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
10:11 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Mayapan Farmers Market

The  Mayapan Farmers Market will take place each Saturday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., 2000 Texas Ave. La Mujer Obrera established the Mayapan Farmers Market in 2011 as part of an overall strategy to increase access to fresh, locally grown food for the Chamizal neighborhood residents and the rest of the community. The Mayapan Farmers Market is SNAP friendly and operates on a seasonal basis.  Info: 915-217-1126.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat June 29, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Container Gardening


Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about one of the easiest and best ways to bring interest to your porch or patio - container gardening!  Hear about the fertilization and irrigation challenges you  may face if you have a container garden.  Find out what size pot would work best for the specimen you're looking to plant.  Plus, Denise talks about using a 2-pot system which might work best for your needs.  Aired June 29, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:29 am
Sat June 15, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: June Gardening Tips


Denise & Norma talk about what we should be doing in our gardens & landscapes during this hot, hot month of June...including fertilizing, mowing, and checking for pests.  In this online-only extended interview, Denise & Norma also talk about what to do to prevent blossom end rot on tomatoes and whether it's still ok to eat those unsightly tomatoes.  Aired June 15, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat June 8, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Wise Watering of Trees


Denise & Norma welcome back Regional Urban Forester Oscar Mestas of the Texas A&M Forest Service.  Oscar gives us some watering tips for trees, which are especially important in these harsh drought conditions.    He also talks about the State of Texas' decision to move Texas Arbor Day from February to the first Friday in November, a time of the year which is ideal for planting trees, especially for us in the Chihuahuan Desert region.  Oscar also talks about the exciting tree climbing competitions that arborists from across the nation and around the world participate in to demonstrate their skills.  Miguel Pastenes is an arborist who is a 6-time Texas Tree Climbing Champion, and is ranked 2nd in the nation.  To view Miguel Pastenes on a work climb, visit


Oscar Mestas can be reached at 915-834-5610.


To learn more about tree care, visit http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/main/popup.aspx?id=1284.


Aired June 8, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat June 1, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Distressed Trees


Denise & Norma talk with Oscar Mestas, Regional Urban Forester with the Texas A&M Forest Service.  Oscar talks about why our trees often don't respond right away to severe environmental events, such as a hard freeze or an ongoing drought.  Trees often display distress months or even years later, and trees in distress often invite pests and disease.  Aired June 1, 2013.

KTEP Local
9:25 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: i-Tree Eco

Denise & Norma talk with Oscar Mestas, Regional Urban Forester with the Texas A&M Forest Service.  Oscar talks about i-Tree Eco, a project which measures the cost benefits of trees in an urban community, such as air pollution reduction or energy savings.  El Paso will be part of this study beginning on June 9, and researchers will be descending on 250 randomly-selected plots of land within the city limits to conduct their study.  If your property is chosen to be part of the study, you will receive a postcard from the City of El Paso that you can mail back with permission to allow researchers onto your property.  To learn more about i-Tree Eco, visit http://www.itreetools.org/eco/index.php, or call Oscar Mestas at 915-834-5610.

Aired May 25, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat May 18, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: May Tips - Fertilizers


Denise, Bill, and Norma continue their talk on May Gardening Tips with a special focus on fertilizers.  Hear how slow-release granular fertilizers differ from the quick-acting water soluble ones.  What do you need to do to reduce the risk of fertilizer burn on your turf or plants?  Is manure an effective fertilizer, and what should you look for if you choose to use it?  Also, find out why turf, vegetables, trees, and flowering plants have their own specific fertilization needs.


Aired May 18, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: May Tips


Bill, Denise, and Norma talk about what we should be doing in our gardens & landscapes in May.  Weed control is essential, as is pinching off some of your budding fruit from your fruit trees.


Aired May 11, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat April 27, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Grass


In a rebroadcast from October 16, 2010, Bill & Norma talk with Jim McAfee, a turf grass specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension in Dallas.  Find out why Bermuda grass grows best here in El Paso, and why zoysia grass is another great bet. McAfee also talks about St. Augustine grass, Bermuda hybrid, and cool season grass.  McAfee also explains why fall is the best time to fertilize, and when to apply pre-emergents to your lawn to prevent weeds.  http://jimmcafee.tamu.edu/


Aired April 27, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat April 20, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Native Plant Sale, Pt 2


John White, garden curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens returns to the show to talk more about the Native Plant Sale at UTEP.  Hear about some of the desert-friendly shade trees that will be available, and some of the plant sale's best sellers, including penstemons and chocolate flowers.  Many of these native & adapted plants are excellent food sources for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.


The Native Plant Sale is April 27 & 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Centennial Museum.  The FloraFEST speaker, George O. Miller, delivers a free lecture on landscaping in the Chihuahuan Desert, April 26, 7 p.m., Room 116 of the UTEP Undergraduate Learning Center.  915-747-5565, www.museum.utep.edu


Aired April 20, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat April 13, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Native Plant Sale, part 1


Norma & Denise talk with John White, garden curator of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP.  John talks about why we should consider native & adapted plants for our landscapes.  He also explains that even though these are low-water use plants, they are not no-water use plants!  John also talks about a few of the desert-friendly trees available at the plant sale that can be found growing native in the Chihuahuan Desert, including Honey Mesquite trees and Desert Willows. 


The plant sale is April 27 & 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP. www.museum.utep.edu, 915-747-5565.


Aired April 13, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat April 6, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Tomatoes, pt 2


Bill, Denise, and Norma welcome back Master Gardener Dave Turner, president of the Master Gardener Society and vegetable specialist.  Turner talks about pruning tomato plants, whether your tomato needs a cage or a stake, and how to protect your tomato plant from El Paso's spring winds.  He also talks about what to do if your plant looks wilted, and why mulching with newspaper is a great way to retain moisture and deter weeds.


Aired April 6, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat March 30, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Tomatoes (part 1)


Denise, Bill, and Norma talk with Dave Turner, vegetable specialist with the Texas Master Gardeners and president of the Master Gardeners Association.  It's part  1 of our Tomato Show, and Turner will talk about how we should prep our soil and why now is the ideal time to plant our tomatoes instead of later in the season.  Turner also explains what differentiates indeterminate tomatoes from determinate tomatoes. 
Aired March 30, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat March 23, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Butterflies


In a rebroadcast from Sept. 25, 2010, Norma & Bill talk with Mark Muegge, associate professor and extension entomologist with Texas A&M.  Muegge talks about the different plants and colors that attract butterflies to our landscapes, and about the types of butterflies we can commonly find in El Paso.  He also talks about the kinds of plants we can sacrifice to the caterpillars so they can voraciously feed and eventually metamorphose into butterflies!  For more information, visit the North American Butterfly Association, www.naba.org.  Aired March 23, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat March 9, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Spring Gardening Prep


Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about preparing for spring gardening.  It's time to cut back some of that dead winter's growth on our perennials.  Denise also talks about the right type of soil mixture for our gardening beds and container plants.  Aired March 9, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat February 23, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Chill Hours and more


Bill, Denise, and Norma talk about why chill hours are important for certain fruit trees to bloom and set fruit, and why chill hours are difficult to calculate in the El Paso region.  They also talk about what the Master Gardeners will be presenting to the public during the upcoming Home & Garden Expo at the downtown Convention Center, March 1-3.   Aired Feb. 23, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat February 16, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: February Gardening Tips


Norma, Bill, and Denise talk about what we should be doing in our gardens & landscapes in February.  It's time to prepare our gardening beds for spring planting and to do our last-minute pruning.  Aired Feb. 16, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat February 9, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Rose & Shrub Pruning


Norma, Bill, and Denise welcome back Master Gardener Donna Beamesderfer to talk about pruning.  What tools are essential when it comes to pruning your roses?  Plus, they about what NOT to do when pruning roses.  And...just because it's time to prune doesn't mean you have to.  Prune with a purpose!  Aired Feb 9, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat January 26, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Rose Pruning, pt 1


Bill, Denise, and Norma talk with Master Gardener Donna Beamesderfer about rose pruning.  Why is this the best season for pruning?  Donna explains the whys and hows, and she also explains why one shouldn't panic when it's time to cut back those rose canes.


Aired Jan. 26, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat January 19, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Rose Sale


Norma, Bill, and Denise talk with Jennifer Hickey, a Master Gardener and consulting rosarian with the American Rose Society.  She talks about the different kinds of roses available for sale at the Master Gardener Rose Sale, including all types of floribunda, grandiflora, hybrid tea, and EarthKind roses.  Hickey offers some advice on how to pick the right rose for your landscape. 


Orders for the Master Gardener Rose Sale will be taken through February 1.  Order forms are available online at http://txmg.org/elpaso/2012-rose-sale/ or by calling the Texas AgriLife Extension at 915-860-2515, or the Master Gardener Hotline at 915-566-1276.


Aired Jan. 19, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat January 12, 2013

GOOD TO GROW: Unpredictable Weather, Protecting Plants


Bill & Norma talk about preparing for El Paso's unpredictable winter temps by protecting your plants and your pipes.  They also talk about bringing color inside your home with quick-blooming bulbs, ordering seeds for your spring garden from seed catalogs, and why to hold off on fertilizing your plants until the weather begins to warm up.  Aired Jan. 12, 2013.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat December 29, 2012

GOOD TO GROW: Pruning, part 2


In a rebroadcast from Dec. 25, 2010, Norma continues her conversation with Oscar Mestas, Regional Urban Forester, Texas Forest Service.  Mestas talks about the proper pruning tools that should be used for larger, more mature trees.  He also talks about what kind of pruning your tree needs if it has suffered wind damage or if it is planted near a utility line.  Mestas also discusses the special pruning that fruit trees might require.  Aired Dec. 29, 2012.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat December 22, 2012

GOOD TO GROW: Pruning, part 1


In a rebroadcast from December 18, 2010, Norma talks with Oscar Mestas, Regional Urban Forester, Texas Forest Service.  Mestas talks about why to prune, when to consult a professional, and why topping is a harmful practice which could lead to the demise of your trees.  Part 1 of a 2-part conversation.  Aired Dec. 22, 2012.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat December 15, 2012

GOOD TO GROW: Cold Weather Plant Care; Rose Sale


Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about the ways we can protect our outdoor plants from the cold weather.  Plus, we'll get a sneak preview of January's Master Gardener rose sale. Aired Dec. 15, 2012.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat December 8, 2012

GOOD TO GROW: December Gardening Tips


Denise & Norma talk about the gardening activities we should be taking part in this month, including cutting back on watering and planting our spring-flowering bulbs.  Aired Dec. 8, 2012.

KTEP Local
11:55 am
Mon November 5, 2012

GOOD TO GROW: Pomegranates, Rose Care, Fall Color


Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about whether roses need any special care once the weather starts getting colder.  Bill also talks about his recent experience at a pomegranate workshop which convinced him to want to start a pomegranate orchard! Plus, find out which trees might provide you a pop of fall color.  Aired Nov. 3, 2012.

KTEP Local
11:30 am
Sat October 27, 2012

GOOD TO GROW: November Tips


Denise & Norma talk about what we should be doing in our yards & landscapes in November, including selecting trees & shrubs for our yards, decreasing our watering schedule, and planting cool-weather-loving annuals. Aired Oct. 27, 2012.

KTEP Local
8:14 am
Thu October 25, 2012

GOOD TO GROW: Community Gardens


Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about the challenges facing people who aim to create a community garden, as well as how to turn a community garden into a success. They'll also talk about planning a winter garden, and explain why area pine trees continue to die. Aired Sept. 22, 2012.

KTEP Local
8:07 am
Thu October 25, 2012

GOOD TO GROW: Annuals vs Perennials


Bill, Denise, and Norma talk about the differences between annuals and perennials and why they are both terrific additions to your landscape or patios. Aired Sept. 29, 2012.

KTEP Local
8:03 am
Thu October 25, 2012

GOOD TO GROW: October Gardening Tips


Denise, Bill, and Norma talk about what we should be doing in our gardens & landscapes this month, including planting trees & shrubs, chilling tulips & hyacinths, and caring for our roses. Aired Oct. 6, 2012.

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