El Paso Master Gardeners

El Paso Master Gardeners Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Master Gardener volunteers provide research based horticultural information to the public.
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Operating as usual

This is a White-Lined Sphinx Moth caterpillar and its final metamorphasis into the White-Lined Sphinx moth.  This moth i...
08/15/2021

This is a White-Lined Sphinx Moth caterpillar and its final metamorphasis into the White-Lined Sphinx moth. This moth is also known as a Hummingbird Moth because it can easily be mistaken for one. Yes, the caterpillar can be considered a pest by some gardeners. However, the extraordinarily beautiful moth is one of our nighttime pollinators. If you see them in your garden, be kind and thank them for the invaluable work they do in our garden.

Photo Credit: Caterpillar by Rosie C; moth from Flickr stock images

One of the poor little garden critters that is trying to find shelter from the torrential rains we have experienced in t...
08/15/2021

One of the poor little garden critters that is trying to find shelter from the torrential rains we have experienced in the El Paso and Las Cruces / Doña Ana area this monsoon season. I just didn't have the heart to exterminate it.

~Agrilife’s Grapevine~Our MG Grape Momma, Gaby McNeely, has been harvesting some amazingly sweet, seedless treats from o...
08/13/2021

~Agrilife’s Grapevine~
Our MG Grape Momma, Gaby McNeely, has been harvesting some amazingly sweet, seedless treats from our ancient “matron of the garden” grape vine. Gaby lovingly cares for and tends this grape vine that is at least 25 years old. She has saved this old vine more than once from disease and insect attacks, prunes it as needed in winter and summer, feeds it, makes sure is gets plenty of water and bags the developing grape bunches to protect them while they mature and ripen. Great job Gaby!

~Agrilife’s Grapevine~
Our MG Grape Momma, Gaby McNeely, has been harvesting some amazingly sweet, seedless treats from our ancient “matron of the garden” grape vine. Gaby lovingly cares for and tends this grape vine that is at least 25 years old. She has saved this old vine more than once from disease and insect attacks, prunes it as needed in winter and summer, feeds it, makes sure is gets plenty of water and bags the developing grape bunches to protect them while they mature and ripen. Great job Gaby!

~Climbers Overview~ by M J Tangney Photo Credit..Veronica MaciasSince the time of Victorian gardens roses have undergone...
08/09/2021

~Climbers Overview~
by M J Tangney
Photo Credit..Veronica Macias
Since the time of Victorian gardens roses have undergone many changes and Climbing Roses is one of those changes. Most climbing roses are mutations of shrubs. First is the 19th century Noisette class of climbing roses with canes that can grow up to twenty feet. Hybrid Teas and Floribundas would cease growing like a shrub. Unprompted their canes would begin lengthening in climber fashion. They were quickly reproduced through seed. Then hybridizers began experimenting with wild species of roses with short flowering seasons and small flower clusters. In 1910 Dr. Van Fleet successfully bred what is considered the first climber. In 1930 “New Dawn “, a repeat flowering climber became the initial climber of what rose breeders called Modern Roses. This particular climber had it all- a wonderful fragrance, large blooms, repeat flowering and great color.

Actually roses do not have the ability to climb independently. They have no ability to attach themselves unlike vines that grow straight until they contact something they can grasp such as a wire, arbor, trellis, chain like fence or another stem on the same vine or another plant and then just wrap around the support it has encountered.

Climbers also differ from ramblers. Climbers have sturdy but not numerous canes. Typically they need to be tied for support to a trellis, arbor or wall. Ramblers grow more natural rope like canes that spread in all directions. Ramblers typically have shorter flowering seasons.

In order to promote optimum flowering for climbers train canes horizontally to a trellis of sorts with soft ties. If you wish to attach to a wall, pull the new shoots of the plant sideways, attach to the wall so that the growth habit of the rose goes horizontally as well as vertically. You might also fix the branches so they spread out fan like.

Many Climbing Roses are generally hardier than other types of roses. The Rose Garden does not have that many climbers among the 1200 or so planted roses. Look for Will Scarlet which is also on the first level across from the Miniature section. This rose produces wonderfully fragrant scarlet red clusters with golden stamens. In the winter prior to pruning it produces glossy orange rose hips. Then make your way to the second level near the ADA entrance. There you will encounter Duchesse de Brabrant- sometimes considered a climber and a favorite of Teddy Roosevelt, Crown Princess Margareta- an apricot orange blend with a fruity fragrance, Mutabilis- also called the Butterfly Rose and Zephirine Drouhin which is a thornless highly fragrant repeat bloomer. Alas the Zephirine Drouhin is not currently blooming but will again very soon.

Many roses continue to bloom throughout the summer months so please come out and visit the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden. The Rose Garden is open seven days a week from 8am- 6pm. The Rose Garden is wheelchair accessible throughout. Also there are several canopy covered areas with benches along with other benches one can sit for a bit and just enjoy the natural beauty. Ample parking is now available. As a reminder there are no restroom facilities. Hope to see many of you soon.

08/08/2021
~CSA Project Donation~The culmination of this wonderful effort (CSA Project) was on Thursday, August 5, 2021 when the El...
08/08/2021

~CSA Project Donation~
The culmination of this wonderful effort (CSA Project) was on Thursday, August 5, 2021 when the El Paso Fighting Hunger Food Bank was presented with a $500 donation. This represented 10% of each box sold. EPCMG awarded the monetary gift to the EPFHFB CEO and also to members from the EL Paso Foundation.

Presentation of the check was made after a tour of the Ascarate Teaching and Demonstration Garden led by garden volunteers, Denise Rodriguez, and key personnel responsible for the CSA project.

Many thanks to all participants. You are responsible for the success of this endeavor. Special thanks to ATDG and Agrilife gardens for all of your hard work.

~ CSA Project Ends~The CSA membership project came to an end on Friday, August 6, 2021.  Both gardens, Ascarate and Agri...
08/08/2021

~ CSA Project Ends~
The CSA membership project came to an end on Friday, August 6, 2021. Both gardens, Ascarate and AgriLife, produced lots of beautiful vegetables on the eighth and last week to be enjoyed by the CSA customers.

08/03/2021
"...what is that yellow creeping web stuff that's growing all over right now?"  This question was posed to us by one of ...
07/30/2021

"...what is that yellow creeping web stuff that's growing all over right now?" This question was posed to us by one of our followers, Sheri Notnud. Excellent question, Sheri! The scientific name for it is Cuscuta californica, common names of California dodder and Chapparal dodder. It is a parisitic vine that takes all its nutrients from whatever plant it wraps itself around. Believe it or not, it is also a host plant for a tiny butterfly known as Callophrys augustina, common name of Brown Elfin. It is also a host for Lorita scarificata, common name of Chrysanthemum Flower Borer. (Source: see below link)

To learn more about this eerie vine, click on the below link.

https://www.calscape.org/Cuscuta-californica-()

~Joseph’s Coat-Climbing Rose~By MJ Tangney…Photo by Veronica MaciasIntroducing “Joseph’s Coat ” the newest and most rece...
07/27/2021

~Joseph’s Coat-Climbing Rose~
By MJ Tangney…Photo by Veronica Macias
Introducing “Joseph’s Coat ” the newest and most recently planted climber rose at the municipal garden. After a rocky start, it is now thriving and has produced several blooms. They range from multicolored red-orange to yellow orange, are lightly fragrant, and easily used for cuttings. It is planted on the first level next to the fence side of the parking lot.

~Joseph’s Coat-Climbing Rose~
By MJ Tangney…Photo by Veronica Macias
Introducing “Joseph’s Coat ” the newest and most recently planted climber rose at the municipal garden. After a rocky start, it is now thriving and has produced several blooms. They range from multicolored red-orange to yellow orange, are lightly fragrant, and easily used for cuttings. It is planted on the first level next to the fence side of the parking lot.

07/25/2021

While working in the garden, I happened to observe this carpenter bee hanging on a Milkweed vine. I believe it was eating the aphids or sucking on their honey dew. So cool either way!

UPDATE: I am not an entomology expert, but I read that honeybees will resort to honeydew and even forage on the stems of certain plants to get their starches when easier nectar sources are scarce. That would definitely have been the case in this carpenter bee's surroundings.

07/18/2021
07/11/2021
Have you contemplated growing your own herbs this season?  If so, check out this wonderful article from our webpage.  It...
07/11/2021
Easy Herbs for You to Grow

Have you contemplated growing your own herbs this season? If so, check out this wonderful article from our webpage. It provides excellent information and resources that will help get you (and myself 😁) on the way to growing beautiful herbs in your kitchen, outside containers or a garden patch. Click on the link to get started!

https://txmg.org/elpaso/learn/gardening-in-el-paso-articles/easy-herbs-for-you-to-grow/

by Maria C. Del Rio, El Paso Master Gardener Herbs are a fun and delightful addition to the garden or to your windowsill. Some have wonderful fragrances and flowers and are useful in the kit…

The EPCMG volunteers are answering gardening questions today at the Downtown Market. The information table is setup in f...
07/10/2021

The EPCMG volunteers are answering gardening questions today at the Downtown Market. The information table is setup in front of Union Plaza.

The EPCMG volunteers are answering gardening questions today at the Downtown Market. The information table is setup in front of Union Plaza.

~CSA FRIDAY~Today is the halfway point for the CSA Boxes project. The produce from both gardens are  beautiful and plent...
07/09/2021

~CSA FRIDAY~
Today is the halfway point for the CSA Boxes project. The produce from both gardens are beautiful and plentiful. Effort and hard-work are definitely paying off! Just look at the beautifully perfect tomatoes growing at the AgriLife Garden!

Teamwork makes the dream work! Thank you to all CSA volunteers. 🥰🥰🥰

~CSA FRIDAY~
Today is the halfway point for the CSA Boxes project. The produce from both gardens are beautiful and plentiful. Effort and hard-work are definitely paying off! Just look at the beautifully perfect tomatoes growing at the AgriLife Garden!

Teamwork makes the dream work! Thank you to all CSA volunteers. 🥰🥰🥰

~Soaptree Yucca~This historic yucca grows six to twenty feet tall or more with an erect, upright trunk and spreads eight...
07/08/2021

~Soaptree Yucca~
This historic yucca grows six to twenty feet tall or more with an erect, upright trunk and spreads eight feet wide. Its showy, white, bell-shaped flowers are the state flower of New Mexico. The plant was named for the substances in its roots and trunks used by Native Americans as a substitute for soap.

https://www.horticultureunlimited.com/plant-guide/soaptree-yucca/

(Did you notice the gecko on Laurel's name tag?)Ready to Become a Texas Master Gardener Volunteer?Apply Now!Go to our we...
07/07/2021

(Did you notice the gecko on Laurel's name tag?)

Ready to Become a Texas Master Gardener Volunteer?
Apply Now!
Go to our webpage to get further details and links for the application.
https://txmg.org/elpaso/
Complete and submit the Application letter by August 20, 2021
Orientation Day: August 26, 2021
Dates of classes: September 2 to November 4, 2021
Class days: Thursdays (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Class location: Virtual via Zoom or In-Person Training
Fee to cover course materials, handbook, and background check: $225

(Did you notice the gecko on Laurel's name tag?)

Ready to Become a Texas Master Gardener Volunteer?
Apply Now!
Go to our webpage to get further details and links for the application.
https://txmg.org/elpaso/
Complete and submit the Application letter by August 20, 2021
Orientation Day: August 26, 2021
Dates of classes: September 2 to November 4, 2021
Class days: Thursdays (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Class location: Virtual via Zoom or In-Person Training
Fee to cover course materials, handbook, and background check: $225

The rain lilies (Zephyranthes) have finally bloomed after all the recent rain we've had in El Paso.  They get their comm...
07/04/2021

The rain lilies (Zephyranthes) have finally bloomed after all the recent rain we've had in El Paso. They get their common name for that very reason. The first photo focuses on the flower buds and the second shows the flowers blooming. Mind you, all that occurred in a span of 3 days. Isn't Nature fascinating?

07/04/2021
~Rainwater Harvesting FAQ~https://www.twdb.texas.gov/innovativewater/rainwater/faq.asp#title-12
06/30/2021
Innovative Water Technologies - Rainwater Harvesting FAQ | Texas Water Development Board

~Rainwater Harvesting FAQ~
https://www.twdb.texas.gov/innovativewater/rainwater/faq.asp#title-12

It is a fallacy that there is an over-abundance of water available for our use in the state. The population of Texas is expected to double over the next 50 years and existing surface water and groundwater resources are being depleted. Already, there are places in Texas that are experiencing shortage...

~Grandiflora Rose Overview~ By M J Tangney…….Photo Credit: Veronica MaciasIn 1954, a Hybrid Tea Rose and a Floribunda  R...
06/28/2021

~Grandiflora Rose Overview~
By M J Tangney…….Photo Credit: Veronica Macias

In 1954, a Hybrid Tea Rose and a Floribunda Rose were bred resulting in what was classified as a Grandiflora Rose. The Hybrid Tea rose , a 1940 “Charlotte Armstrong” was bred with a Floribunda a 1944 “Floradora” rose which resulted in the first member of the Grandiflora Roses named “ Queen Elizabeth”. The Queen Elizabeth Rose picked up the best parts of both parents as have future Grandifloras.

Grandifloras tend to be quite hardy, with the ability to bear clusters, repeat blooming even throughout the hot summers, grow up to 6’- 8’ or even taller, and grow on long stems which can make beautiful cuttings. Not all Grandifloras have a fragrance.

Grandiflora Roses bloom in many colors and may bloom in one color or bloom in a blend of colors. Several lovely examples of Grandiflora Roses in the Rose Garden are Crimson Bouquet, Cherry Parfait, Candelabra, Glowing Peace, About Face, Shreveport and Sun Dance. Be sure and come to the Rose Garden and see if you can locate them.

Address

301 Manny Martinez Sr Dr
El Paso, TX
79905

General information

Master Gardeners are volunteers who have completed at least 60 hours of horticultural education. They are trained to offer research-based, practical solutions to gardening challenges. Master Gardeners volunteer thousands of hours to the El Paso community in a variety of settings including the plant question hotline, plant clinics, Farmers' Markets and the UTEP Centennial Museum Native Plant Sale.

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