Southwest Plant of the Month – Blackfoot daisy

Blackfoot daisy: Melampodium leucanthum Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 1′ x 1′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: White Physical Description: Perky white, daisy-like flowers on a tidy, compact mass of dark green, linear leaves. 3/4″ Flowers may obscure foliage. Care and Maintenance: Overwatering. Must have good drainage to avoid root rot. Gardener’s notes: Long blooming, April to October, with occasional irrigation. Heat loving. Native to El Paso. Grow seed in place as deep taproot makes transplanting difficult. Southwest Plant of the…

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Beneficial of the Month – Assassin Bug

This month we start a new feature called “Beneficial of the Month” , featuring insects that can help keep damaging pest insects under control. Sadly, these insects are often misidentified and mistaken for pests. The following is taken from an article by Matt Simon, wired.com, 6.20.14 There are some 7,000 species of assassin bugs the world over, and each is equipped with nasty, highly hardened mouth parts called a rostrum. With this the assassin bug stabs through the exoskeleton of its prey—ants and termites and…

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Science Triumphs

By Dudley Vines, SCMG A few months ago Linda Walsh, a 2018 SCMG intern, emailed me (one of her mentors) worried about some spots on her cherry tree. She said they looked like tiny red bugs, but since they didn’t move she thought maybe they were some sort of scale or mites. She sprayed the tree with a light-weight horticultural oil, but didn’t see any noticeable results. Then, at the SCMG end of training celebration, Linda approached me and told me her continuing sad tale.…

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Gardening in the Desert – The key is managing evaporation!

By John Zarola, with Dudley Vines Evaporation occurs due to intense sunshine, high winds, low humidity, and high temperatures—all of which we have in abundance. Methods we can employ to minimize evaporation include Amending the soil with compost to improve water retention; Avoiding bare soil by mulching, shading, and cover cropping Putting the right plant in the right place Incorporating efficient irrigation options AMENDING THE SOIL Compost is decomposed organic material. Amending soil with compost improves water infiltration and retention. Because compost decomposes (adding nutrients…

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IMPORTANT – County Cooperative Extension Office Service Announcement

Effective July 1, 2018, New Mexico State University Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service Office will no longer be able to have walk in visits. We are currently looking into relocating to another building to resume full service for our clientele. All NMSU patrons/clientele in need of information or requesting services can contact the Extension Office via phone (505)867-2582, email sandoval@nmsu.edu  or social media-https://www.facebook.com/NMSUSandovalextension/ . NMSU staff apologizes for the inconvenience.

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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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