Rainwater Harvesting Talk for Water Conservation Series:
El Paso Water, in conjunction with El Paso Master Gardeners, is presenting a series of Water Conservation workshops. Join us this Saturday, August 13th for the talk titled How to Make a Rainy Day Last for Weeks. It includes a short tour of the active rainwater harvesting installation at the TecH2O Learning Center. In September, the next workshop in the series is DIY Self-Watering Indoor Herb Gardens. Check back to learn more about it.
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 will begin with an orientation, 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 at least 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. We are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others, and can communicate with diverse groups of people.
Here are key points and the application deadline:
- Orientation Day: September 1, 2022
- Dates of classes: September 8 to November 17, 2022
- Class days: Thursdays (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
- Class location: In-person training at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office Ascarate Annex,
301 Manny Martinez Sr. Drive, 2nd Floor, El Paso, TX
- Fee to cover course materials, handbook, and background check: $225
- Complete and submit the Application letter by August 19, 2022
Click here for a printable brochure entitled Become a Texas Master Gardener.
Click here for a printable flyer about the El Paso County Master Gardener volunteer training program.
New! Click here for a KTEP Good to Grow radio show featuring a lively discussion about Master Gardener training classes and gardening issues during the monsoon season.
Image sources: El Paso Master Gardeners Facebook and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-El Paso County
Save the Date!
We’re planning some new learning opportunities for gardeners in our region. Watch one of our YouTube video classes. Visit us at our Information Tables to get handouts and ask questions about landscaping or gardening. Here are some upcoming event dates so you can mark your calendar. Please check our Events page for more information.
August 13 – How to Make a Rainy Day Last for Weeks – Learn about Rainwater Harvesting
August 19 – Last day to submit your application for the Texas Master Gardener program; see above post and read more on our About Us pages and the Application page.
September 9-11 – Gardening Talks and Info Table at the Fall El Paso Home & Garden Show
September 10 – DIY Self-Watering Indoor Herb Gardens – Another in our Water Conservation Series
Read AgriLife TODAY for Texas Gardening News
Texas A&M AgriLife has a news blog page with several topics like Lawn & Garden, Environment, Life & Health, and Science & Tech called AgriLife TODAY. As gardeners, we’re especially interested the Lawn & Garden category and want to share some recent articles with you. Here are some articles for gardeners that were published this spring or summer:
Tips for gardeners during a Texas heat wave by Adam Russell
Pick tomatoes at color break by Adam Russell
Native bees need love, too! by Susan Himes
Beginners guide to rainwater harvesting by Susan Himes
The positive effects of gardening on mental healthby Paul Schattenberg
by Roger “Doc” Stalker, El Paso Master Gardener
Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting rainfall and storing it for later use. It can take active or passive forms. Rain barrels connected to gutters on a roof are an example of the active form of rainwater harvesting while rain gardens in the landscape are a passive form.
Since El Paso County receives the majority of its rainfall during the months July through September, we’re entering the perfect time of the year to capture the rainfall …
Related articles and videos:
Beginners Guide to Harvesting Rainwater: Don’t save it for a rainy day
A Waterwise Guide to Rainwater Harvesting
A Waterwise Guide to Rainwater Harvesting (Spanish version)
Installing A Drip Irrigation System to a Rain Barrel (Video)
Earth-Kind® Rainwater Harvesting (Video)
Do you have gardening or landscape questions and don’t know who to ask? The El Paso Master Gardener live online Chat Desk, part of our Help Desk is now available. The Chat windows are opened by clicking on the blue Chat button on our web pages. The live Chat hours will be:
Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Friday – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
At other times, when the Chat Desk Master Gardener volunteers are offline, the Chat buttons can still be used to leave questions and photographs. You’ll be asked for your email address, and we’ll reply by email as soon as possible.
Other ways to leave questions for our Help Desk volunteers are through the Ask the Help Desk contact form on our Ask Us page and through the Ask the Help Desk contact form on our Help Desk page. You will receive an answer from a Master Gardener volunteer by phone or email.
El Paso Master Gardeners provide a free service for the public by answering your gardening questions. We follow Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service guidelines and do not endorse or recommend specific products or places of business.
August Monthly Tips
How to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden
Pollinator Plant Recommendations for New Mexico (annuals, perennials and shrubs; includes bloom season)
Mexican Heather Makes Texas Superstar List (Pollinator-Friendly)
Plant a Honey Bee Friendly Garden (includes native bees & bee-attracting plants)
Pollination Fast Facts: Gardeners
Bring Back the Pollinators with Four Simple Steps
El Paso Desert Blooms Water Smart Landscaping Guide
Earth-Kind® Home Page-Aggie Horticulture
Xeriscape™ – Landscapes for the Desert Southwest
Ornamental Plants for Far West Texas (including trees)
Why Native Plants?
Gardening with Perennials (including dividing; sections in Spanish)
Growing Roses (includes plant types and winter pruning)
What Tree is for Me?
Help Your Tree Survive in El Paso (PDF)
Regional Recommended Tree List (TPG List)
Trees for High Desert Communities
Fruit Trees for El Paso
Texas Tree Planning, Planting, Pruning, and Care Guide (text and video; Spanish version at page bottom of selected pages)
Monsoon Season (+ sharing about fall volunteer Master Gardener’s 2021 program; see post above for 2022 program)
Late Summer Iris Care (+ sharing about fall 2021 EPCC Home Gardening class; see Outreach-EPCC for more info)
Texas Super Sweet Onion Added to Texas Superstar® List
The Texas Super Sweet Onion has been added to the Texas Superstar® listing because of its sweetness, size, and overall performance in Texas. Read more about this onion, also known as 1015Y, in this article at AgriLife Today by Adam Russell: Texas Super Sweet Onion Named Latest Texas Superstar. The 1015Y can be grown from seed or transplants. The ideal planting date when grown from seed, October 15th, inspired its name. Transplants can be planted November through February. If not found locally, look online for the Texas Super Sweet Onion seeds or bunches to transplant.
The Texas Superstar® website is here and you can find a list of Texas Superstar® plants here. (The listing hasn’t yet been updated to show 1015Y.) You’ll find plants in these categories: Annuals, Perennials, Per-Annuals, Woody Shrubs, Trees, and Specialty Plants (including vegetables). The most up-to-date e-book with descriptions and illustrations is here as a PDF file: https://texassuperstar.com/press/TDA_Superstar_2020_0520.pdf.
Improve Your Skills with Our
Informative El Paso Gardening Handbook
Texans Ask About Gardening–Vegetables, Herbs and More
From Asparagus to Swiss Chard plus “Non-Crop” plants and Herbs, you’ll find many of your questions answered in Everything Texans Ask About Gardening, an informative 67-page publication by Joseph Masabni and Patrick Lillard. Organized largely by vegetable name, the questions and answers cover general issues, diseases, and insects. Since this is a digital document produced by Texas A&M AgriLife, you can easily search for a topic or keyword by using the “Find” command if on a PC. Otherwise, here are some page numbers by section:
Vegetable Q&A – pages 1-54
Minor Crops – pages 54-61
Herbs – pages 61-63
Non-Crop Q&A – pages 64-67
Your Shopping at AmazonSmile Can Help Support Us
When you start your shopping at AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com/ch/20-1878485) you can support the El Paso County Master Gardener Association. With your support we can do more at our teaching gardens and for the community. At AmazonSmile, 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 through the AmazonSmile portal by finding the AmazonSmile logo in the upper left of the website page. Your support is appreciated.
You shop. Amazon gives.
Note: Only purchases at AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com/ch/20-1878485) or with AmazonSmile ON in the Amazon Shopping app will support us (not www.amazon.com). Please see this page, Donate, 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.
|About Us-El Paso
Webmaster: Mary Ann McCravey
Content Editor: Marlene Stalker