoming Sun Country Landscape Conference.  The conference is geared towards the landscape industry professional, but it will feature plenty of information that the general public will find useful.  The conference will cover water, fruit trees, tree pruning, rainwater harvesting, and much more.  The conference is Nov. 5 at the TecH2O Water Resources Learning Center, 10751 Montana, and registration forms are available online at, or call John White 915-747-8994; Oscar Mesatas 915-834-5610; or Denise Rodriguez 915-860-2515.

Aired Oct. 25, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat October 18, 2014



   Norma & Denise welcome John White, Garden Curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP.  John tells us about the upcoming SunScape workshop, which helps homeowners learn how to garden sensibly in the Chihuahuan Desert with informational talks on landscaping, tree & plant selection, and irrigation.  

The SunScape class is Sat. Oct. 25 from 8am-4:30pm at the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, and registration is recommended by Oct. 23.  Information:  call John White 915-747-8994.

Aired Oct. 18, 2014.

KTEP Local
1:25 pm
Wed October 15, 2014


  Los Tree Amigos, the West Texas Urban Forestry Council, hosts the annual Sun Country Landscape Conference for professionals and homeowners.  Track sessions will focus on how to manage water, soil analysis, tree pruning, dendrology (tree-ring analysis), turfgrass, and more.  Spanish-language sessions are scheduled. Lunch included.

It takes place Nov. 5 at the TecH2O Water Resources Learning Center, 10751 Montana, but registration is recommended by Oct. 31.

Read more
KTEP Local
1:11 pm
Wed October 15, 2014


  SunScape is a one-day class for gardeners of any level who are interested in using native plants and gardening in harmony with the desert. Presenters include regional horticultural professionals, such as John White (botanical curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens), and Oscar Mestas (West Texas Regional Urban Forester with the Texas Forest Service).  Learn useful tips for gardening and take a tour of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens!

The workshop is Sat. Oct. 25, 8am-4:30pm.

Read more
KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat October 4, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: October Gardening Tips

Golden Ball Lead Tree

  Denise & Norma talk about gardening in small spaces.  If you're looking for small trees or shrubs, think about a Texas Mountain Laurel, a Golden Ball Lead Tree, and even a Pomegranate Tree!  We'll also hear some helpful gardening tips for October, including when to seed wildflowers, plant cool-season flowers, and refrigerate your tulips.  More information on tree selection can be found via the West Texas Urban Forestry Council:  Plant the right tree for your space!

Aired Oct. 4, 2014.

KTEP Local
9:00 am
Wed October 1, 2014


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. 

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KTEP Local
9:24 am
Mon September 29, 2014


Credit Norma Martinez

Do you have plant pictures you love posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+?  Make sure you add #epgardens with your post!  

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat September 27, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Vegetable Workshop

  Denise &  Norma talk about some of the upcoming Master Gardener activities, including a great Fall Vegetable Workshop on Oct. 4 at the Ascarate Park Pavilion.  Get great information from Master Gardeners on how to get the best crop of carrots, garlic, potatoes, and more!  The deadline to register is Sept. 29, and you can call 915-860-2515 to register or visit  Denise & Norma also talk about the recent rains, and about next month's Home & Garden Show.

Aired Sept. 27, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat September 20, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Composting

Credit El Paso Master Gardeners

  Denise & Norma talk about how to start a successful compost pile.  What kind of container do you need?  What materials should you toss in your compost bin?  How often should you turn it?  What should it smell like?  

Aired Sept 27, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat September 13, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Salt Cedar Beetle

  Denise & Norma welcome back  Salvador Vitanza, Extension Agent with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.  Vitanza tells us about the salt cedar beetle which is destroying salt cedars all along the Rio Grande, including in the El Paso region and into southern New Mexico.  The beetle was released to control the salt cedar tree, considered an invasive species to our region.  Should we concern ourselves with the beetle, or should we let it continue to multiply and destroy the trees?

Learn more about the Texas IMP Program at, and call Texas A&M AgriLife to find out where Dr. Vitanza will be presenting next: 915-860-2515. 

Aired Sept. 13, 2014.

KTEP Local
6:55 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Gardening Questions?

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

You can also e-mail your questions to, or call the Master Gardener Hotline, 566-1276 or 860-2515. 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).

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat August 30, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: September Gardening Tips

Credit El Paso Master Gardeners Facebook page

  Norma & Denise have your September Gardening Tips.  Start your cool-season flowering plants indoors...seed your winter veggies directly into the ground...prepare your roses for their fall bloom...and much more!  Plus, Denise explains why you shouldn't try to grow a pecan tree with your own cuttings.

Aired Aug. 30, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat August 23, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: School Gardens

Example of a cylinder garden at a Houston elementary school

  Denise & Norma talk about getting a school garden started in YOUR school.  What materials do you need?  What kind of "red tape" might you face?  How can El Paso Master Gardeners help?  

Aired Aug. 23, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat August 9, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Patio Plants and Sowing Seeds for Fall

Gerbera Daisy

  Gerbera Daisies and Geraniums are swell plants for our patios, but they might have been neglected over the summer.  Norma & Denise talk about how we can keep them looking their best.  Plus, with fall around the corner, it's time to start your fall veggie seeds indoors.  What to plant when?  The Master Gardeners have provided a Vegetable Planting Calendar here:  And if you are curious about the vegetable varieties that do best in our climate, visit

Aired Aug. 9, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat August 2, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: August Gardening Tips

Iron deficiency appears in the upper leaves of plants

  Denise & Norma talk about what we should be doing in our landscapes in August.  We need to start planning for fall (it's almost here!) and think about whether some of our plants need transplanting.  Spider mites might also still be an issues despite the rains, and we'll also hear why we need to give some extra water to our fruit trees.  Denise also explains how we can spot iron deficiency and nitrogen deficiency in our plants (see attached images).

Aired Aug. 2, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat July 26, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Rainwater Harvesting


  In a rebroadcast from Aug. 18, 2012, Norma & Denise talk with Doc Stalker, Rainwater Harvesting Specialist with the Texas Master Gardeners.  Find out how to take advantage of the rainfall to irrigate your plants.  Even the lightest rain can make a huge difference.  Learn more at

Aired July 26, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat July 19, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Container Gardening with Herbs

  Denise & Norma talk about a number of gardening-related activities in El Paso, including an upcoming workshop on Container Gardening with Herbs, taking place Aug. 9 at the El Paso Garden Center, 3105 Grant Ave.  Register by July 31 at 915-860-2515.  We'll also hear about the Master Gardeners' experiements with keyhole gardens, and about the upcoming Master Gardening class.  Learn more at

Aired July 19, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat July 5, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Master Gardeners

Jennifer Salter
Credit Facebook (El Paso Master Gardeners)

  Denise & Norma talk with Jennifer Salter, who is entering her second year as a Master Gardener.  Jennifer shares the challenges and rewards of entering the Master Gardener class and spending that first year learning about vegetables, trees, irrigation, roses, and much more...and sharing that information with the public.  The Master Gardeners are accepting a new class of students, and you can learn more by visiting or calling 915-860-2515.  The deadline to apply is August 8.

Aired July 5, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat June 28, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: July Gardening Tips...and Grub Worms!

Grub worm, larval stage of the June beetle

  Brown spots on your lawn? Maybe it's a result of poor watering...or it's grub worms. On the next Good to Grow, Denise & Norma preview some July gardening tips, including how to identify and treat grub worm damage.

Aired June 28, 2014.

KTEP Local
9:18 am
Thu June 19, 2014


The 2014 Mayapan Farmers' Market enters its 4th season. Come support local farmers and buy fresh, naturally grown produce! Pesticide free! Also, be sure to try our delicious breakfast and lunch menu!

Who: La Mujer Obrera and Centro Mayapan
What: Mayapan Farmers' Market
Where: Café Mayapan, 2000 Texas Ave., El Paso, TX 79901
Time: Saturdays, 8am - 3pm

KTEP Local
9:18 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Indentify your Bugs

Do you have pesky bugs or pests in your yard or garden you can't identify? Visit this link, courtesy of Texas A&M:

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat June 14, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Tree & Tomato Pests

Damage from a leaf miner

  In a rebroadcast from July 7, 2012, Norma & Denise talk with Salvador Vitanza, an entomologist with Integrated Pest Management, Texas AgriLife Extension.  Bagworms, spider mites, caterpillers, hornworms...and the list goes on!  What are the pests that damage our trees & tomato plants?  And what's the best and safest way to control them?  

Aired Sat. June 14, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat June 7, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: June Gardening Tips

  Denise & Norma share some gardening tips for the month of June.  Turf maintenance is a priority, as is deep watering.  And if your kids are already bored on their vacation, Denise tells us how to keep busy by making a succulent garden.

Aired June 7, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat May 31, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Native Plant Society

Cheryl Garing


    Denise & Norma talk with Cheryl Garing, President of the El Paso Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico.  New Mexico?  Cheryl explains why the El Paso Chapter fits better with the Land of Enchantment than with our home state of Texas.  The Native Plant Society is open to anyone interested in learning more about native plants and hearing interesting speakers at their meetings every 2nd Thursday at 6:30 p.m., at the El Paso Garden Center, 3105 Grant.  Dues are only $25/year for individuals, $30/year for families.  The Native Plant Society of New Mexico is holding their annual conference this summer, and you can hear more in our previous episode from May 24.  Learn more about the El Paso Chapter at and find them on Facebook at  Or, call Cheryl Garing 915-549-3674.

Aired May 31, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat May 24, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Native Plant Society Annual Conference


  Denise & Norma talk with Jim Hastings, who is inviting all interested members of the public to join with members of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico and attend their annual conference taking place August 1 & 2 at Canutillo High School here in El Paso.  Science talks, cactus talks, field trips, photo workshops, cooking workshops, and much more will take place...and EVERYONE is invited to attend!  Register by June 1 for a special discount.  Learn more at and visit the El Paso chapter's page at

Aired May 24, 2014.

KTEP Local
9:44 am
Tue May 20, 2014


The 13th Annual Farmers Market at Ardovino's Desert Crossing offers an ever-increasing selection of organic & pesticide-free produce; all-natural eggs, beef, pork, lamb, and goat; native plants for gardens & yards; salsas; baked goods; and unique artisan goods.  Yoga classes are taught every Saturday by Erin from Casa de Yoga at 10am.Weekly events include Kids' Tent activities, garden talks by Master Gardeners, and live music.Well-behaved pets are welcome. Enjoy coffee, house-made pastries, and fresh-squeezed juices on the patio.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat May 17, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Home Gardening in El Paso

Enrique Perez

  Denise & Norma talk with Master Gardener Enrique Perez about the Home Gardening in El Paso course being offered at El Paso Community College Valle Verde campus.  Classes are Saturdays 10:30am-12:30pm, June 7-July 19, and each week's class will cover a different topic - soil, Earth-Kind landscaping, vegetable gardening, native & adapted trees & plants, irrigation, container gardening, and much more.  The classes are casual and conversational, and the cost for the entire course is only $53.  Register online at or find the entire Continuing Education Summer catalog at  

Aired May 17, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat May 3, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Art in the Garden

One of the gardens in this year's tour
Credit Facebook

  Denise & Norma talk with Wanda Sparks and Jan Harrison, two of the artists participating in the upcoming Art in the Garden Tour at Picacho Hills in Las Cruces.  6 homes in the Picacho Hills neighborhood will open their unique landscapes to the public, and area artists will be selling their work at the event.  It takes place Sunday, May 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., in Las Cruces.  Learn more by calling Jan Harrison at 575-541-9284 or Wanda Sparks at 575-523-1740.  You can also visit the Artists of Picacho Hills Facebook page for details at  The attached images include some of the works of art available at the tour, as well as one of the participating homes.

Aired May 3, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat April 26, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: FloraFEST Native Plant Sale

File photo from 2009 plant sale
Credit University Communications

  It's back!  The 2014 FloraFEST Native Plant Sale, happening this weekend, April 26 & 27, 9a-4p on the UTEP campus, and to tell us about it is Garden Curator for the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, John White.  John joins Denise & Norma to talk about the thousands of plants available for sale, and the helpful volunteers that will help you pick the right plant for the right place.  View a complete list of plants available for the sale at[1].pdf.  

Aired April 26, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat April 19, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

Chihuahuan Desert Gardens
Credit Photo by Art Harris

  John White, Garden Curator for the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, joins Denise & Norma to talk about the history of the Gardens, which are located on the UTEP campus.  Learn about the different plant varieties in the Gardens, and the different types of pollinators that visit the plants.  The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens are open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset, and you can view a plant database and get a walking tour map by visiting  And don't forget about the annual FloraFest Native Plant Sale, taking place April 26 & 27 outside the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens!  John White will return next week to tell us more.

Aired April 19, 2014.