Cool Season Gardening Is Easy After the Heat of Summer 

by Roger “Doc” Stalker, El Paso Master Gardener

The full onset of summer’s heat usually means the end to harvesting many vegetables planted for spring gardens. But summer doesn’t necessarily signal the end of vegetable gardening for many people who look forward to planting cool season vegetables. Late fall, winter, or even early spring can all be successful growing seasons with the right plants, under the right growing conditions, and the right care.

Cool weather vegetable gardening offers many advantages, not the least is the wide choice of crops that can be grown. You can have a long producing vegetable garden with minimal effort, keep harvesting in your garden into the fall, and maybe even into the winter months.

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Related articles from the Learn » Gardening Topics-Links page

Vegetable Planting Calendar for El Paso County
Vegetable Varieties for El Paso County
How to Care for Cool Weather Vegetables – Gardening in El Paso
Vegetables – Easy Gardening Series (scroll down for Spanish)
Texas Home Vegetable Gardening Guide

Prepare for Bulbs in the Landscape Now by Dr. William C. Welch, Professor & Landscape Horticulturist

Planting spring bulbs in the fall is as natural as falling leaves and football games. It is an opportunity neglected by the home gardener if he does not include some of the hardy, easy-to-grow spring beauties in the garden this fall. Bulbs are truly some of the simplest of flowers to grow, easy to care for, and inexpensive. All they ask is a fall planting, and they will reward you with weeks of early spring color, fragrance, and beauty.

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Related Articles:

Planting Spring-Flowering Bulbs Outdoors
Bulbs, Corms, Rhizomes & Tubers

How to Care for Cacti in El Paso

Credit: Torch Cactus (Trichocereus spp.) by Alice Parra, El Paso Master Gardener

Credit: Torch Cactus (Trichocereus spp.) by Alice Parra, El Paso Master Gardener

by Alice Parra, El Paso Master Gardener

Why would anyone want to grow cacti? Two reasons: ease of care and great beauty.

Cacti, native only to the Americas, are a type of succulent (water retaining plant) adapted to arid climates or soil conditions. They are easy to grow and offer a variety of shapes, color, and form and can be grown in your garden, containers or rock gardens.

All cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti. All the plants in the cactus family are members of the Cactaceae family.

The cactus family is very distinctive. Their flowers are very different from those of all other plant families. After reaching maturity, cacti will flower every year, some several times a year. Every cactus plant has areoles, even if you can’t see spines. An areole is the radial arrangement of spines on pad-like buds where shoots and flowers may appear.

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Go to our Learn » Gardening Topics-Links page for related articles on cacti and succulents.

Newcomer’s Gardening Snapshot for El Paso County

welcome  Many new residents arrive in El Paso each year from climates and growing conditions much different than the Chihuahuan desert. This Newcomer’s Gardening Snapshot highlights some main features of El Paso’s climate including our growing season, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones, U.S. Sunset Climate Zone, first average frost date, average rainfall and more. It also provides links to informative websites which are helpful for newcomers, identifies some local public gardens, and provides a contact for obtaining a Soil Sample Kit.

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Watering Tips for Lawns, Vegetable Gardens and Trees

by Rex Morris, El Paso Master Gardener

Watering Lawns – If you have a subsurface irrigation system for watering your lawn, it doesn’t get better than that. These systems provide good coverage, low water loss due to evaporation, and reduced runoff onto streets or sidewalks. However, detecting leak locations or other problems can make repairing subsurface systems a challenging job for a homeowner. Drawbacks of subsurface systems are that they are expensive to install, easy to damage, and difficult to maintain or repair.

Many people have pop-up sprinkler irrigation systems. A well-designed system should provide water to an entire lawn, but there will be some overlap. A pop-up system requires frequent checking. Broken or damaged sprinkler heads, twisted sprinkler heads, and partially clogged sprinkler heads will all put the water where it doesn’t belong.

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By the Season – Gardening in El Paso

October Monthly Tips
The Fall Lawn Fertilizer Deadline is Fast Approaching!
Dividing Perennials
Gardening with Perennials (planting, dividing, plant care; sections in Spanish)
Planting Spring-Flowering Bulbs Outdoors
Seasonal Color with Bulbs in El Paso
Why We Landscape with Native and Adaptive Plants
Texas Home Vegetable Gardening Guide
Vegetable Planting Calendar for El Paso County
Vegetable Varieties for El Paso County
Vegetables – Easy Gardening Series (scroll down for Spanish)
Watering Tips for Lawns, Vegetable Gardens and Trees

Pests of Foliage and Flowering Plants
Spider Mites
Weeds of Texas Turf (good photos for ID of weeds)
Weeds-Pest Notes Library (see weed management tips)

What is Vermicomposting and How is it Done?

Good to Grow Radio Shows  (Current and Archived)

Seed Collecting
Summer to Fall Gardening
Summer to Fall Planting and More
Fall Gardening Tips
Fall Planting-Wildflowers, Garlic and More!
Proper Pruning Tips

Made in the Shade, Part I
Made in the Shade, Part II

Garden Weed Control
Garden Insects and Pests
Vegetable Container Gardening

Watering Your Landscape

KTEP logoListen live on Saturdays at 11:15 a.m. on 88.5 FM or stream from the archives at KTEP Good to Grow.  Read more about our Good to Grow Radio Show, here.

Improve Your Skills with Our Informative El Paso Gardening Handbook

EPMG Gardening Handbook Cover 2018

There are many types of gardeners in El Paso. Some tend to their vegetable gardens, whether in raised beds or containers, while others pride themselves in their yards that feature native and adapted plants. Some have recently moved here and aren’t sure where to start now that they’re in the high desert, don’t recognize many of the desert landscape plants, and wonder if they can have a lawn.

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ask us picturePlant and Gardening Questions?
Ask 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.

Shop at AmazonSmile to Support El Paso Master Gardenersamazon pic

You can support the El Paso County Master Gardener Association by starting your shopping at AmazonSmile. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the same convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to El Paso County Master Gardeners.  Look for this upper page banner when you donate: amazon banner

You shop. Amazon gives.

Note: Only purchases at smile.amazon.com will support us or other charitable organizations (not www.amazon.com, nor the mobile app). Thank you for your support.

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.

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Content Editor: Marlene Stalker

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