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.

Tree troubles come in all shapes and sizes.  The ones in this program have to do with caterpillar identification, a concern over peeling tree bark, and an unusual growth at the base of a mulberry tree.  Listen in to unravel these mysteries!

Aired Oct 22, 2016

IMG-9605 by Fabrice Florin (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Irrigation systems can be complicated for the average homeowner, and on this program, we'll hear about why it's important to at least have a basic understanding of irrigation, since the survival of our landscape depends on it!  In addition, we'll also hear how to bring a pop of color back to our landscape now that our trees and shrubs are slipping into dormancy.

Aired October 15, 2016

El Paso Master Gardeners Facebook

The El Paso Master Gardeners are keeping busy this weekend with activities and garden talks at the Fall Home & Garden Show at the Convention Center this weekend (Oct 8-9).  We'll hear what the Master Gardeners will be up to, and about their experiments growing Asian vegetables in their test & demonstration gardens.

Aired Oct 8, 2016

  This hands-on training will include practices for determining irrigation efficiency, setting controllers, soak and cycle method, minor irrigation repairs, system trouble shooting, catch can test, converting spray head irrigation to new water conserving head, converting spray irrigation to drip irrigation and many other water conservation practices.

Now is the time to sow your wildflower seeds - poppies, penstemons, bluebonnets, the list goes on and on.  And there's no need to give them any special care...just work them into the soil and give them a drink!  

If you love garlic and have a few spare cloves, put one in a pot or in a ground and you'll eventually have some delicious home-grown garlic for your favorite meals.

And if you love roses, you will want to pay the Municipal Rose Garden a visit (3418 Aurora at Memorial Park).  Most roses are putting on a show right now, and we'll give you some tips on how to keep yours looking great until the season turns.

Aired Oct 1, 2016

  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. 

Having trouble making the transition to fall gardening because your summer crops are still going strong?  We'll find out how you can manage both on today's program.   And with the cooler weather on the way, fill that empty space in your yard with a tree - fall is the best time for planting!  And if you love spring-flowering bulbs, get those into the ground now.

Aired Sept 24, 2016

  The summer is slowly transitioning into fall.  Our grass is not as lush, our trees are not as vibrant, and our summer vegetable crop is coming to an end.  It's time to start thinking about fall gardening - get your winter veggies ready!  Let's get our minds off of tomatoes and squash and on to garlic, cilantro, and greens.  Master Gardener Jan Petrzelka will also be telling us about why pomegranate trees make such a terrific addition to any landscape.

Aired Sept 10, 2016

  Time to sow seeds of snapdragons, dianthus, pansies, and other winter flowers in flats for planting outdoors during October.

Dig and divided spring flowering bulbs and perennials such as daffodil, iris, daylily, ajuga, liriope, and canna.

Plant leaf and root vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, spinach, and lettuce late in the month.

This month or early next month, sow seeds of wildflowers into weed-free, well-tilled soil.


Gardening tools are some of the most handy ways to keep a landscape in check, whether is a nifty weed hoe or a bulb planter. On this program, we'll talk about some of our favorite gardening tools!

Aired Sept 3, 2016


  Oleander might not be toxic to those little aphids who swarm the plant in the spring, but it is toxic to humans and to pets. The ingestion of 1 leaf can cause severe illness or even death. If you have pets, you may wonder what plants in your landscape might be toxic. You may also be surprised as to the number of plants on that list. 

On this program, we'll hear about some of the plants that may be harmful to your domestic animals, and why you shouldn't necessarily panic and yank everything in your yard out of the ground!

Here are some helpful online resources:

Aired Aug 27, 2016

Owen Deutsch

  Cooler summer means an increase in hummingbird activity in the garden! On this program we'll find out some interesting facts about these feisty little hummers, including the remarkable ability to remember your yard if you have yummy feeders or plants...and we'll learn what we can do to keep them in our yards.

A terrific resource for learning about hummingbirds in the Southwest is the book Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest by Marcy Scott.  

Aired Aug. 20, 2016

Facebook El Paso Master Gardeners

  It's almost back-to-school time, and maybe your kids' school is thinking of starting up a garden on campus. On this program, we'll hear about the endless possibilities in a school garden tended by students and teachers.

If your school would like assistance from the Master Gardeners on how to get your school garden started, call 915-771-2354.

Aired August 13, 2016

  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).

  Our hot, hot summer has taken its toll on our landscapes, and many of us can't wait for the cooler temperatures in the Fall. On this program Denise & Norma are joined by Master Gardener Jan Petrzelka for a talk about learning the lessons of a hot summer to plan for a more successful fall garden.

Aired July 30, 2016

  Leaf miners are eating away at elm tree leaves...bores are munching into the barks of stressed can we control these tiny destroyers?  White flies and spider mites are also prevalent in our hot, dry weather.  Also, if you have recent transplants, should you water them more or less than your established plants?

Aired July 23, 2016


  Unrelenting triple digit heat is crisping up our plants...but are you overcompensating by watering your plants too much? On this program, we'll find out how much you REALLY need to water in these hot conditions.

Here's a link to a fantastic resource on how much we should be watering:

Aired July 16, 2016


Spider mites...white flies...grub worms and June beetles...
These are all unwelcome guests in our landscape during the summer months. On this program we'll find out how to keep these buggers under control!  Plus, we'll find out why it's mandatory to follow those directions on pesticide labels.

Read more about controlling grubworms at

Aired July 2, 2016

  How are your TOMATOES handling the heat? If you are over- or underwatering them, they may crack. Or the leaves may brown if they suffer a bacterial or fungal outbreak. We'll help you solve some tomato issues on this program.  Click on this link for more information on troubleshooting your tomato troubles!

Aired June 25, 2016

  With El Paso sweltering in triple-digit heat, we need to protect our turf, trees, and container plants from heat stress. On his program, we'll talk about the importance of watering deeply to help our plants make it through June!

Aired June 18, 2016

  Spiders, bees, and wasps...oh my!  Don't reach for that bug spray just yet because some of these critters might be beneficial to the plants in your landscape.  On this program, we'll offer some tips on how to help identify these critters, and how to preserve a specimen for professional identification.  Some helpful links are also available for bug ID: and

Aired June 4, 2016

  CONTAINER GARDENING adds a great splash of color to small spaces, and makes gardening accessible to just about everyone! On the next GOOD TO GROW, we'll continue our conversation on container gardening, with a focus on fertilizing, watering, and troubleshooting those pesky bugs. 

Aired May 28, 2016

  Container gardening allows us to grow ornamental plants or vegetables in a small space, such as our front or back patios. On the this program, we'll get a primer on container gardening, with tips on how to pick the right container and the right soil.  Part 1 of a 2-part show.

Great container gardening tips are available at

Aired May 21, 2016

  El Paso County Master Gardeners are hosting weekly gardening talks at El Paso Public Library branches, monthly Gardening 101 Workshops at the Multipurpose Center, weekly appearances at the Ardovino's Farmers Market beginning Memorial Day Weekend, and much, much more.  On this program, we'll learn how your Spring gardening can be enriched by the knowledge of these community volunteers.

Aired May 14, 2016

  Uh, oh!  It's almost Mother's Day and you don't have a gift!  On this program, we'll give you some last minute suggestions.  Bouquets of cut flowers are always a good choice, and we'll have tips on how to pick the right flower and keep it looking beautiful for several days.  If you're looking at potted plants for Mom, we've got you covered, too.  And don't forget about gift cards, gardening tools, or gardening books!

Aired May 7, 2016

  Our Spring winds not only cause havoc with our allergies, but with our plants and trees.  What's the best way to protect your trees or shrubs from the winds, and what can you do to salvage an already wind-damaged tree?On this program, we'll get windy-weather gardening tips ... and other gardening suggestions for the month of May! Aired April 30, 2016

  Shoppers at the FloraFest Native Plant Sale on the UTEP campus are taking home fantastic native & adapted shrubs, trees, and perennials.  But what do we do once we get them home?  Where do we plant them?  On this program, we'll determine the perfect spot for that shade tree, or where you can plant that shade-loving columbine or sun-loving sage.

Aired April 23, 2016

  It's almost time for FLORA FEST at UTEP! John White, the Garden Curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP will join us to tell us about the FloraFEST speaker, Marcy Scott, author of "Hummingbird Plants s of the Southwest." She will talk on April 22 at 6pm at the UTEP Undergraduate Learning Center about how to "Plant a Hummingbird Haven." John will also talk about the wide variety of native and adapted plants that will be available for sale on April 23 & 24, 9am-4pm each day at the UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens. 

  Library Gardening Talks

Some talks are on different months. See individual schedules below.

August            Fall Gardening              Fall and Winter Gardening Starts Now!

September     Compost                        Cashing In on Black Gold – Home Composting

West Side

Van Doren Library – Tina Wolfe, MG Coordinator; Lisa Martinez, Librarian


Third Tuesdays: 5:30 p.m.