2012 Southwest Yard & Garden Archives


  • January 7, 2012
    Prune fruit trees up until the buds swell and "show color."
    You can start your chile and tomato seedlings indoors now.
  • January 14, 2012
    Cold frame gardening can be fun and extend the New Mexico gardening season.
  • January 21, 2012
    The time for pruning roses varies across New Mexico because of the variation in the expected date of the last freeze.
  • January 28, 2012
    Leggy peperomia house plants can be cut back to become more bushy and to make cuttings for starting new plants.


  • February 4, 2012
    Soil test results can be used to make recommendations for organic gardens, just tell that you want organic recommendations.
  • February 18, 2012
    Choose appropriate turfgrass varieties based on your location and ordinances in your municipality.


  • March 5, 2012
    Christmas cacti need special conditions in the fall to encourage flowers in the winter and occasional repotting to renew their potting soil.
  • March 10, 2012
    Prune trumpet vines now while they are still dormant and remove vines growing from the roots in areas where they are not wanted.
  • March 17, 2012
    Symptoms of iron chlorosis in sycamore trees such symptoms are common in trees and shrubs from regions with more acidic soils.
  • 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.


  • April 7, 2012
    Christmas trees that sprout new growth are very unlikely to grow roots.
  • April 14, 2012
    Gophers are not uncommon, even in urban parts of New Mexico.
  • April 21, 2012
    Old rose bushes at historic homes can live for a long time.
  • April 28, 2012
    Pitch that flows from pruning wounds in conifers is a material that helps seal the wound and conserve water.


  • May 5, 2012
    Stress from a previous year may have led to insect infestations that kill trees.
  • May 12, 2012
    Transplant coral bells in the late winter and early spring.
    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
    The difference in potting soil, garden soil, and compost.
    Drip irrigation system and some plants are wilting.
  • June 9, 2012
    Roses survived the freeze. Would it be OK to prune them this summer?
  • June 16, 2012
    Forest fire ash that fell in your landscape and garden should not be a problem unless it is very thick, then you can remove some of it.
  • 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
    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
    Increasing the soil quality of tomato gardens this fall and next spring in preparation for next year.
  • August 25, 2012
    Fall is time to plant garlic in New Mexico.
    Brown leaves on trees in late summer may indicate overwatering.


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


  • October 6, 2012
    Silverleaf nightshade is a common and persistent weed in New Mexico gardens and landscapes.
  • October 13, 2012
    Aphid insect pests may come indoors with your houseplants for the winter.
  • October 20, 2012
    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
    Figs can be grown with some degree of success by home gardeners in New Mexico.


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


  • December 1, 2012
    Plant chilling requirements help plants measure the length of the winter and break dormancy in the spring.
  • December 8, 2012
    Caring for indoor plants, pruning, irrigation, and composting are some important garden activities for late fall.
  • December 15, 2012
    Fungus gnats and flying aphids are the most likely small flying insects around houseplants in the winter.
  • December 22, 2012
    Light, low temperatures, limited nitrogen fertilizer, and a cold frame can help you grow better garden transplants.
  • December 29, 2012
    Old Christmas trees may be used as trellises for climbing beans and cucumbers in the garden. 2 - Conifer mulch is good for your garden.

Desert Blooms Website

Marisa Y. Thompson, PhD, is the Extension Horticulture Specialist, in the Department of Extension Plant Sciences at the New Mexico State University Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center, email: desertblooms@nmsu.edu, office: 505-865-7340, ext. 113.


For more gardening information, visit the NMSU Extension Horticulture page at Desert Blooms and the NMSU Horticulture Publications page.

Send gardening questions to Southwest Yard and Garden - Attn: Dr. Marisa Thompson at desertblooms@nmsu.edu, or at the Desert Blooms Facebook page.

Please copy your County Extension Agent and indicate your county of residence when you submit your question!