2016 Southwest Yard & Garden archives

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  • January 2, 2016
    1 – Spider mites are common, but easily managed, pests of houseplants during the winter.
  • January 9, 2016
    1 – Poinsettia plants may be propagated from stem cuttings to produce new plants if they are not patented varieties.
  • January 16, 2016
    1 – Apple trees are impossible for most home gardeners to grow from stem cuttings due to limitations of adult phase stem tissue.
  • January 23, 2016
    1 - Some indoor plants are attacked in winter by insects which may be treated with oil spray or rubs that are safe for people.
  • January 30, 2016
    1 – Maples are not usually considered good choices for New Mexico landscapes, but there may be some varieties and other species of trees that can produce fall color in New Mexico.


  • February 6, 2016
    1 – Painting a tree trunk white may help reduce the incidence of southwest injury causing splitting of the bark.
  • February 13, 2016
    1 – New Mexico’s soil, climate, and a gardener’s choice of plants can create great challenges for gardeners new to New Mexico and the Southwest.
  • February 20, 2016
    1 – Rooting hormones and rooting plant growth regulators help you create new plants from stems taken from some older plants.
  • February 27, 2016
    1 – Splitting tomato fruit is a common problem in gardens, but there are some things you can do to reduce the incidence of split fruit.


  • March 6, 2016
    1 – Organic matter can make clay garden soils much more pleasant for gardening.
  • March 12, 2016
    1 – Heavy metal contamination of composted sewage sludge should not be a problem in most of New Mexico, but the Waste Water Department can probably give you information to confirm the safety of their product.
  • March 19, 2016
    1 – Although gardeners often see recommendations on the internet to add wood ash to their garden, this is bad advice for most New Mexico gardeners.
  • March 26, 2016
    1 – Piñon needle scale is a common New Mexico pest, but it can be fairly easily managed.


  • April 2, 2016
    1 – Variability and unpredictability are characteristics of New Mexico’s gardening weather.
  • April 9, 2016
    1 – Tree of Heaven is not a desirable landscape tree and takes some effort to remove if it invades a landscape.
  • April 16, 2016
    1 – Purple mustard and white top weeds illustrate the strategies to manage annual and perennial weeds.
  • April 23, 2016
    1 – Late frosts and weather conditions reducing the availability of pollinator insects are common reasons for failure of fruit trees to produce fruit in New Mexico.
  • April 30, 2016
    1 – Curling leaves of stone fruit plants in the spring often results from aphid insects.


  • May 7, 2016
    1 – Container gardening provides some benefits for tomato growing compared gardening in New Mexico garden soil, but many of the same principles apply.
  • May 14, 2016
    1 – Trees that did not fully leaf-out this spring may have been injured by the spring weather or by herbicide treatments.
  • May 21, 2016
    1 – Peach trees bear their fruit on last season’s growth and that can cause broken branches unless you prune properly.
  • May 28, 2016
    1 – Wind in New Mexico can cause damage to newly formed leaves in the spring.
    2 – A late freeze did indeed damage desert willows and other plants in parts of New Mexico this year.
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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.