Book Review: Garden Problem Solvers

Pictured above are two reference books commonly available to the home gardener. I have both of these books, and this review will discuss and compare them. First of all, both books are large format (approximately 8-1/2 x 11 inches), printed on heavy paper. Both are profusely illustrated with excellent color photographs. The Sunset book has 320 pages, and the Ortho book has 400. Versions of these books are in the SCMG reference library in the Casita (a Professional Edition of the Ortho book is also…

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Master Gardening is Gender-neutral

by Tom Neiman, SCMG The meeting ended. As I was getting up to leave, one of the fellows asked me, “You’re a master gardener, aren’t you?” Before I could respond, another man chimed in, “Why in the world would you join a women’s club?” Although his question was intended as a jab at my masculinity, my answer got his attention. “Yes, I’m a Sandoval County master gardener and one out of every four of us is a guy. But that’s not important. I like the…

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Extension Service Helps Inmates

In the photo above, University Cooperative Extension Service agricultural agent Del Jimenez, center, shows New Mexico prison inmates how to plant a variety of winter greens. Jimenez taught 13 inmates at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe how to build hoop houses, where they will be able to grow vegetables for the Level II cafeteria’s menu. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman) by Jane Moorman, NMSU SANTA FE – Thirteen men dressed in orange prison uniforms work under the hot September sun, building four…

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Seed Saving

by Dave Pojmann Most Master Gardeners have heard that we support a seed library at the Esther Bone Library in Rio Rancho. The library needs seeds that are locally grown and able to withstand the unusual conditions found in Sandoval County. Cande Lewis has taken over as project chair of the seed library, and she can use your help in donating and sorting seeds. As a refresher, a few hints on seed saving are listed below. Only seeds from open-pollinated, not hybrid, plants will produce…

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Sheet Composting Worth the Effort

By John Zarola The property I purchased in Rio Rancho three years ago had never had a vegetable garden bed. The soil is 90 percent sand with little organic matter in it. Sandy soil allows water and nutrients to drain down away from plant roots. My goal is to have at least 5 percent organic matter in my soil within five years. Organic material in the form of topical mulches and compost added to sandy desert soil is gradually decomposed by soil microrganisms to humus,…

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Winter Tree Care

Winter Watering, Pruning, and Landscape Assessment by Sandy Liakus, SCMG Working in your garden in the winter is a perfect time to assess your need for spring and summer landscape plantings. If your garden appears lackluster at this time, research trees, shrubs and ground cover that provide winter interest with evergreen foliage, colorful berries and sculptural wood effects. Take a winter stroll at the Rio Rancho WaterWise Garden, maintained by the Master Gardeners, at 915 Pine Tree just behind the Esther Bone Memorial Library to…

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Fall Colors in the RIo Rancho WaterWise Demonstration Garden

Fall is a great time to visit the Rio Rancho WaterWise Demonstration Garden.  Not only is it a place to take a a stroll through one of our beautiful parks, it is truly a working  demonstration garden,  showcasing the best plants for our local climate and soil.  See how these native plants and trees will look at maturity and get ideas for your own WaterWise Garden. More info on the WW Garden here

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Pine Beetle Alert – Rapid Deline of Native Pines

Sounds like I need to give my ‘Bark Beetle Talk.’ I just did that for the Little Bear Coalition in Ruidoso the first of this month. People in Ruidoso-Cloudcroft, Mountainair, the Sangre de Cristos in general, Sandias in general—wherever there are native pines—are seeing trees change color rather quickly—and then lose their needles. I strongly suspect bark beetles (BBs) have done their dirty work on all of your photographed pinyons. And the suspect would be Ips confusus….yep, gotta watch the ‘auto-correct’ function on the computer…

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Weed Management

By Dudley Vines What are our weed management options? Mechanical weed management is the physical removal of weeds. Any physical re-moval or displacement of weeds can be classified as mechanical in operation. Cultivation, mowing, hand pulling, and hoeing are ex-amples of this type of management. The success of mechanical weed management depends upon the weeds in question. Annual weeds often are effectively managed this way, while the perennial weed problem can be multiplied through the movement of the underground vegetative reproductive structure by cultivation and…

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