Take Two – Education and Edibles!

Saturdays - Farmers’ Market Info Booth Credit: El Paso Master Gardener Facebook

Saturdays – Farmers’ Market Info Booth
Credit: El Paso Master Gardener Facebook

This summer you can find our Information Tables with freshly grown produce in two locations. El Paso County Master Gardeners are serving up helpful bites of research-based gardening information with a variety of vegetables for you to purchase. We grow the vegetables locally at our Ascarate Teaching and Demonstration Garden and our Texas A&M AgriLife Vegetable Demonstration Garden.

Our Saturday events at Ardovino’s Farmers’ Market have weekly changing gardening topics in addition to our Information Booth materials to address your gardening questions. Produce is being sold as it becomes available. Visit our Events page to learn more and note the end-of-month Garden Talk.

Our Summer Vegetable Sales are being held twice a month on the grassy area outside the El Paso County Tax Office on Manny Martinez Sr. Drive.

2nd & 4th Tuesdays – Ascarate Summer Sale & Info Table Credit: El Paso Master Gardener Facebook

2nd & 4th Tuesdays – Ascarate Summer Sale & Info Table Credit: El Paso Master Gardener Facebook

Take advantage of our ability to answer your gardening questions and the free publications on topics ranging from composting to growing roses and tomatoes. Check our Events page for more information.



Tiny Pests in Our Gardens

How can so much damage to our plants be caused by such tiny pests? Spider mites, aphids and thrips are sucking pests that we start to see on our plants when the weather warms. Be on the alert for these in your garden so that you can take measures to remove them before the damage is too severe. In the following articles from New Mexico State University (NMSU) by Carol A. Sutherland, the “IPM Notes” section will give advice on controlling these pests. Fortunately, a first line of attack can be a strong stream of water to wash them off the plant and clean off the dust that is favored by the spider mites. You can also learn more about “good bugs” and “bad bugs” in the July Gardening 101 talk by Texas Master Gardener Entomology Specialist, Mary Ann McCravey.

          Spider Mites                       Aphids & Their Relatives                    Thrips

Related Articles:

Pests of Foliage and Flowering Plants
UC IPM Pest Notes Library

Image sources:

Mites on Kava Stem by Scot Nelson (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Aphids on Arugula by Scot Nelson (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Thrips on Bean Leaf by Gary Chang (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ready to Become a Texas Master Gardener Volunteer?

If you like to learn about plants and would enjoy sharing your knowledge with people in our community in various ways, consider becoming an El Paso County Master Gardener volunteer. In our yearly fall classes which begin with an orientation in late August you will receive intensive horticultural training. The classes include xeriscaping principles, vegetable gardening, lawn and tree care, soils, identifying garden pests, and more. After training, you’ll apply your new knowledge by volunteering 62 hours within the next year at approved sites to become a certified Texas Master Gardener. Recertification yearly is encouraged through continued volunteering and by taking continuing education classes.

Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn and to help others, and are able to communicate with diverse groups of people.

You can learn more about the El Paso County Master Gardener program and our history by reading the Application letter and the About Us pages.

agrilife logo

Orientation Day: August 31, 2017
Dates of classes: September 7 to November 16, 2017
Class days: Thursdays (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Class location: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office Ascarate Annex,
301 Manny Martinez Sr. Drive, 2nd Floor, El Paso, TX 79905

Fee to cover course materials, handbook and background check: $195

Read and complete the Application letter.

Last day to apply: August 24, 2017

What are the Elements of an Attractive Landscape?

by Virginia Morris, El Paso Master Gardener

Have you ever driven around a neighborhood and wondered why one landscape looks gorgeous and another looks “not so good”? Why is one landscape more attractive? Think about the ways we have developed our landscapes. Most of us just go to the nursery, usually in the springtime, and buy plants that appeal to us and put them in whatever space is available. What can the homeowner do to achieve a landscape that looks like a professional designed it? The answer: Think like a landscape architect.

Develop a Concept. What do you want from your landscape? Is your goal water conservation, low maintenance, or a wildlife friendly habitat? How will the landscape be used?
Read more »

You may also like:
Ornamental Plants for Far West Texas
Plant Selection and Selecting Your Plants
A Water-Wise Guide to Rainwater Harvesting
 Video Play Glyph Southwest Xeriscapes

Free Gardening Workshops

Gardening 101 Workshop Series-2017_pic

Our free summer “Gardening 101 Workshop Series” will help you be more successful as you garden in El Paso. Taught by Master Gardeners in our Speakers Bureau, we’re covering real-life gardening concerns so come to learn about irrigation emitters, which bugs you won’t mind having around, and the process of Vermiculture which is creating compost soil amendments with worms. Check our Events page for more information.

ask us picture Plant and Gardening Questions?
oooooooooooooAsk an Expert

Do you have a question about your plants, gardens or yards? The El Paso Master Gardener Help Desk is open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and we’ll be happy to assist you. When you phone the Help Desk (915-771-2354) you will talk with a volunteer who will provide research-based horticultural information. If a Master Gardener is not available when you call, please leave a message and you will be contacted 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.

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 Paso County. Our local volunteers receive extensive training and experience in a wide range of subjects before certification as Texas Master Gardeners. 

In collaboration with the County A&M AgriLife Horticultural Agent, Denise Rodriguez, we educate the community through various events, workshops, and demonstration gardens. Our Master Gardeners volunteer through our Outreach programs and community Projects to provide information and recommendations on horticultural topics to all residents of El Paso County.

Shopping for Spring Garden Supplies? 

garden-tools-clip-artsPlease support the El Paso County Master Gardener Association by starting your shopping at AmazonSmile.

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