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2014 Southwest Yard & Garden archives

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  • January 4, 2014
    1 - Yes, some trees may change sex after environmental stress.
  • January 11, 2014
    1 - Twig girdler beetles and other insects may be observed in New Mexico conifers as a result of the very dry conditions early last year.
  • January 18, 2014
    1- There are several beetles that can infest firewood, some may be a threat to landscape trees.
  • January 25, 2014
    1 - Irrigation is more complicated than just supplying water to plants.


  • February 1, 2014
    1 - Kalenchoe (Bryophyllum) plants are succulent plants that are easy to grow as houseplants.
  • February 8, 2014
    1 - You can combine some vegetables and tropical fruit plants in a greenhouse if you consider the requirements of the plants.
  • February 15, 2014
    1 - During dry winters some plants do not need irrigation, others will need some supplemental moisture.


  • March 1, 2014
    1 - You can prune your fruit trees now and until the buds begin to "show color".
  • March 8, 2014
    1- A soil test is the best way to know how to prepare garden soil, but addition of compost is usually beneficial.
  • March 15, 2014
    1- Proper composting and vermicomposting will probably detoxify the allelopathic chemical juglone produced by walnuts.
  • March 29, 2014
    1 - Raised bed gardens may be useful while developing soils, but may require special effort in some situations.


  • April 5, 2014
    1- Borers can cause bark to peel from a tree, or be a secondary problem that followed a problem that damaged the tissues under the bark.
  • April 12, 2014
    1- Sometimes a horizontal fence is needed to protect a garden from gophers and rabbits.
  • April 19, 2014
    1 - Vegetables may not taste the same to you now as they did when you were younger for a variety of reasons.
  • April 26, 2014
    1 - A repair graft may be used to help repair ripped bark damage from branch breakage due to strong winds.


  • May 3, 2014
    1 - Proper plant selection, planting, and care can minimize tree problems.
  • May 10, 2014
    1 - Summer pruning roses by cutting flower to take indoors or to remove spent blossoms helps manage plant size.
    2 - Non-toxic and low toxicity methods of managing aphids on garden transplants are possible.
  • May 17, 2014
    1 - Vermicomposting is the process of using worms to reduce kitchen and garden organic waste materials to worm castings.
  • May 24, 2014
    1 - Natural fruit thinning is not uncommon when temperatures rise and winds increase in New Mexico.
  • May 31, 2014
    1 - Networks of weather reporters can help you determine rainfall and need for irrigation in your garden.


  • June 7, 2014
    1 - Organic matter such as compost is the best material to add to clay soils in gardens.
  • June 14, 2014
    1 - Corn gluten meal and manual removal of seeds and seedlings can be non-toxic and relatively safe ways to manage goathead (puncture vine) weeds.
  • June 21, 2014
    1 - Spittlebugs may often be controlled by simply washing their protective spittle from the plants on which they are feeding.
  • June 28, 2014
    1 - Coffee grounds is a beneficial source of organic matter for your garden, but like some other fine textured organic materials there is a chance that they will cause a temporary depletion of plant available nitrogen while they are decomposing.


  • July 5, 2014
    1 - New Mexico locust may grow in some high elevation New Mexico landscapes, but its thicket-forming habit may be undesirable.
  • July 12, 2014
    1 - Sedum and some other plants may be used to replace turfgrass in some landscapes.
  • July 19, 2014
    1 - Viral and fungal diseases are potential causes for problems with tomato plants.
  • July 26, 2014
    1 - You can grow roses from seeds that form on your hybrid roses if you follow the rules, but the results may be surprising.


  • August 9, 2014
    1 - High temperatures, excess nitrogen, shade and other factors can cause tomato plants to exhibit growth with no flower and fruit development.
  • August 16, 2014
    1 - Venice hibiscus is a very pretty weed that may appear in your garden.
  • August 23, 2014
    1 - NMSU publications give tips telling how to determine when your homegrown melons are ready to pick.
  • August 30, 2014
    1 - Blackberry plants often reproduce themselves by tip layering, but be careful that you do not violate plant patent laws by propagating and distributing patented varieties.


  • September 6, 2014
    1 - Later summer is a time for several garden activities in preparation for winter.
  • September 13, 2014
    1 - Vetch and buckwheat are some cover crops that gardeners can use to improve their gardens.
  • September 20, 2014
    1 - Roaches are common inhabitants of compost piles, but there are several ways to manage them to keep them out of your home.
  • September 27, 2014
    1 - Fall webworms are attacking trees in New Mexico and it looks like the trees will be killed; don't worry they are doing very little harm.


  • October 4, 2014
    1 - Mistletoe management is difficult, but there are things you can do.
    2 - A reader suggests a fun way to disrupt tent caterpillar and fall webworm webs in trees.
  • October 11,2014
    1 - Elm leaf beetles are beginning to come into our houses looking for places to overwinter.
  • October 18, 2014
    1 - Chiles can be grown year-round if they are brought indoors to a good environment for the winter.
    2 - Siberian elm trees have some bad characteristics, but also some redeeming characteristics.
  • October 25, 2014
    1 - Early fall pruning a Concord grape vine, while not recommended, will probably not kill the vine.


  • November 8, 2014
    1 - It is autumn and there are several things that may be digging holes in your lawn.
  • November 15, 2014
    1 - Cicadas could have made the holes discussed last week but they would have appeared earlier in the summer.
    2 - Coppicing is a method of tree management that occurs naturally in New Mexico and can be used in some landscape situations.
  • November 22, 2014
    1 - The choice of artificial or cut Christmas tree is a personal choice, but it is true that the cut tree requires more care.
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Send your gardening questions to:

Yard and Garden, ATTN: Dr. Curtis Smith

NMSU Agricultural Science Center

1036 Miller Rd.

SW, Los Lunas, NM 87031.

cwsmith@nmsu.edu or https://www.facebook.com/NMSUExtExpStnPubs

Curtis W. Smith, Ph.D., is an Extension Horticulture Specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator.