New Mexico State Master Gardeners 2018 Conference

The 2018 Master Gardener Conference (August 31st to September 2nd) is now open to the public. Please visit the Conference website to register and for more information. Click here to visit the conference website. You don’t want to miss it! There will high-powered experts to teach seminars and lead hands-on classes on topics that are crucial in these times of climate change. Some examples: Growing zone changes Edible seeds and plants Seed-saving techniques Pollinator gardens Water Wise Growing Noted author and southwest gardening expert Judith…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blackbrush Acacia

Plant Form: Tree Plant Size: 18′ x 10′ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Flower Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Large, 2-3″, fragrant, pale yellow to golden flowers in spring. Dark colored bark on rigid, thorny branches. Care and Maintenance: Needs training when young if single trunk habit is desired. Thorns. Slow growing. Freeze damage possible in very cold winters. Gardener’s notes: Large shrub or small tree. Dark bark and rich green foliage provides attractive contrast in the landscape. Native to eastern…

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Cold Frames for a Longer Season

Roy Archibald, SCMG A cold frame is a valuable tool for getting an early start in the garden and extending the season in the fall. We can begin planting at least a month earlier using one. In the fall adding a hoop cover can extend harvest for another month. The use of these adds an additional 60 days to our short gardening season. An easily constructed cold frame will provide protection from frost, temperature extremes, and drying winds. A cold frame in its simplest form…

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Winter Tree Care

By Dave Pojmann As we close one of the driest years on record, it’s time to think about the trees and bushes in our landscapes. Although the leaves have fallen, the roots of the trees are still active, and they need water to stay healthy. Young trees are especially vulnerable to winter damage if they don’t have enough water. A heavy soaking every three or four weeks is preferable to more frequent light watering. The water should be applied around the drip line of the…

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Southwest Plant of the Month

Black locust – Robinia pseudoacacia Plant Form: Tree Plant Size: 50′ x 25′ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: White Physical Description: Tree has an open sparse branching habit. Bark is deeply furrowed. Showy display of creamy-white fragrant flowers in the spring. Care and Maintenance: Weedy, thicket-forming if not controlled. Thorns. Root suckering can become a nuisance. Gardener’s notes: The wood is hard and dense. Often used as posts because wood is rot-resistant and strong. Once widely planted for shelter belts, and…

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Pollinators and Garden Design Workshop Series

New series of workshops to learn more about pollinators, nectary and pollen plants, collecting, cleaning and saving seed from native pollinator plants and garden design for a sustainable pollinator garden. Class size is limited. Cost is $40 cash at the first class for all for classes. $10 bucks a class is quite the deal. Note classes are at different locations. Please register online at: http://rsvp.nmsu.edu/rsvp/pollinators Download the Pollinator Workshop Flyer her.

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Southwest Plant of the Month

Black dalea – Dalea frutescens Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3’ x 5’ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Purple Physical Description: Low round, mounding shrub with small green, compound leaves, densely covering spreading, pale creamy branches. Numerous purple pea-like flowers obscure foliage, late summer/ fall. Care and Maintenance: Occasional pruning may be needed to keep plant compact and foliage dense. Rabbits and deer graze young plants. Gardener’s Notes: Native to Chihuahuan desert of Texas/ New Mexico. Good accent or ground cover.…

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The Garden Sleeps

By Jan Koehler, SCMG There comes a time each year when even the most engaged gardener appreciates the declining day length and cooler temperatures which signal that the end of arduous toil, however be-loved, is winding down for the year. The amount of time spent watering pots or plots, denuding an area of unwanted plant growth, commonly known as weeds, and deadheading flowers to encourage yet one more flush of lively color or harvesting those tasty morsels of homegrown vegetables is finally coming to a…

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Winter Watering, Pruning, and Landscape Assessment

By Sandy Liakus, SCMG Watering Watering in the winter is essential to tree and shrub health in our high desert landscapes. In order for most established landscape trees and shrubs to flourish in our climate, you must deep water them at least once per month in the donut feeding root zone. Continue this deep watering schedule through the end of April, at which time you will need to increase the watering schedule to two times per month. An exception to this rule is newly planted…

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