Cooperative Extension Service
Yard & Garden
- Events & Workshops
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Master Composters Program
- Master Gardeners Program
- Jr. Master Gardeners Program
- Xeriscape / Low Water Use Landscaping
- Trees & Arboriculture
- NMSU Plant Diagnostics
- Quick Links
Bernalillo County is home to about one-third of New Mexico's population. Most of these people live in the urban part of the county, though the East Mountains and the South Valley still maintain some rural character. The urban nature of the county is reflected in the educational programming, and kinds of assistance, that our Horticulture Program is able to offer.
We are available to speak to groups (civic, community, church, other) on various horticultural topics, and as always, are open to the public for information on home and landscape gardening, including plant selection, soil issues, pest and disease identification, vegetable and fruit production, and more. We also encourage the greens industry to use us for accurate problem diagnosis and control recommendations.
- In The News - Master Gardeners & Cancer Survivors Partnering for Study
Survivor-Master Gardener/NMSU/UNM teams will study the effects of gardening on overall health and functioning, quality of life, and more, at survivors' homes. (read more...)
- Seasonal Gardening Page
Resources (publications, webpages, videos, and even plans and materials lists. Some information was intended for a Hoops, Mulch, and Cold Frames Workshop, but we've added more links and helpful hints. (Click to access...)
- Extension Program Webinars Now Online!
Learn about upcoming webinars and watch previously recorded webinars on your devices recorded by Extension Family and Consumer Science (FCS) educators via the NMSU Extension webpage: https://efcs.nmsu.edu/extension-family-and-con.html.
Events & Workshops
- Feb. 25 - * Next Master Gardening Class * Raised Bed Gardening
Tuesdays 1 PM - 2:30 PM. See the list of classes available: Master Gardening for the Public for the public (no registration required); attend one or several. Cost: * $5 each Session - Cash Only - Payable at door * Location: Albuquerque Garden Center, 10120 Lomas Blvd NE, 87112 (Click for Map).
- Registration Links Added - 2020 Los Ranchos Farm and Garden Series
Click through to Class Listing on the Farm, Ranching, & Natural Resources page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Searchable FAQs may be found using the following links from the Albuquerque Area Extension Master Gardener Program:
Q: Can Poinsettias Be Grown Again to Bloom? How? Are they hardy?
A: Poinsettias are not cold hardy. In fact, the coldest zone they can handle is 10! Avoid exposing them to cold drafts in your house. Even this can shorten its life. They can be coaxed into blooming again, but it's not easy. Guide H-406 - Poinsettias: Year after Year is a publication from NMSU with extensive information on poinsettias. In summary, after tiring of the poinsettia plant after the holidays, gradually withhold water until the leaves wither and die and finally the colorful bracts wither and die as well. Put the plant in a cool, dry, dark place until spring. In the spring, take the plant out of storage and trim the stems to about 6 inches. Repot the plant in fresh potting soil. Place in a warm sunny spot in your house. After all danger of frost, take the pot outside and sink it into a warm, lightly shaded flower bed (don't take the plant out of the pot). Keep it well watered and fertilized. As fall weather approaches, take the plant back inside and place in a sunny location. In late September or early October ensure the plant receives total darkness for 14 hours a day for 4 weeks. During the day, place in a sunny and warm location. The poinsettia should develop colorful bracts for the holidays!
Q: I Received An Amaryllis for Christmas. Will It Bloom Again?
A. Amaryllis will bloom again with the proper care. Amaryllis are from the tropics. This region does not have seasons like we do, only a rainy and dry season. The plant grows vigorously (vegetatively) during the rainy season, then enters a dormancy or rest period during the dry season, and resumes growth accompanied by a flowering stalk when the rainy season resumes. In order to get your plant to bloom again, try to mimic this tropical wet-dry cycle. The vegetative growth period is critical for the amaryllis bulb to store up enough energy to bloom the next season. Around here, consider the growing period to be May through August. During this time, keep the plant moist; do not allow it to dry out between watering. Keep the plant in a sunny location (dappled shade, not blazing NM sun will do). Fertilize ever 2 to 3 irrigations with a houseplant fertilizer. In early September, reduce watering enough to allow the foliage to die back. Store the plant in a cool place (55-60 degrees F). Don't allow the soil to become completely dry, but water very sparingly. The flower stalk will appear in spring. Increase watering slightly. Once foliage appears, resume watering and fertilizing. Repeat the process every year and re-pot the Amaryllis every few years.
See Also: Amaryllis Care Sheet
More Winter Plant Care Answers:
If you'd prefer to download and browse more than 70 frequently asked horticultural questions and answers, please click the link.
Master Composters Program
Topics include art, science, materials, methods, and benefits of various composting techniques. See individual class descriptions. New classes added as scheduled. Check back often.
Master Gardeners Program
Master Gardener Program
The Albuquerque Area Extension Master Gardeners program is a key component of our horticultural outreach! These volunteers are trained by us to provide science-based horticultural advice to the general public.
Master Gardeners engage the public through various projects, often working on projects with local ARCA members and operating seasonal Hotlines (during growing and harvest months, through September)
Each year, local Master Gardeners conduct classes for registered applicants who are interested in becoming certified Master Gardeners. The application period begins in mid-August, and class rolls fill quickly. Once registration is completed, students attend special Master Gardener Classes from January through April. Members keep active with volunteer efforts through October.
Down to Earth: A Gardener's Guide to the Albuquerque Area
Please check out Down to Earth, the Master Gardeners compendium tailored to the unique conditions of Bernalillo County. Down to Earth: A Gardener's Guide to the Albuquerque Area..
- Oct. 1, 2019, to Feb. 29, 2020 - Master Gardener Hotline Inactive for Fall & Winter
- Oct. 7, 2019 - Master Gardener Enrollment Filled; no further applications accepted for 2020 courses.
- Jan. 2020 - Master Gardener Training Begins; continues through Apr. 2020. All classes are held at the Albuquerque Garden Center * (Click for Map), 10120 Lomas Blvd. NE, 87112.
- Jan. to Apr., 2020 - Select Tuesdays, 1 PM - Public Gardening Classes, $5 Cash per class, payable in at door. See the webpage for details and specific dates & times: http://www.abqmastergardeners.org/
- Mar. 1, 2020, to Sep. 30, 2020 - Master Gardener Hotline Active for Spring & Summer, Mon.-Fri., 9:30 AM-2:30 PM
- Oct. 1, 2020 - Master Gardener Hotlilne Closes. Inactive Fall & Winter
- Oct. 2020 (date & time TBD) - Master Gardener Recruit Info Session @ Garden Center
- Oct. 2020 (date & time TBD) - Online Application Link goes active. See their webpage at http://www.abqmastergardeners.org/ (external link).
2020 Master Gardeners Program
As of 11:00 am Monday, October 7, 2019, Registration for the 2020 Master Gardener Class was filled and is closed.
Thank you for your interest in the program! Please check the Albuquerque Master Gardener's webpage next September for information to be posted concerning 2021 Classes.
Jr. Master Gardeners Program
Junior Master Gardeners Program
An eight to ten week program of horticultural and environmental science education offered by the university cooperative system. Youth in currently in Grades K-3 work after school/home school on a prescribed set of activities and a service learning project, on both group and individual activities, to become good gardeners and good citizens. Once completed they qualify for national JMG certification. For more information, contact John Garlisch, or visit the BernCo CES website's 4-H School Enrichment Page.
We live in a desert, but turfgrass is commonplace in our landscapes and parks. While turfgrass provides many benefits, if not properly cared for it can be a source of much water waste and pollution through overuse of pesticides and fertilizers. The Southwest Turfgrass Association provides valuable education about the latest research in turfgrass care and maintenance at a yearly conference held in the fall.
Selecting the Right Turfgrass Variety for Your Yard. August 30, 2019 Posting, Desert Blooms Blog, a reprint from 2009, Southwest Yard & Garden, by guest contributor Dr. Bernd Leinauer, NMSU Extension Turfgrass Specialist.
- H-508: Turfgrasses for New Mexico
- Circular 660: Turfgrass Irrigation
- H-505: Mowing Your Lawn
- H-507: Lawn Care for Disease Control
- H-510: How to Perform a Catch Can Irrigation Audit on a Home Lawn Sprinkler System
Trees & Arboriculture
Jan. 30 & 31, 2020 - Think Trees Regional Conference - (external site)
This regionally important conference features top-notch presenters and a very affordable fee. Think Trees' largest area of concentration is arboriculture, or the care of the urban forest. In addition to tree-problem diagnostic services available to the general public and to commercial operators, Think Trees provides occasional public workshops on tree planting and pruning. Note: Registration is now closed; wait list is full. For more information, visit the Think Trees New Mexico website: http://www.thinktreesnm.org/.
Xeriscape / Low Water Use Landscaping
Recognizing that we do live in a desert environment, we are also very involved in supporting xeriscape landscaping. Xeriscape refers to landscaping with reduced, efficient irrigation. The keys to successful xeriscape include proper plant selection, good mulching, and efficient irrigation. In addition to providing advice in these areas, we support the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico's Water Conservation Conference.
Other Resources / Agencies:
- Xeriscape Plant List for Albuquerque
- Center for Landscape Water Conservation
- NMSU's Irrigation Management Program & Research Station
- Irrigation Association
- NMSU Climate Center
- New Mexico Office of the State Engineer
Our office receives many calls and samples concerning growing tomatoes, the issues and challenges surrounding their culture, and what to do with the harvested tomatoes.
To learn more about common tomato issues, probable causes, and recommended treatments, see our New!, dedicated Tomato Resources page containing much more detailed information in these areas of about tomato propagation and processing:
- Growing & Harvesting
- Diagnosing Problems
- Common tomato plant Pests, Diseases, & Conditions
- Common tomato plant Pests, Diseases, & Conditions
- Preserving & Recipes
NMSU Plant Diagnostics
NMSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic is housed on the main campus in Las Cruces. The clinic is a full testing laboratory that helps professionals and homeowners learn more about their plants, gardens, landscape, parks, and agriculture production fields.
Free iPhone App from NMSU - Southwest Plant Selector - External site
Developed by New Mexico State University Media Productions, the Southwest Plant Selector app is a cooperative venture between the NM Office of the State Engineer (NMOSE) and the Center for Landscape Water Conservation. The database was developed by the NMOSE in cooperation with the US Bureau of Reclamation in 2011, who were assisted by a panel of experts from around the State. For iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
- Albuquerque Area Extension Master Gardeners - External site
- eXtension Ask an Expert - External site
- Desert Blooms - External site
Plant selector, how to videos, & more.
- Southwest Yard & Garden - External site
Searchable archives of television episodes, blog entries, and other documentation of regional growing topics.
- NMSU Extension and Experiment Station Publications
Searchable library of research and related documentation.