2015 Southwest Yard & Garden Archives

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  • January 3, 2015
    1 - Some ideas to continue to use and build memories with an old tree when it reaches the end of its life as a shade tree.
  • January 10, 2015
    1 - In mid-winter plant related insect pests may need management indoors, but do so carefully.
  • January 24, 2015
    1 - Growing fruit trees from cuttings taken from your home garden is unlikely to succeed, but you may be able to graft them successfully.
  • January 31, 2015
    1 - Ollas may be used very effectively for growing potted plants.


  • February 7, 2015
    1 - Pecans trees are not just limited to southern parts of New Mexico and there are some interesting varieties of pecans and almonds for New Mexico gardeners to consider.
  • February 14, 2015
    1 - Newly started seedlings may need fertilizer to ensure rapid growth while growing in sunny windows in commercial seed-starting potting soil.
  • February 21, 2015
    1 - Tree borers may create hidden infestations in stressed trees; the best control is providing good tree care.
  • February 28, 2015
    1 - Leafy mistletoe, a tree parasite, is marching up the Rio Grande and may require mechanical or chemical pruning to slow its invasion.


  • March 7, 2015
    1 - Sticker producing plants are common in New Mexico and management depends on which kind of plant produces the stickers.
  • March 14, 2015
    1 - Mixing things that "grow up" with those that "grow down.
  • March 21, 2015
    1 - Daffodil plants need winter water for their flower scapes to develop properly.
    2 - Even though New Mexico springs warm early, tempting gardeners to plant too early, choose wisely what you will plant early and wait to plant the warm season crops.
  • March 28, 2015
    1 - Planning a trip to see New Mexico wildflowers requires following precipitation patterns.


  • April 4, 2015
    1 – Crop rotation in the home garden is a good idea to prevent disease problems and to better utilize soil nutrients.
  • April 11, 2015
    1 - Old tree stumps can be composted in the middle of a compost pile instead of grinding or digging them out.
  • April 18, 2015
    1 – Piñon needle scale is a common insect problem that may be treated with insecticides or by non-chemical methods.
  • April 25, 2015
    1 – Many things may be grown in raised beds and containers in high elevation gardens in New Mexico.


  • May 9, 2015
    1 - Cotoneaster plants are common ornamental plants that children should be taught not to eat.
  • May 16, 2015
    1 - Wax begonia plants are succulent plants and subject to overwatering problems when first planted.
  • May 23, 2015
    1 - Lead coated fencing wire should pose little threat to garden plants, but galvanize wire is better.
  • May 30, 2015
    1 - Sprouts from roots of a dead cottonwood tree will stop growing once the food reserves in the roots are depleted.


  • June 6, 2015
    1 - Plumeria are tropical flowering plants that may be overwintered indoors in New Mexico, but they need more light than many other houseplants.
  • June 13, 2015
    1 – Composting can be high-tech or low-tech, complicated, or it can just happen.
  • June 27, 2015
    1 - There are several potential causes for dying branches, but summer is a good time to remove them while they are obvious.


  • July 4, 2015
    1 - It is time to start planting your fall garden in July.
  • July 11, 2015
    1 - Removing weeds from your garden using cultural or chemical weed management practices.
  • July 18, 2015
    1 – Sedum groundcover may be used to create a sedum lawn, but be sure the plants covering the ground are actually sedum.
  • July 25, 2015
    1 - There is a simple trick to determine if pears are mature and ready to pick.
    2 - Wildflower seeds can be planted as the seeds mature or stored to plant later.


  • August 1, 2015
    1 - Layering is sometimes easier than propagating plants from cuttings.
  • August 8, 2015
    1 - Oleander plants are beautiful and easy to propagate from cuttings, but remember that they are toxic plants as you work with them.
  • August 15, 2015
    1 - Container grown trees and shrubs from the nursery may be planted in late summer in New Mexico if proper planting and irrigation are provided.
  • August 22, 2015
    1 – Moist soil and mulch make weed removal easier in the garden.
  • August 29, 2015
    1 - The best way to control a grass weed in a grass lawn is to maintain a healthy lawn.


  • September 5, 2015
    1 – Sucker is the proper botanical term for shoots produced by adventitious buds that form on roots; them may be useful or problematic.
  • September 12, 2015
    1 – Temperate climate plants seeds and buds are dormant to survive the winter and need special treatment to grow in the spring.
  • September 19, 2015
    1 – Many plants are suggested as rabbit resistant landscape plants, but few prove to be really rabbit resistant.
  • September 26, 2015
    1 – Proper plant selection, soil preparation, mulch, and irrigation are important for establishing and growing landscape trees in New Mexico.


  • October 3, 2015
    1- Depending on the type on melon, there are several signs that indicate the best time to harvest.
  • October 10, 2015
    1 – During the fall poinsettia plants need daytime sunlight to photosynthesize and long dark nights to induce flowering if they are to look good for the holidays.
  • October 17, 2015
    1 – Fall is a good time for planting trees and shrubs in New Mexico for several reasons.
  • October 24, 2015
    1 – There are many opportunities to experience new vegetables in your garden and to rotate new crops.
  • October 31, 2015
    1 – Insects that come indoors when houseplants are brought in for the winter may be managed by chemical treatment and traps.


  • November 7, 2015
    1 – You can store seeds overwinter if you keep them cool and dry.
  • November 14, 2015
    1 – The garden season seems to have ended, but it has just entered into a different, and important phase, of garden.
  • November 22, 2015
    1 – Some things in kitchen dish water may create problems when using ollas to irrigate plants.
  • November 28, 2015
    1 – Blueberries and other plants that require acid soils are very difficult to grow in New Mexico.


  • December 5, 2015
    1 – Roots stop growing fairly quickly after a tree is cut, but buds on the stump or roots may grow and require effort by the gardener to remove the shoots for some time.
  • December 12, 2015
    1 – Deciduous trees may be pruned now that they have entered dormancy.
  • December 19, 2015
    1 – Composting in New Mexico can continue even through the cold of winter.
  • December 26, 2015
    1 - There are alternative methods of composting available to New Mexico gardeners during the winter.
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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.