Home Gardening in El Paso
It’s Not Too Late to Register!
Have you ever wanted to know more about gardening in El Paso? Whether you’ve moved here recently or have lived here for many years, you can learn something useful when you are taught by our Master Gardeners in the Home Gardening in El Paso class at the El Paso Community College (EPCC). In this sixteen-hour class you will learn techniques and information about growing vegetables, xeriscaping, lawn care, controlling insects and diseases, and more. These techniques will help you improve your gardening efforts in El Paso’s climate.
The Fall 2019 EPCC class starts Saturday, September 7th, and ends October 26th.
Formal registration ends Friday, September 6th, however, late registrations will be accepted and handouts for classes missed will be provided.
Read our EPCC Class Page to learn about class topics, times, and information needed for registering at El Paso Community College.
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. The Research award recognizes a Master Gardener project conducted with applied scientific methodology and with oversight provided by a Texas A&M AgriLife Services employee.
The Master Gardeners’ 2018 Research project began as an outgrowth of needed investigation when in 2017 the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV) infected most of the tomato plants propagated in the EPCMGA greenhouse. Vectored, or carried, by several types of whiteflies, the virus also infected backyard and small farm gardens across the county. Inquiries to identify the problem were made to the Master Gardener Help Desk and Information Tables. To prevent future large tomato crop losses, EPCMGA recognized the need to be able to recommend tomato varieties resistant to the TYLCV.
In the spring and summer of 2018, a team of El Paso Master Gardeners, led by Master Gardener Bev Clark, conducted a tomato field trial to test tomato varieties for their resistance to the TYLCV and identify which could be successfully grown in El Paso.
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.
September 25 – (New date & time) Vegetable Gardening Workshop with Dr. Joseph Masabni
September 28 – Beyond Basics Propagation Workshop–Grafting, Budding & Air Layering
September 28 – Chihuahuan Desert Festival–Master Gardener Information Table
October 4-6 – 12th Annual El Paso Fall Home & Garden Show: Master Gardener Talks & Info Tables
October 5 Garden Talks: Fall & Winter Rose Care; Container Gardening; Go Native in Your Garden
October 6 Garden Talks: Maintenance & Handling of Garden Tools; Go Native in Your Garden
October 18 – Roses and Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) with Dr. Kevin Ong
November 8 – Turf Grass–Tips for Spring Care with Dr. Becky Grubbs
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)
Fall Gardening Tips
Summer Garden Care
Summer Container Gardening Tips
Watering Your Landscape
Irrigation, Part 1 of 2
Irrigation, Part 2 of 2
Proper Pruning Tips
Made in the Shade, Part 1 of 2
Made in the Shade, Part 2 of 2
Hummingbird and Butterfly Habitats
Garden Weed Control
September Monthly Tips
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)
Pruning Shrubs in the Low and Mid-Elevation Deserts in Arizona
Low Desert Pruning Guide for Commonly Used Shrubs (includes Tips and Schedule)
Propagation – A Variety of Techniques
Propagating Foliage and Flowering Plants
The Secret to Growing Tomatoes in El Paso
Tomato Problem Solver
Pests of Foliage and Flowering Plants
Bug Book-Insect ID and Control
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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