NMSU to Host Free Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop at Alcalde July 31

ALCALDE – New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service fruit specialist Shengrui Yao will host a fruit tree grafting workshop from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at NMSU’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde. Grafting is very useful in fruit tree production for both commercial growers and home gardeners. There are many reasons to graft. “Commercial growers can use grafting to propagate their own trees especially unique cultivars,” Yao said. “Top-grafting can be used to switch cultivars to make the orchard more profitable.”…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Brown-eyed Susan – Rudbeckia hirta

Scientific name: Rudbeckia hirta Order: Asterales Kingdom: Plantae Family: Asteraceae Rank: Species Plant form: Flower Plant Size:  2’x1’ Plant Type: Flower Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun/Part Sun Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Large 2-3″, yellow, sunflower-like blossoms with brown centers, in summer, on long stems rising from clumps of dark green leaves. Care and Maintenance: Short lived. Coarse, rough textured foliage. Gardener’s notes: Removal of spent flowers and extra water will keep foliage dense and flowers blooming. Native of northern New Mexico. SOURCE: Southwest Plant…

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Beneficial of the Month – Spined Soldier Bug – (Podisus maculiventris – Order: Hemiptera)

Although many stink bugs are plant-feeding pests, the spined soldier bug is an excellent predator found in a variety  of crop habitats, including orchards, vegetables, and row crops. The adult (approximately 14 mm long) is a  drab brown color, with characteristic pointed ‘shoulders’ that give the species its common name. Newly hatched  nymphs are red and black, superficially resembling an adult ladybird beetle, but with much longer antennae.  As the nymphs develop, they lose their red color and become much paler. This species will attack…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Broom Dalea – Psorothamnus scenarios

Plant Form – Shrub Plant Type – Semi-evergreen Sunlight – Sun Plant Size – 3’ x 4’ Water Usage – Low Colors – Black, purple Physical Description: Large mounds of intricately branching gray to blue-green, almost leafless stems with profusion of late summer, small, indigo-blue to purple pea-like flowers. Care and Maintenance: Must have deep, loose, well-draining, sandy soil. Very difficult to transplant once established. Not readily available. Gardener’s notes: Excellent for naturalizing sand dune areas. Plant from seed. Native to El Paso’s sand hills.…

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Beneficial Insect of the Month – Damsel or nabbed bugs – (Family: Nabidae)

The nabids or damsel bugs are a uniform dull brown color (both as adults and nymphs) and are longer and more slender than big-eyed bugs (approximately 9-10 mm long). They are common in both farm and garden habitats, and are good ‘generalist’ predators, tackling a variety of prey. They overwinter in the adult stage in cracks and crevices in the soil or in leaf litter. Beneficial of the Month material courtesy of NMSU ACES: Pocket Guide to the Beneficial Insects of New Mexico Reminder:  Look…

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