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Home Gardening in El Paso Class
You will learn techniques and information about improving your soil, vegetable gardening, irrigation, landscaping, rainwater harvesting, container gardening and plant selection. These techniques will help you improve your gardening efforts in El Paso’s climate. Taught by Master Gardeners. (12 hours)
EPCC class starts January 24th
Registration ends January 23rd
Regional Urban Forester Oscar Mestas of the Texas A&M Forest Service recently joined Norma & Denise for two shows about winter tree care. Listen to the following show to learn about recommended trees for our area, watering tips and more.
In this show, below, Oscar, Norma and Denise discuss winter tree pruning, when it’s best to do it, and why both the health of the tree and safety of people should be considered.
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.
With Freezing Weather on the Way,
Plants Need Care, Too
COLLEGE STATION — As the first major cold snap approaches, people can take action to protect plants from total loss, horticulturists with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service said.
The first step is to understand how cold temperatures impact different plants and then take steps to alter those conditions, according to Monte Nesbitt of College Station and Robert “Skip” Richter of Houston, both AgriLife Extension horticulturists.
Nesbitt and Richter are co-authors of “Protecting Landscapes and Horticultural Crops from Frosts and Freezes,” which has detailed instructions and is downloadable for free at http://www.agrilifebookstore.org/Protect-Landscape-and-Crops-from-Frost-and-Freeze-p/eht-048.htm. [Note: This nine-page article is available on our website, here, if you don’t want to register at the book store].
The National Weather Service has issued a special statement indicating that freezing temperatures could reach south of San Antonio by week’s end. A hard freeze is expected in the Panhandle.
In addition to seeking local weather reports, one needs to understand the difference between frosts and freezes, they said, as well as how topography, urban microclimates and bodies of water can impact a plant’s ability to withstand temperature variations.
“Plants can get used to freezing weather if they are exposed to it consistently and gradually,” Nesbitt explained. “But in Texas, intermittent warm periods can make it hard for plants to adjust and therefore be more vulnerable to frost or freeze damage.” Read more here.
Caring for Potted Succulents in Winter
by Jennifer Medina Salter, El Paso Master Gardener
Over the past few months I have been collecting small potted succulents/cacti on my patio. Many of them are cold sensitive, and with colder temperatures here it is definitely time to change the plant environment. I brought my plants inside, but many people move theirs into greenhouses. Whatever the environment, remember that although most succulents/cacti are winter dormant they still have 3 basic requirements: light, water and temperature.
Light: give them as much direct sunlight as possible. A south facing window is best. Without enough sunlight, your plants can become “leggy” by the time spring arrives.
Water: Keep your plants on the dry side, giving just enough water to stop them from shriveling. Too much water and they will quickly begin to rot. Along with low water, remember not to give any fertilizer during the winter months.
Temperature: Keep the plants at temperatures above 45˚. On the flip side, temperatures that are too warm will encourage growth during these dormant months you will end up with “leggy” plants.
Remember, keep the plants bright, dry and cool and once the danger of frost is over, they can be moved back outside to bask in the sun.
Monthly Gardening Tips for January
This month’s gardening tips suggest the best ways to work with your plants while the weather is cool. There are ideas for getting ready for spring and tips on pruning roses and shrubs. Go directly to January tips here.
Each month please read our Month by Month Gardening Tips. You’ll find them in the column to the right.
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 and by seeing other articles here.
Don’t jump the gun on pruning // November 5, 2014
The not so “dead” lawn of winter
Dormant season begins with one last dose of fertilizer // October 29, 2014
Don’t forget fall and late winter fertilizing
Caring for gardens doesn’t end with summer // September 2, 2014
More rainwater available than some realize
A little planning goes a long way//August 5, 2014
Who We Are
The El Paso County Master Gardeners 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 Gardeners.
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.