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
8:19 am
Mon May 25, 2015

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 May 23, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Master Gardener Spring Into Action

Gardening 101 workshop


   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

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat May 16, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: May Gardening Tips

  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.

KTEP Local
10:34 am
Fri May 15, 2015


Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is proud to announce a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) summer camp. The summer camp will be able incorporate STEM activities and highlight our youth programs. Amber Carroll 4-H agent, works with youth leadership projects though curriculum enrichment programs in schools and 4-H projects in the county. “I want kids to have funs by learning about science” is Carroll’s number one goal for the camp.

A sample activity is “Rockets to the Rescue!” which explores the field of aerospace engineering. Youth will be tasked with the same mission: in light of recent natural disasters such as the earthquake in Nepal, the summer camp kids will be tasked to design and build an aerodynamic food transportation device that can deliver a payload of nutritious food to disaster victims. Youth will learn engineering concepts, develop math skills, learn about nutrition and help solve a relevant, global issue.

  • Requirements:  Ages 9-12 years old
  • Location: Ascarate Park Pavilion 6900 Delta Drive 79905
  • Dates: July 13 through July 18, 2015
  • Time: 8:00AM to 12 NOON
  • Program fee: $50.00 includes all materials, camp shirts, and snacks each day.

Other: For more information and to register, contact the Extension Office at (915) 860-2515. 

KTEP Local
10:12 am
Thu May 14, 2015


Master Gardeners at Ardovino's Farmers Market, 2014
Credit 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

  • May 30: Microgreens with Marianela Milner, recipe for Queso/Ricotta/Herbs
  • June 6: Container Gardening with Jan Petrzelka
  • June 13: Taking the Zero out of Xeriscape with Jim Hastings, recipe for Jellies
  • June 20: Rainwater Harvesting with Doc Stalker, recipe for Infused Basil/Mint
  • June 27: Self-Watering Containers with Bev Clark
  • July 4: Cooking Demo with Jim Hastings, recipe using veggies on-hand
  • July 11: Tomato Diseases with Dave Turner, recipe using sun-dried tomatoes
  • July 18: Seed Propagation for Fall with Penny Leslie
  • July 25: Planting Trees with Bill Hodge

KTEP Local
12:08 pm
Wed May 13, 2015


  Master Gardeners are offering gardening demonstrations and clinics every 2nd Saturday, 10am-noon, at the Downtown Artist & Farmers Market, 117 Anthony Street in Downtown El Paso.

  • June 13: Lucile Teran "What's Wrong with My Tomato?
  • July 11: Marianela Milner "Microgreens"
  • August 8: Jan Petrzelka "Container Gardening"
  • September 12: Laura Borsch "Roses for Fall"
KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat May 9, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Art in the Garden

Photo by Larry Felhauser

  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

KTEP Local
3:00 pm
Thu May 7, 2015


  Gardening 101” Workshop Series (2015) 

  • Held at: Multipurpose Center, 9031 Viscount Blvd.,
  • 4:00-5:30pm


Read more
KTEP Local
2:26 pm
Thu May 7, 2015


El Paso Master Gardeners will be hosting another semester of HOME GARDENING IN EL PASO classes.   Classes are Saturdays, June 6-July 18, 10:30am-12:30pm, in Room B151 of the EPCC Valle Verde Campus.   

Visit EPCC at for more information.  Or call 915-860-2515.

KTEP Local
9:26 am
Mon May 4, 2015


Plant warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, Buffalo, Zoysia and St. Augustine.

Plant hot-weather annuals, such as lantana, moss rose, daisies, sunflowers and marigolds.

Thin fruit on peaches, apricots, and plums to five to six inches apart on the branches.  The result will be larger, better quality fruit.  

If flowers are spent, prune your spring-flowering shrubs and vines to shape them.

Read more
KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat May 2, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Weeds, Bugs, and More

Credit 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.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat April 25, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Tips on Picking the Native Plant for You

Gaura, or "Whirling Butterflies"

  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.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat April 18, 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

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat April 4, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Native Plant Sale - Tree Preview

  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.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat March 28, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Vegetable Container Gardening

Credit 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.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat March 21, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Herbs in Containers

Jan Petrzelka, Norma Martinez, Denise Rodriguez

  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.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat March 7, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Irrigation, part 2


  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.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat February 28, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Irrigation, part 1

Drip irrigation

  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.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat February 21, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Caring for Cut Flowers

Credit Wikipedia

  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.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat February 14, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Gardening Q&A

Lantana - new growth from the base

  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.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat January 31, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: February Gardening Tips

One of El Paso's Master Gardeners hard at work pruning roses at the Municipal Rose Garden
Credit Facebook (El Paso Master Gardeners)

    Denise & Norma talk about what to do in our gardens during the month of February.  It's a great time to plant and prune roses, and to make sure you remove the waxy coating from the roots of bare-root roses you may have purchased.'s never to early to plan your summer garden!

Aired Jan. 31, 2015.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat January 24, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Rose Pruning

Mark Benitez hard at work at the Rose Garden
Credit El Paso Master Gardeners

  Denise & Norma welcome Master Gardener Mark Benitez, chair of the Rose Committee.  He gives us some helpful information on how and when to prune our roses.  The Master Gardeners will be holding Rose Pruning Demonstrations on Feb 27 & 28 at the Municipal Rose Garden, 1702 N. Copia.  Check in with the El Paso Master Gardener Facebook page for more details

Here are some other helpful links:

Roses for the Desert

Rose Pruning  (very good publication)

Earth Kind Roses

Aired Jan. 24, 2015.

KTEP Local
7:28 am
Mon January 19, 2015


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 January 17, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Home Gardening Class; Seeds!

Tomatoes in a seed catalog

  Denise and Norma talk about the upcoming Home Gardening in El Paso personal enrichment course being offered at EPCC beginning Jan. 24 (see an earlier entry on for details), and about browsing those seed catalogs and getting ready for spring planting!

Aired Jan. 17, 2015.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat January 3, 2015

GOOD TO GROW: Tree Pruning

Credit West Texas Urban Forestry Council

  Norma & Denise welcome back Regional Urban Forester Oscar Mestas of the Texas A&M Forest Service.  Winter is the best time for tree pruning, even though pruning can be done at any time of year.  Pruning, however, is not something that should be done indiscriminately - it needs to be done mainly for the health of the tree and the safety of people.   

Aired Jan. 3, 2015.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat December 27, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Winter Tree Care

  Regional Urban Forester Oscar Mestas of the Texas A&M Forest Service joins Norma & Denise to talk about winter tree care.  How much water do our trees need in the winter?  Do younger trees require more water than mature trees?  Plus, Oscar gives a few tree recommendations for the region.  Learn more about tree selection, planting, and care at

Aired Dec 27, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat December 20, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Composting


  Norma & Denise talk about the myths & facts of composting.  How do you get started on a compost bin?  What kind of items can be composted?  

Some terrific links are provided by Texas A&M and the Bernalillo Extension Agency  Reduce waste in our landfills by recycling materials into your landscape!

Aired Dec. 20, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat December 13, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Master Naturalists

  Denise & Norma talk to Master Naturalist Virginia Galarza.  Virginia tells us about the variety of activities in which the local chapter participates, and about their educational outreach efforts.  The Transpecos Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Program is accepting applications for their next class.  Classes begin on February, and the deadline to register is Jan. 28.  Learn more at

Aired Dec. 13, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat December 6, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Holiday Plants


  Denise & Norma talk about how to care for your favorite holiday plants.  Poinsettias are tropical plants, so they need to stay moist and have a well-lit area.  Norfolk pines are fragile-looking plants that thrive indoors, but they'll dry up and turn brown if they are neglected.  Amaryllis are flowering bulbs you can enjoy during the holidays and then plant in your garden.  Cyclamens might not be a plant you'd recognize by name, but they also make terrific gifts for the holidays.

Aired Dec. 6, 2014.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat November 29, 2014

GOOD TO GROW: Ascarate Vegetable Garden

Master Gardeners at work at the vegetable garden. (Marianela Milner, right)
Credit El Paso Master Gardeners Facebook page


   In a rebroadcast from Jan. 18, 2014, Denise & Norma talk with Master Gardener Marianela Milner, co-chair of the Ascarate Vegetable Garden.  Hear about the different crops grown at the garden, the community educational opportunities the garden provides, and how the harvested crops benefit our local food bank.  The public is invited to meet the Master Gardeners working the gardens on Mondays & Thursdays, 7-11 a.m., at Ascarate Park, 6900 Delta.  Information at 915-860-2515.

Aired Nov. 29, 2014.