Frost and Freeze Protection for Landscapes and Crops
What’s Growing on with Freeze Protection by Skip Richter, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension County Agent and Horticulturist
Protecting Landscapes and Horticultural Crops from Frosts and Freezes by Monte Nesbitt and Robert “Skip” Richter (9 pages. Subtopics: Plant freezing and hardiness; Understanding frosts and freezes; Dew point and frost; Forecasts and temperature measurements; Protection from radiative frosts; Protection from advective freezes; Protection with sprinklers; Protecting container plants; Assessing damage)
Frost Protection by Lucy Bradley, University of Arizona, Agent, Urban Horticulture (4 pgs. Subtopics: Understanding Cold Weather; Understanding Plant Response to Cold; Understanding Heat Transfer; Preventing Frost Damage; Common Symptoms of Frost Damage)
Winter Storms (Preparation, Safety, Lists, etc. by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Disaster Education Network)
Our Raised Bed Hoop House and How to Build It
by Beverly Clark, El Paso Master Gardener
Editor’s Note: On October 8th, Bev Clark gave an informative talk on raised bed hoop houses. This article and the related ones, below, cover much of her talk. Whether you saw the talk or not, you may enjoy reading these articles to learn how a hoop house can act like a small greenhouse and be a well-functioning addition to your garden.
We extended our growing season – and you can, too! We have built our own raised bed hoop houses to grow cool weather crops at the El Paso Master Gardeners’ Texas A&M AgriLife Vegetable Demonstration Gardens. Our raised bed hoop houses, like row covers and cold frames, function like a small greenhouse as they give some winter weather climate control, protect against hungry insects, allow a longer growing and harvest season, and provide a safe place to start new seeds and to set out transplants.
In the fall of 2019, and on through the winter and spring of 2020, we brought our El Paso Master Gardeners Facebook viewers along with our Raised Bed Hoop House Journal providing them with updates on a new gardening adventure for us: growing cool weather crops in raised bed hoop houses. Through the updates, they got a close look at the hoop houses, what we were growing, issues we encountered, fixes, and the many amazing vegetables we harvested. Because we used 6 mil greenhouse plastic for the covering, the raised bed hoop houses in this installation were for fall, winter, and early spring use. We had a blast growing all those great salad greens and kale in the raised bed hoop houses. We learned a lot and consider them a great success! We hope that we will be able to put these multi-functional gardening structures into use every fall.
For more articles on hoop houses and other small greenhouse-type structures, see the category Gardening with Hoop Houses, Row Covers, and Cold Frames under the Fruits and Vegetables subheading on our Learn » Garden Topics-Links page.
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.
January 2023 (date TBD) – Home Gardening in El Paso class at EPCC (see example class here)
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 available to you. The Chat windows are opened by clicking on the blue Chat button on our web pages. Even though the Chat Desk is now in its winter hour schedule and not regularly providing live chats, 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.
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:
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 health by Paul Schattenberg
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)
Texas Super Sweet Onion Named Latest Texas Superstar
Rainwater Harvesting-Gardening in El Paso-Articles
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)
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)
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.
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