Category Archives: Growing Tips

Seed2Need – 2014 Lessons Learned, Part II

By Penny Davis, SCMG In Part I, we discussed several problems encountered by Seed2Need over the past five years.  This month, we will discuss one other major problem – blossom end rot – and then we will talk about a few things that have worked well – tomato cages, row cover and plastic mulch. Blossom End Rot:  Every year, Seed2Need has a problem with blossom end rot (BER) at the beginning of the season.  Usually, this problem disappears after the first fruit set but in…

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Seed2Need – 2014 Lessons Learned, Part I

By Penny Davis, SCMG “Gardening is something you learn by doing and by making mistakes.  Like cooking, gardening is a constant process of experimentation, repeating the successes and throwing out the failures”  Carol Stocker Over the next two months, I would like to share some of the lessons learned from the Seed2Need project.  I hope you will find this information useful and that it will encourage you to share some of your own experiences so we can learn from one another. Root Knot Nematodes: In…

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Plant of the Month: Jupiter’s Beard (March 2015)

by Jan Koehler Jupiter’s Beard Scientific Name: Centranthus ruber Other Common Name: red valerian Type: Herbaceous perennial Family: Caprifoliaceae , (USDA family classifica tion: Valerianaceae) Native Range: Europe and northern Africa to Asia Minor Zone: 5 to 8 Height: 1.50 to 3.00 feet Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet Bloom Time: May-November with deadheading Bloom Description: Pale to crimson red Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Medium Suggested Use: Naturalize Flower: Showy, Good Cut Leaf: Fragrant Attracts: Butterflies, hummingbirds Tolerate: Drought, Erosion Culture Jupiter’s…

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Grafting Tomatoes

by Sam Thompson, SCMG Coordinator Grafting vegetables is one method for increasing production while overcoming many disease problems. Essentially, the desired vegetable is grafted onto a specific rootstock that has the desired disease resistance. In this article, I’m going to talk about my experience with grafting tomatoes for the first time. One lesson I learned is evident in the photo below: namely, grafted tomatoes may grow considerably larger than expected. The pole in the photo is in the middle of what had been a path…

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Why Not Use Pruning Sealer?

Reprint from Southwest Yard & Garden Southwest Yard & Garden is a weekly column, written by Curtis W. Smith, Ph.D., Extension horticulture specialist, that addresses garden and landscape questions. Here is a reprint from the February 10, 2001 column found in the archives at NMSU.  Question: Why do you recommend that pruning paint not be used on trees? My wife’s experience tells her that pruning paint is a good procedure.  Answer: It does seem counter to common sense to leave a wound uncovered when we…

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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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Growing Tomatoes

by Sam Thompson, SCMG and Mike Maurer, SCMG We can’t wait to harvest that first gorgeous ripe tomato of the season. Just picture the beautiful rich red tomato in your hand as you head for the kitchen to slice it up. Ok, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s go through a few things that will help make that mental image a reality. Selecting. There are thousands of tomato varieties. Cooking tomatoes are dense while fresh eating tomatoes have lots of liquid. You can save the…

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