Vine to Bottle, Growing Grapes in New Mexico

At Botanic Garden Heritage Farm 2601 Central Ave NW Albuquerque NM, 87104 February 9, combined session: Grape Propagation and Grafting / Varieties and Rootstocks Grape Propagation and Grafting: Why and How Grapevines have been propagated with cuttings and grafting since antiquity. This session will introduce you to this ancient artto easily propagate grapes from hardwood cuttings. Learn how to recognize, collect, store and prepare dormant hardwood cuttings of table and wine grapes. Learn the proper tools and techniques to accomplish traditional grafting. All procedures willbe…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blue Star – Amsonia spp.

Plant Form: Flower Plant Size : 2′ x 1′ Plant Type : Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Colors: Blue, White Physical Description:  Mounds of willowy leaves and wiry stems topped  by star-shaped, white to light blue flowers in spring.  Can spread by root stolons. Care and Maintenance:  Avoid overwatering. Dies back to hardy roots in  winter. Difficult to locate seed or plant source. Gardener’s notes:  Several attractive native species,  including A. longiflora, A. palmeri, A. ciliata and sand-loving A. arenaria. Southwest Plant…

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Beneficial of the Month – Big-eyed Bugs – (Order: Hemiptera; Family: Geocoris species)

Small, inconspicuous insects (approximately 5 mm ng) that are very common in both garden and agricultural settings. Both adults and immatures (‘nymphs’) are readily identified by their broad head with large eyes projecting from the sides; nymphs are similar in shape to adults  but are smaller and lack fully functional wings. Adults are usually brown  or reddish in color and the nymphs a paler brown/grey. As true bugs, all stages have piercing mouthparts and feed by sucking the liquid contents from their prey (insect eggs,…

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Landscapes Need Irrigation in Winter

From Southwest Yard and Garden, November 5, 2005 by Dr. Curtis Smith, PhD, NMSU Extension Horticulture Specialist (retired) Water once a month, on a day when the temperature is above freezing. Most outdoor plants aren’t visibly growing in the winter; however they aren’t dead and still need water. Their root  systems may continue to grow even after the top is dormant, but we can’t see the roots grow. Water is needed  for root growth. Plants need much less water in the winter because water loss…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blue Ranger – Leucophyllum zygophyllum

Plant Form:  Shrub Plant Type:  Evergreen Sunlight:  Sun Plant Size:  3′ x 3′ Water Usage:  Low Colors:  Blue, Purple Physical Description:  Small evergreen shrub with rounded, compact form. Young branches are erect and silvery, drooping and turning grayish-tan with age, and the small, soft wooly leaves are also silvery gray-green which contrasts well with the 1/2″ long bell-shaped, purplish to pale lavender-blue flowers that follow summer  and fall rains. Care and Maintenance:  Occasional pruning out of older branches helps invigorate a mature plant.  Avoid overwatering/poor…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blue Flax – Linum lewisii

Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 1′ x 2′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, partial shade Colors: Purple Physical Description: Dainty, 1″, sky-blue, cup-shaped flowers on multitude of long, wand-like stems, lined with small, linear leaves. Care and Maintenance: Short lived but reseeds well. Fragile petals drop when flowers are picked or disturbed. Gardener’s notes: Flowers last only one day but are quickly replaced by many waiting buds, spring into summer. El Paso native easily grown from seed. L. perenne is a nearly…

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Beneficial of the Month – Rove Beetles (Order: Coleoptera; Family: Staphylinidae)

These insects are unique among the beetles in having very short wing cases (elytra) that leave most of the abdominal segments exposed. This allows them to flex the abdomen upwards and towards the head in a defensive posture that resembles a scorpion. They cannot sting, however, and instead capture their prey with their mandibles. They vary in size from a few millimeters to 1-2 cm and consume a range of prey, including insect eggs, aphids, and small moth larvae. The larval stages live in the…

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Beneficial of the Month – Ground Beetles – (Order: Coleoptera; Family: Carabidae)

These beetles are fast-moving, relatively large predators that attack a wide range of insect prey; a few species eat seeds and play a role in reducing the weed seed bank in the soil. They are typically black in color, often with a metallic sheen. Since they are nocturnal, they often pass undetected in the farm and garden, even though they may be present in high numbers. At first glance they may be mistaken for the large, black ‘darkling’ beetles (Family: Tenebrionidae) that are active during…

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