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.

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 http://admin.utep.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=60234.  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.

Facebook (El Paso Master Gardeners)

  

  

  

  Denise & Norma talk with Master Gardener Mark Benitez about the upcoming public tour of the Municipal Rose Garden.  Over 1300 rose bushes are at their peak, and the public is invited to tour the gardens, visit some of the booths for rose information, and talk to Master Gardeners about their rose concerns.  The tour is Saturday, April 19, noon-3 p.m., at the Municipal Rose Garden (corner of Copia & Aurora).  Mark also talks about rose pests and offers some fertilizer tips.  The pictures attached here are of Denise's and Mark's favorite roses, and a new addition to the rose garden, the Fortuniana.

Aired April 12, 2014.

  In a re-broadcast from June 2, 2012, Denise & Norma talk with Salvador Vitanza, Extension Agent with IPM (Integrated Pest Management) at Texas AgriLife Extension.  We'll hear about some galls that may affect oak trees, and why some leaf damage may be the result of the harmless leaf cutter bee.  Salvador also gives us some advice on what to do to avoid being stung by bees & wasps.   http://ipm.tamu.edu/isec/

Aired March 29, 2014.

Websites for Tree Information, recommended by Regional Urban Forester Oscar Mestas.
Tree Care Industry: www.treecareindustry.org.
International Society of Arboriculture (find a certified arborist): www.isa-arbor.com; for the Texas Chapter, visit www.isatexas.com.
Good consumer information is available at www.treesaregood.org.

squarefoot.creatingforum.com

  Bill Hodge returns to the show to talk to us about the different varieties of corn & squash growing at the Master Gardener test garden at the Extension offices.  He also explains why we don't need a lot of space to grow our space-hogging vegetables - we can train them to grow UP instead of OUT.

Aired March 22, 2014.

Facebook (El Paso Master Gardeners)

  

  Denise & Norma talk with Master Gardener and vegetable specialist, Bill Hodge.  In the first of a 2-part interview, Bill takes us through a few helpful steps in preparing our soil for planting summer vegetables.  He also explains why some vegetables should be started from seed while others can be purchased as seedlings.  Bill will be taking part in the upcoming Summer Vegetable Workshop and seedling sale on March 29 at the Ascarate Park Pavilion, 6900 Delta.  Register in advance at 915-860-2515.

Aired March 15, 2014.

Norma Martinez

  

  Denise & Norma talk about what gardening activities we should be looking forward to in March.  We'll also hear about a couple of very interesting workshops: a Microgreens Workshop on March 22, and a Spring Vegetable Workshop on March 29.  Registration for both workshops is required (915-860-2515).  

Aired March 8, 2014.

Facebook (El Paso Master Gardeners)

  Denise & Norma talk about the Master Gardener activity heating up around El Paso.  The Master Gardeners and members of the El Paso Rose Society will host a Rose Pruning Demonstration on Feb. 22 & 23, noon-3 p.m., at the Municipal Rose Garden, 1702 N. Copia.  And if your questions aren't answered there, you won't want to miss the MGs at the Spring Home Show, Feb. 28-March 2 at the Convention Center Downtown.  Learn more on the El Paso MG Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Paso-Master-Gardeners/148950588460436.

Aired Feb. 22, 2014.

  

  Denise & Norma talk about some of the questions that have been submitted to the El Paso Master Gardeners recently.  Should you paint your trees white to protect from sunburn or to "heal" a pruning cut?  What's the difference between mulch & compost?  And why is an arborvitae dripping sap?

Aired Feb. 15, 2014.

Facebook (El Paso Master Gardeners)

 

   Denise & Norma talk about the ways we can keep those beautiful cut flowers & bouquets looking great for days.  With Valentine's Day around the corner, you're going to want to know the best way to keep roses and other flowers looking their best.  Potted flowering plants and rose bushes also keep your home and landscape looking colorful.

Aired Feb. 1, 2014.

 

   Denise & Norma talk about the Kids & Kows & More program with the program's director, Sandra Pierce. Sandra talks about why it's important for kids to learn about the cotton, pecans, and cattle that are central to the region's agricultural industry.  The Kids & Kows & More program features speakers, a livestock exhibit, a mobile dairy classroom, and lots more!  The program is for 2nd through 5th graders and will take place March 3-7 at the El Paso County Coliseum.  To learn more and to set up a schedule your students, contact Sandra Pierce, 915-872-8791,  email s-pierce@tamu.edu.

Aired Jan. 25, 2014.

  Bill & Norma talk about this month's gardening activities.  In January we should prune our trees & shrubs, visit with Master Gardeners at the Municipal Rose Garden to get some winter rose pruning tips, and extend the lives of our neglected holiday plants.

Aired Jan. 11, 2014.

In a rebroadcast from Nov. 17, 2012, Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about how to protect our trees, shrubs, and potted plants from cold weather, as well as which plants don't need protection.  They also talk about ways to protect our gardening equipment from a possible freeze. 

Aired Dec 28, 2013.

In a rebroadcast from March 16, 2013, Bill, Denise, and Norma talk with Mike Hardiman, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Santa Teresa, and regional coordinator of the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).  Hardiman talks about how the community can get involved in measuring rainfall (and the lack of it) and reporting it online to be used by National Weather Service meteorologists, the USDA, researchers, and many others. March is CoCoRaHS's annual recruitment drive, and they are trying to increase the number of El Pasoans and others in the region to report their rainfall.  www.cocorahs.org

Mike Hardiman can be reached by email at mike.hardiman@noaa.gov

Aired Dec. 21, 2013.

www.thompson-morgan.com

 

   Bill, Denise, and Norma talk about about the latest hybrid plant to come on the market - a TomTato, which is the result of grafting the top of a tomato plant to the bottom part of a potato plant.  It's a novel idea, but will it grow in El Paso?  Potatoes, on the other hand, tend to thrive just fine on their own, and Bill & Denise will talk about the different ways to grow them below and above ground.  Denise also talks about the growing popularity of growing microgreens.

Aired Dec. 7, 2013.

In a rebroadcast from Nov 26, 2011, Bill & Norma talk about how to care for holiday plants & trees, such as living & cut Christmas trees, Christmas cactus, and Norfolk pines.  They also talk about how best to plan for winter pruning and how to care for freeze-damaged trees.  Aired Nov. 30, 2013.

  Denise, Bill, and Norma advise on the best ways to protect your potted patio plants from the cold weather.  Denise also gives us an update on the new class of Master Gardeners, and tells us why now is the best time to get your soil tested by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.  Learn more at 915-860-2515.

Aired Nov. 23, 2013.

  Bill & Norma talk about what we should be doing in our yards, landscapes, and indoor spaces in November...including planting cool-season annuals such as snapdragons and pansies.  We'll also find out about the special care indoor plants and potted outdoor plants need when the weather gets cooler.

Aired Nov. 16, 2013.

  Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about the ways we can prep for the cooler temperatures of fall and winter, including cutting back on watering and fertilizing.  Plus, find out why a test of your soil could help your garden reach its full potential.

Information on soil testing is available at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 915-860-2515.

Aired Nov. 2, 2013.

texastreeplanting.tamu.edu

  

  Denise & Norma talk with John White, curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP.   John talks trees this week, including why it's so important to know how big a tree is going to get before you plant it!  John also offers some tree recommendations for small spaces.

Resources & information: West Texas Urban Forestry Council http://wtufc.org/, Trees are Good http://treesaregood.org/, Centennial Museum Chihuahuan Desert Gardens http://admin.utep.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=60234.  

Aired Oct. 26, 2013.

  

  Denise & Norma welcome back John White, curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens on the UTEP campus.  John talks about the upcoming Sun Country Landscape Conference, taking place on "Tree-o-ween," Oct. 31 at the TecH2O Water Resources Learning Center, 10751 Montana.  Hear about the different topics that will be covered at the conference which is open to landscape professionals and interested members of the public.  John also talks about a Pruning & Climbing Workshop scheduled for Oct. 30 at the El Paso Garden Center on Grant Ave.  Tree professionals & interested members of the public are invited to attend.

Registration is recommended for each event.  http://www.wtufc.org/, John White 575-640-7555 Oscar Mestas 915-834-5610.

Aired Oct. 19, 2013.

  Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about what gardening activities we can take part in during October.  It's a great time to plant cool-season annuals like pansies, or planting trees & shrubs.

Plus, hear about where the Master Gardeners will be appearing this month:  Oct 11-13 at the Home & Garden Expo in Downtown El Paso...Oct 26 from 9am-1pm at the Downtown Artist & Farmers Market on Anthony St...and Oct 26 from 1pm-3pm at the Municipal Rose Garden Open House at Memorial Park.

Aired Oct. 12, 2013.

  Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about the effects the recent monsoon season had on the region...good and bad.  Weeds are very prolific right now, and we'll find out how to prevent weeds from coming up in your lawns in the winter.  Now is a good time to think about overseeding your lawn with fescue or rye if you would like a green lawn all winter long.  See how the monsoon season affected our region here: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/media/epz/MonsoonSeason2013.pdf

Aired Oct. 5, 2013.

    Denise & Norma talk about EarthKind principles, which you may already be familiar with, even though you might not be familiar with the name.  EarthKind encourages landscape water conservation, the reduction of fertilizer & pesticide use, landscaping for energy consumption, and the reduction of landscape wastes entering landfills or water supplies.

Take the EarthKind Challenge and see how well you are making use of EarthKind principles!  http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/challenge/

Aired Sept. 28, 2013.

  Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about herb gardening in the fall.  Fall is a good time to divide your herbs.  Denise talks about keeping a healthy herb garden all year long, and which herbs grow best in our climate.  

And...if you've been seeing a lot of bulbs in your local nurseries or home improvement stores, this is a good time of the year to buy them and put them in your refrigerator for planting in the future.

Aired Sept 22, 2013.

  Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about the interesting variety of fungus and mushrooms that have sprouted in lawns across the region after the summer rains.  We'll also hear about the harmful and not-so-harmful insects you might find crawling around your yard.  Aired Sept. 7, 2013.

NerdWallet, a consumer advocacy website, recognized El Paso Master Gardeners for its commitment to gardening education in a study that found El Paso as one of the best cities for urban gardening.

  Bill & Norma talk about what we should be doing in our gardens & landscapes in September.  It's a great time to start planning for fall planting!  Get a head start on winter vegetables, find out why we need to divide spring-flowering bulbs, and learn about the benefits of root pruning if you're planning on transplanting a mature shrub or small tree in your landscape.

Need help figuring out what plants/trees/vegetables will do well in your landscape?  Try visiting these resources: 

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/elpasoplants/index.html

http://elp.tamu.edu/files/2010/10/WTUFC-Tree-list-8-2012.pdf

http://elp.tamu.edu/files/2010/10/HOME-VEGETABLE-VARIETIES-FOR-EL-PASO-COUNTY-Mar-10.pdf

http://elp.tamu.edu/files/2010/10/Tomato-Brochure.pdf

Aired Aug. 31, 2013.

  Denise & Norma talk about what we should be doing in our landscapes now that the worst of the summer temperatures are behind us.  Deadhead your flowering plants to keep them in bloom, water your fruit trees to ensure a good crop next spring, plan for the spring by reviewing your current landscape, and pull those pesky weeds!  Aired Aug. 24, 2013.

  Denise & Norma talk about the upcoming Master Gardener class.  Applications are still being accepted for their next series of classes which are set to begin in September.  Master Gardeners volunteers receive extensive training in plants, trees, fertilizers, and much, much more, and share the information with the community at various events, including the Native Plant Sale at UTEP and the Ardovino's Farmers Market.  No gardening experience is necessary!  Just an enthusiasm to learn.  The application deadline is August 20.  More information and a link to the application is avaiable here: http://elp.tamu.edu/horticulture/

Aired Aug. 17, 2013.

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