Home Gardening in El Paso

Register for EPCC Class!

Earth-Kind Landscape

Credit: Earth-Kind® Landscape by Sarah Wood,
El Paso Master Gardener

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 EPCC. In this sixteen hour class, two hours each Saturday morning, you’ll learn techniques and information that will help improve how you landscape and garden in El Paso’s desert climate. Topics to be covered are vegetables, herbs, irrigation, lawn care, Earth-Kind® and xeriscape landscaping, controlling insects and diseases, and more. Unlike the Master Gardener Program class which has a volunteer requirement and leads to certification as a Texas Master Gardener, this Home Gardening in El Paso class has no volunteer component. It may, however, create interest in future participation in the El Paso County Master Gardener Program!

The Fall 2018 EPCC class starts Saturday, September 8th, and ends October 27th. To learn how to register at El Paso Community College, see our EPCC Class Page.

Applications to Master Gardener Program Closed for 2018

The application period for admittance to the 2018 El Paso Master Gardener Program has closed and new applications will no longer be accepted. Applications for the 2019 Program will be accepted next year, so please look for announcements next summer about the start of the 2019 Master Gardener Program. Thank you for your interest in becoming an El Paso Master Gardener.

Buzz Off! Prevent Mosquitoes to Reduce Disease

by Marlene Stalker, El Paso Master Gardener

place mosquitos can breed

Mosquito Conducive Conditions
Credit: NYSIPM Gallery

Mosquito-transmitted diseases are on our radar now more than ever. The bite of an infected mosquito can spread West Nile virus, chikungunya, dengue, and Zika. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s “Mosquito Safari” is an interactive audio-visual website that takes you around a house and neighborhood to learn where mosquitoes will breed so they can be eliminated. The website also discusses mosquito-borne diseases and how to control them.

Read more »

Fresh Vegetables and Questions Answered All Summer

Veggie Sale

Ascarate Summer Vegetable Sale & Info Table
Credit: El Paso Master Gardener Facebook

We’ve got you covered this summer with information tables and vegetable sales offered in two locations and on both weekdays and weekends. While you can find us on Saturdays at the Farmers’ Market at Ardovino’s, come to the Ascarate Park area to find us on select weekdays. Our Ascarate Summer Vegetable Sales and Information Tables are being held twice a month on the grassy area outside the El Paso County Tax Office on Manny Martinez Sr. Drive. Starting on June 26th, and on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from July through August, Master Gardeners will be answering your gardening questions and offering freshly grown produce for sale. We grow the vegetables locally at our Ascarate Teaching and Demonstration Garden. In addition to sharing our research-based horticultural training, we’ll be selling our new El Paso Gardening Handbook. Check our Events page for more information.

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.

Read more »

What Happens When You Combine Fresh Vegetables and Crafts?

Credit: Farmers’ Market Information Booth from El Paso Master Gardener

Credit: Farmers’ Market Information Booth from El Paso Master Gardener Facebook

Your Saturday morning trip to the Farmers’ Market will be a creative and rewarding experience. Fresh vegetables, El Paso Master Gardeners ready to answer your gardening questions, and weekly topics on vegetable-related crafts will be combined in a brand-new way this season.

Come each summer Saturday morning to our Information Booth at Ardovino’s Farmers’ Market. The vegetables for sale are grown at our Texas A&M AgriLife Vegetable Demonstration Garden and the availability will reflect what’s in season as the summer progresses. In addition to sharing our research-based horticultural training, we’ll be selling our new El Paso Gardening Handbook. Visit our Events page to learn the topics and schedule for each Saturday morning.

By the Season – Gardening in El Paso

August Monthly Tips
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)

Summer Garden Care
Made in the Shade, Part I
Made in the Shade, Part II
Summer Self-Care While Gardening
Garden Weed Control
Summer Watering Tips
Summer Vacation Plant Care
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.

Read more »

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.

Newcomer’s Gardening Snapshot for El Paso County

welcome signMany new residents arrive in El Paso each year from climates and growing conditions much different than the Chihuahuan desert. This Newcomer’s Snapshot highlights some main features of El Paso’s climate and provides links to helpful, informative websites. Read more »

amazon picYou 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:

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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Webmaster: Mary Ann McCravey
Content Editor: Marlene Stalker

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