Fall Can Be a Busy Time for a Gardener
Now that that the fall season has arrived, how can you spend your time in your garden and landscape? If you grow vegetables and haven’t yet started your fall garden, now’s the time to check our Learn » Gardening Topics-Links website page for articles with vegetable recommendations. Especially timely are the Vegetable Planting Calendar for El Paso County and Vegetable Varieties for El Paso County pages. Things to do in October are given on our Monthly Tips page.
Fall–a good time to ‘get your green on’ in gardens, landscapes is an article by David Rodriguez and Daphne Richards, two Texas A&M AgrLife Extension Service horticulturists. The many things we can do in the fall are highlighted to include planting vegetables, flowers, turfgrass, shrubs and trees. You’ll also be reminded it’s a good time to fertilize and compost.
What Can You Do to Prepare Your Spring-Flowering Bulbs?
When you see lovely bulbs blooming in the spring you may not realize that their life cycle began in the fall. Our October Monthly Tips recommend that you the buy spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, irises, tulips, anemones, hyacinths, and ranunculus during this time of year. Read Dr. William C. Welch’s article Prepare for Bulbs in the Landscape Now to learn how to prepare and plant your bulbs.
Related Article from the Learn » Gardening in El Paso-Articles page:
The fall season is stacking up to be an educational bonanza. Soon we’ll be updating our Events page with more information so mark your calendars and check back for more information. Some classes or workshops will have a small fee.
The Fall Lawn Fertilizing Deadline Is Fast Approaching!
by Doc Stalker, El Paso Master Gardener
Summer’s temperatures are finally starting to drop, and the school zone caution lights are flashing again throughout El Paso County. That means the deadline for the most important fertilizer application of the year is right around the corner.
A final application of fertilizer each fall helps warm season grasses store up extra energy before going dormant over the winter months. That stored energy is critical for lawns to ‘green up’ next spring as soon as the weather is warm again. It’s important to give enough time for the fertilizer to work before the grass dormancy period starts which in El Paso is usually around mid-November and depends on when the fall temperatures fall into the frost range. So, don’t risk applying any fertilizer to your lawns after early October.
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.
Related articles from the Learn » Gardening Topics-Links page:
- Vegetable Planting Calendar for El Paso County (Note what to plant Aug.- Oct.)
- Vegetable Varieties for El Paso County
- Vegetables – Easy Gardening Series (scroll down for Spanish)
- Texas Home Vegetable Gardening Guide
- How to Care for Cool Weather Vegetables – Gardening in El Paso
- Fall Vegetable Gardening Guide (Includes tips on planting & harvesting vegetables; herbs; On tables, use Texas Gardening Region III as El Paso is in USDA Hardiness Zone 8)
Why to Be on Alert for Rose Rosette Disease
by Roger “Doc” Stalker, El Paso Master Gardener
You may have read about a fatal viral disease devastating individual rose bushes and rose gardens in many parts of the United States, including several Texas counties. At present, as ongoing research continues, only an extremely small percentage of roses are thought to possibly be resistant to Rose Rosette Disease (RRD).
RRD was first observed in the United States during the early 1940s. Abnormal growth in the various parts of the rose create RRD symptoms like malformed leaves and flowers, “witches’ brooms”, excessive thorniness, and enlarged canes.
For nearly seventy years little was known for certain about the causal agent or how the disease is transmitted. In 2011 research determined RRD is caused by the appropriately named Rose Rosette Virus (RRV) and vectored, or carried, by a tiny eriophyid mite (Phyllocoptes fructiphilus). This mite is so small it travels on wind currents, insects, and wildlife to feed on and infect other roses. If rose bushes are touching, the mite can crawl onto the adjacent bushes, and may also hitch a ride on animals, clothing, garden equipment or even insects that visit infested roses.
For those of us who grow roses or enjoy receiving them on special occasions, reports in April 2019 that RRD had been found within 300 miles of the El Paso County line was a cause for alarm. The rose disease was found in Midland and Odessa, Texas.
New! Related video. Close-up examples of RRD symptoms start at 1:31:
El Paso Master Gardeners Win with Research Project
At the 2019 Texas Master Gardener Association (TMGA) conference, the El Paso County Master Gardener Association (EPCMGA) was awarded 1st Place in the category of Large Association in the Search for Excellence 2018 Awards for a Research project.
Two Easy Ways to Contact Our Help Desk
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.
Good to Grow Radio Shows
(Current and Archived)
Stressed Out Gardens (incl. positive aspects of gardening)
November Gardening Tips
Fall Gardening Tips
Decorating for Fall
Tree Selection and Planting
Watering Your Landscape
Irrigation, Part 1 of 2
Irrigation, Part 2 of 2
Garden Weed Control
November Monthly Tips
Cleaning Garden Tools
Tool Tips – Care, Maintenance, and More
Watering Trees and Shrubs: Simple techniques for efficient landscape watering
Efficient Use of Water in the Garden and Landscape
Watering Trees and Shrubs: Simple Techniques for Efficient Landscape Watering
Watering Tips for Lawns, Vegetable Gardens and Trees – Gardening in El Paso
Lawn Water Management
Vegetable Planting Calendar for El Paso County
Vegetable Varieties for El Paso County
Texas Tree Planning Guide: Planting, Pruning, and Care (text and video; Spanish version at page bottom of select pages)
Help Your Tree Survive in El Paso (PDF)
Pests of Foliage and Flowering Plants
Bug Book-Insect ID and Control
Shopping for Back to School?
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Whether you need to buy school supplies, clothing, garden or household items, when you start your shopping at AmazonSmile you can support the El Paso County Master Gardener Association. At smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the same convenient shopping experience as at Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of your cart’s value to El Paso County Master Gardeners. You can verify you’re shopping from our AmazonSmile connection when you see this upper page banner:
Note: Only purchases at smile.amazon.com will support us (not www.amazon.com, nor the mobile app). For purchases which are eligible for donations to result in donations, the smile.amazon.com page must be accessed from a device using an internet browser. Purchases not made using an internet browser (for instance, using the Amazon Shopping App, Kindle Store, FireTV, Amazon Dash, or Amazon Echo) are not currently eligible for donations. 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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Webmaster: Mary Ann McCravey
Content Editor: Marlene Stalker