2012 Southwest Yard & Garden Archives

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Southwest Yard & Garden is a weekly column, written by Curtis W. Smith, Extension horticulture specialist, that addresses garden and landscape questions.

For more gardening information, visit the NMSU Extension publications World Wide Web site at http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h.




  • March 17, 2012
    Symptoms of iron chlorosis in sycamore trees such symptoms are common in trees and shrubs from regions with more acidic soils
  • Southwest Yard & Garden - March 31, 2012
    A rubber tire around the base of a fig tree should pose little concern regarding pollution, but other environmental and soil factors are important in fruit production.


  • Southwest Yard & Garden - April 7, 2012
    1. Christmas trees that sprout new growth are very unlikely to grow roots.
    2. It is better to plant old, forgotten bulbs now rather than wait until next fall to plant them.


  • May 12, 2012
    1. Transplant coral bells in the late winter and early spring.
    2. Your local NMSU County Agent can advise you prepare as you build a new home, plan an appropriate landscape, and avoid wildfire danger
  • May 19, 2012
    Persistence is the best way to kill perennial weeds.
  • May 26, 2012
    Lack of water and improper balance of carbon and nitrogen containing materials are a common cause of slow composting in New Mexico.


  • June 2, 2012
    1. The difference in potting soil, garden soil, and compost.
    2. Drip irrigation system and some plants are wilting.
  • June 23, 2012
    Phosphorus may interact with iron in the soil, but it is good for your garden.
  • June 30, 2012
    Termites do exist in New Mexico gardens and homes need to be inspected periodically.


  • July 14, 2012
    Ants falling from trees may indicate carpenter ants, or they may be species of ants that do not damage the integrity of the wood of the tree.
  • July 21, 2012
    1 - It is not uncommon for a newly planted tree to lose leaves in the middle of the summer.
  • July 28, 2012
    There are options to prevent fruit formation and bird problems when growing New Mexico Forestiera - Gardening in New Mexico can continue into the fall and winter


  • August 4, 2012
    Identifying the problem with leaves from a boxwood plant and hawthorn plant.
  • August 11, 2012
    Fall planting of trees and shrubs is a good idea, but we can also plant container grown trees and shrubs in late summer
  • August 18, 2012
    1 - Increasing the soil quality of tomato gardens this fall and next spring in preparation for next year
  • August 25, 2012
    1 - Fall is time to plant garlic in New Mexico.
    2- Brown leaves on trees in late summer may indicate overwatering.


  • September 1, 2012
    1 - September is a good time for planting many things in New Mexico.
  • September 8, 2012
    1 - There are numerous small shrubs and large perennial plants that will grow in New Mexico.
  • September 15, 2012
    1 -Roses sometimes sprout from below their graft union forcing you to cut away a very vigorous growth.
    2 -If you prune lilacs in the fall, except to remove the seeds, you will remove next year's flowers.
  • September 22, 2012
    1 - Things gardeners should be doing in the autumn to prepare for spring
  • September 29, 2012
    1- Bacterial disease in chitalpa looks like drought injury of salt burn.


  • October 6, 2012
    1- Silverleaf nightshade is a common and persistent weed in New Mexico gardens and landscapes.
  • October 13, 2012
    1 - Aphid insect pests may come indoors with your houseplants for the winter.
  • October 20, 2012
    1 - Silver maple trees often suffer from New Mexico's environment, but proper addition of acidifying agents and iron to the soil can help them look better.
  • October 27, 2012
    1 - Figs can be grown with some degree of success by home gardeners in New Mexico.


  • November 3, 2012
    1 - Young trees do indeed need protection against deer and rabbits in the winter.
  • November 10, 2012
    1 - Raised bed gardeners have several factors that they must consider.
    2 - Deer, elk, and rabbit manures may be used in composts and gardens.
  • November 17, 2012
    1 - You can grow apples from seeds you saved, but you must provide special conditions to allow the seeds to grow.
  • November 24, 2012
    1 - When removing rock mulch from a landscape, be careful to avoid damaging tree and shrub roots.


  • December 1, 2012
    1- Plant chilling requirements help plants measure the length of the winter and break dormancy in the spring.
  • December 8, 2012
    1 - Caring for indoor plants, pruning, irrigation, and composting are some important garden activities for late fall.
  • December 15, 2012
    1 -Fungus gnats and flying aphids are the most likely small flying insects around houseplants in the winter.
  • December 22, 2012
    1 - Light, low temperatures, limited nitrogen fertilizer, and a cold frame can help you grow better garden transplants.
  • December 29, 2012
    1 - Old Christmas trees may be used as trellises for climbing beans and cucumbers in the garden.
    2 - Conifer mulch is good for your garden.
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Send your gardening questions to
Yard and Garden, Attn: Dr. Curtis Smith at cwsmith@nmsu.edu or leave a message at https://www.facebook.com/NMSUExtExpStnPubs.

Curtis W. Smith, Ph.D., is an Extension Horticulture Specialist, retired from New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.