Learn How to Make Your Own Rain Barrel 

Combining the ‘whys’ of rainwater harvesting with the ‘hows’ of making your own rain barrel makes this a winning workshop. Just in time for our rainy season, you’ll learn about rainwater harvesting and receive a rain barrel along with information to help use it at your home.  Read more »

Why We Landscape with Native and Adaptive Plants

by Lou Ellen Clement, El Paso Master Gardener

Mtn Laurel + Butterfly

Credit: Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) by Linda Kaip, El Paso Master Gardener

Living in West Texas we are all acutely aware of our limited water resources. Many residents of El Paso are rethinking their landscapes to make them more water-wise by using plants that nature put here. “Going native” is one way to achieve a beautiful yet water-wise landscape, help maintain our natural habitats, and conserve our precious resources. Read more »

You may also like: 

FloraFEST Native Plant Sale at UTEP (April 29 & 30)
Recommended Plants and Plant Selectors

Master Gardener of the Quarter

MG of Qtr LogoOur “Master Gardener of the Quarter” program for 2017 has announced its 1st Quarter award and it goes to Rosie Cubillos for her work on our Facebook page. Congratulations, Rosie! With the “Master Gardener of the Quarter” program, El Paso County Master Gardeners recognize a Certified Master Gardener who has done an exceptional job within their committee or who has assisted the committee with its goals in an exceptional manner.

Rosie Cubillos-19Apr17

Photo Credit: Jan Petrzelka Master Gardener

This nomination was submitted to recommend Rosie Cubillos for “Master Gardener of the Quarter”:

With our mission to educate the public, Facebook Committee members are online almost every day providing items of interest for our 1,721 viewers. Rosie Cubillos joined the committee nearly two years ago and since then has been an avid contributor to our page. Thanks to Rosie’s creativity, there have been a variety of engaging posts which have generated a lot of interest from our viewers. She has taken over when others were ill or unable to participate and has been an inspiration to the team.

Being an active member of the committee entails almost daily logging on to Facebook, checking messages and questions from our viewers, finding appropriate educational information for posting and promoting El Paso Master Gardener (EPMG) activities. Rosie is also the committee member who replies to the questions from our readers which often entails doing research to resolve their problems. As a relatively new EPMG, Rosie states that she has learned a lot by doing this research and we appreciate the many hours she has dedicated to make sure each viewer is satisfied. She’s on the ball making sure that EPMG activities are promoted both before and after the event.

In January Rosie became co-chair of the committee and since then has prepared a very comprehensive monthly report for our CEA-Hort and EPMG Board members. It’s been a delight to work with this self-starter who also volunteers in the Ascarate Teaching and Demonstration Garden and greenhouse. Submitted by: Johanna Barr, past Co-chair, Facebook Committee, and Karen Garcia, Co-chair, Facebook Committee.

We’ve been honoring our association members since late 2015. See previous “Master Gardener of the Quarter” recipients here.

Start Here for Helpful Gardening Information

people around plant

Credit: UTEP’s FloraFEST sale via
El Paso Master Gardeners Facebook page

Other resources for choosing suitable annuals, perennials, shrubs, and more are found on these pages: Ornamentals Plants for Far West Texas and Texas Superstar® Plants. Look to these publications for more landscaping tips: Xeriscape: Landscapes for the Desert Southwest and Why Native Plants?

For those of you who enjoy flowering bulbs, read these articles: Seasonal Color with Bulbs in El Paso and Bulbs, Corms, Rhizomes & Tubers.

Lawns are an important part of a xeriscaped landscape even though it’s recommended for their size to be limited somewhat. Springtime is a good time to learn more about maintaining your lawn so check out the selection of links to helpful articles about fertilizing and growing warm season grasses on this website’s Learn»Links-Gardening Topics page.

As you start your spring vegetable garden, be sure to consult the list of Home Vegetable Varieties for our region and the El Paso County Planting Calendar. To help ensure a great tomato crop this year, you’ll want to read The Secret to Growing Tomatoes in El Paso.

El Paso’s Rose Garden Shines Each Spring

rosesMany El Paso residents know April is a great time for a visit to the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden with family and friends to see the over 1,500 rose bushes blooming their first flush of spring. After the winter pruning and shaping by dedicated Master Gardeners and Community Volunteers, the rose bushes are ready to put forth beautiful blossoms. While most of the garden’s bushes are repeat-bloomers and will continue blooming until early winter, it is in April when they all are showing their first spring flowers that the garden seems to be wall-to-wall blooms.

To learn more about how the Master Gardener volunteers work to keep the garden beautiful, some of the garden’s history, and to see more photos of the rose garden, go to the Projects»Rose Garden web page.

The Municipal Rose Garden is located at the corner of Copia St. and Aurora Ave., across from Memorial Park at 1702 N. Copia St. While subject to close for some city holidays, the Rose Garden is generally open to the public daily from March 1st through November 30th, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Related articles from our Learn»Links-Gardening Topics page:

Roses for the Desert
Coming Up Roses: 12 Classic Beauties that Thrive in the Desert Southwest (with photos)
Growing Roses
Earth-Kind® Roses

Save the Dates!

Gardening 101 Workshop Series (2017)April kicks off the beginning of the “Gardening 101 Workshop Series” to help you be more successful as you garden in El Paso. Taught by Master Gardeners in our Speakers Bureau, and in collaboration with the El Paso City Office of Resilience and Sustainability, the five classes over several months will familiarize you with gardening basics such as soil and irrigation. You’ll then advance your knowledge as you learn about the bugs you may encounter and the process of Vermiculture which is creating compost soil amendments with worms.

Join us for one workshop or all of them to learn tips for successful gardening in the desert southwest.

Check our Events page for more information.

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.

2 Easy Ways to Contact Our Help Desk

Do you have gardening or landscape questions and don’t know who to ask? 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.

Shopping for Spring Garden Supplies? 

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

amazon smile sign

What is Vermicomposting and How is it Done?

Vermicomposting is the use of earthworms to create a nutrient rich soil amendment for gardening. We’ve created a series of posters that cover how it’s done, its benefits, and where to use the compost generated in the worm bin. Read more »

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