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November Gardening Tips

This is still a great time to plant trees and shrubs, although the selection at local nurseries and garden shops may not be that extensive.  Many garden centers have much less inventory in the fall than they do in the spring, when temperatures are beginning to warm up and more people have gardening on their minds.

If planning to order any seeds for planting next spring, go ahead and order them now—you’ll be more certain of getting the varieties you want, and you’ll have the seeds available once you’re ready to plant.

There is still time to set out cool-season bedding plants, such as pansies, violas, snapdragons, dianthus, and flowering kale.  When looking for transplants to purchase, make sure to select short, stocky plants with good green color.

Don’t get in a hurry to prune woody plants.  Late December through early February is usually the best time to prune trees and shrubs.  Remember: Don’t top trees!  Severe pruning reduces the life of trees and allows large entry points for diseases and insects.

Reduce the fertilization of indoor plants from late October until mid-March.  An exception would be plants in an atrium or well-lighted window.  Also, be extra vigilant about checking house plants for watering: the extra warmth and lack of humidity due to winter heating in our homes causes plants to dry out more quickly.

Once Bermuda grass lawns begin to go dormant, reduce irrigation frequency to about once per month.  Dormant turf grass is yellow and appears dead, but it still needs some water in order to be healthy next spring when it begins to grow again.  With the temperatures much lower now, you can also reduce irrigation on fescue and other winter grasses to about once every week to 10 days.

Evergreen trees and shrubs in our landscapes frequently suffer from a lack of moisture during the dry months of winter.  Make sure to water evergreens about once per month to ensure healthy growth all through the winter and into next spring.  Deciduous trees and shrubs that go dormant in the winter also need adequate moisture, even though they are not actively growing.  Watering once every four to six weeks should be adequate for most dormant trees and shrubs.

Drain gasoline from lawn mowers and other power garden tools and run the engine until fuel in the carburetor is used up.  Also, drain and store any garden hoses and watering equipment that will not be used again until next spring.

Each month please read our Month by Month Gardening Tips. You’ll find them in the column to the right.

School Gardens

School Gardens

Master Gardeners can help our local schools with advice on how to start your own school garden. Listen to this replay from August 2014 to learn more.

For more archived shows, you can visit http://ktep.org/programs/good-grow or listen live on Saturdays at 11:15 a.m. on 88.5 FM.

In August 2014 El Paso’s online news source, the Newspaper Tree, began featuring articles by El Paso Master Gardeners in their Health and Environment section. New articles will appear on the first and third weeks of the month. The articles will be discussing a variety of gardening topics for our area. You can read them by following the links below.

  • Burying a new tree or shrub too deeply is a bad idea  
    Let the plant’s main roots tell you how
    deep to dig a planting hole // October 8, 2014

El Paso Master Gardener Calendar

Calendar 2014-2015 back cover Calendar 2014-2015 cover                         Our latest 16-month calendar for 2014-2015 has all new research-based articles, gardening tips, and recipes.  The 2013-2014 version of the calendar was awarded 1st Place in Search for Excellence Written Education by the Texas Master Gardener Association.  Read more here.

Who We Are

                          Master Gardener Marianela Milner educates at Ascarate Demonstration and Teaching Garden

The El Paso County Master Ga​rdeners Association, as a member of the Texas Master Gardeners Association, is a non-profit educational and charitable organization supporting the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in providing quality, relevant outreach and continuing education programs and services to the people of El PasoCounty. Our local volunteers receive extensive training and experience in a wide range of subjects before certification as Master Gardener​s. In collaboration with the County AgriLife Horticultural Agent, we conduct community educational projects through workshops and demonstration gardens. Members of the Master Gardeners Speakers Bureau, Help Desk, and Information Table committees provide information, education, and recommendations on horticultural topics to all residents of El PasoCounty.


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