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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A Little Winter Cheer

by Dave Pojmann, SCMG The holidays are over, and the poinsettias are losing their leaves; it’s too cold outside to do much in the garden, and you’ve already memorized the seed catalogs. If you want a way to use what hard work and nature has provided in your garden. even in winter, and you want to replace those poinsettias with some color, here’s an idea.  My wife wanted a way to add color to our décor as an interim between the holiday trimmings and spring,…

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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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