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This spring and summer the El Paso Master Gardeners’ Speakers Bureau is teaming up with the City of El Paso to present free workshops that will teach you about soil, container gardening, herbs, tomatoes, composting and more. Join us for one or more to get a well-rounded look at gardening in El Paso.
The “Gardening 101” talks will be held at the El Paso Multipurpose Center on Viscount Blvd. and each requires a separate registration. Check our Events pages for more information.
The “Sow.Grow.ReapEat.” workshops are scheduled from April through September and will be offered at four city libraries. Check our Events pages to see when they are scheduled and to get more information. Each workshop requires a separate registration.
Click here for a printable (PDF) list of the summer workshops by date and location.
Why Native Plants? by Virginia L. Morris, El Paso Master Gardener
What is a native plant? Native plant is a term used to describe plants endemic (indigenous) or naturalized to a given area in geologic time; that is, native plants evolved in a local area. Native plants grew naturally in an area before humans began to bring in plants from non-local areas.
What is an area? An area is defined as a region with similar characteristics, such as weather, soil, rainfall, and altitude. Plants may be native to North America, but not necessarily native to every state in the U.S. Some native plants have adapted to very limited, unusual environments or exceptional soil conditions like in the Chihuahuan Desert.
Good to Grow Radio Show
The recent Good to Grow radio shows discuss gardening in our windy spring weather, May gardening tips, and where to plant your new trees, shrubs or perennials plants to ensure their success in your landscape.
Monthly Gardening Tips
Warmer weather brings new gardening activities. You can plant warm-season grasses and fertilize established lawns of warm-season turf grasses, such as Bermuda, Buffalo, St. Augustine, and Zoysia. When fertilizing trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers, make sure NOT to use a “weed and feed” type fertilizer which will damage these plants.
You’ll want to plant hot-weather annuals, such as lantana, moss rose, daisies, sunflowers and marigolds. Deadhead old blossoms from established spring-flowering annuals such as pansies and snapdragons to prolong the flowering season. Flowering perennials will benefit from deadheading, too. Both newly planted annual and perennial plants can be encouraged to be more compact by pinching off their branch ends as this encourages more branching with more flowers.
Help Desk for Plant and Gardening Questions
Do you have a question about your plants, gardens or yards? Call the El Paso Master Gardener Help Desk (915-771-2354) to talk with a volunteer. You’ll get help with your gardening questions during the hours given below:
If a Master Gardener is not available when you call, please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible. Or, you may complete the Ask the Help Desk form which accepts photos and gives the option to receive an answer by phone or email.
Master Gardener of the Quarter
Congratulations to Charles McGuire! He’s our latest Master Gardener of the Quarter, having been chosen for the first quarter of 2016. With the Master Gardener of the Quarter program, El Paso Master Gardeners recognize a Certified Master Gardener each quarter. One person who has done an exceptional job within their committee or who has assisted the committee with its goals in an exceptional manner is honored.
The AgriLife Garden Committee would like to nominate Charles McGuire for Master Gardener of the Quarter. He is one of our Emeritus members and despite health issues, he still manages to come to the greenhouse several days each week. He has trained many of us so that we can manage the greenhouse when he cannot be there. Charles used to come to the greenhouse every day. He has instructed us in the propagation of all the plants that we sell at the plant sale and many of those that we plant at both the Ascarate teaching garden and at the AgriLife market garden. Charles has been a Master Gardener since 2000 and been working at the greenhouse for many of the years he has been certified.
Submitted by Mary Ann McCravey, AgriLife Garden Committee Co-chair
See previous Master Gardener of the Quarter recipients here.
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 A&M 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 Paso County.
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