2015 Southwest Yard & Garden Archives


  • January 3, 2015
    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
    In mid-winter plant related insect pests may need management indoors, but do so carefully.
  • January 24, 2015
    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
    Ollas may be used very effectively for growing potted plants.


  • February 7, 2015
    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
    Newly started seedlings may need fertilizer to ensure rapid growth while growing in sunny windows in commercial seed-starting potting soil.
  • February 21, 2015
    Tree borers may create hidden infestations in stressed trees; the best control is providing good tree care.
  • February 28, 2015
    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
    Sticker producing plants are common in New Mexico and management depends on which kind of plant produces the stickers.
  • March 14, 2015
    Mixing things that "grow up" with those that "grow down."
  • March 21, 2015
    Daffodil plants need winter water for their flower scapes to develop properly.
    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
    Planning a trip to see New Mexico wildflowers requires following precipitation patterns.


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


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


  • June 6, 2015
    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
    Composting can be high-tech or low-tech, complicated, or it can just happen.
  • June 27, 2015
    There are several potential causes for dying branches, but summer is a good time to remove them while they are obvious.


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


  • August 1, 2015
    Layering is sometimes easier than propagating plants from cuttings.
  • August 8, 2015
    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
    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
    Moist soil and mulch make weed removal easier in the garden.
  • August 29, 2015
    The best way to control a grass weed in a grass lawn is to maintain a healthy lawn.


  • September 5, 2015
    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
    Temperate climate plants seeds and buds are dormant to survive the winter and need special treatment to grow in the spring.
  • September 19, 2015
    Many plants are suggested as rabbit resistant landscape plants, but few prove to be really rabbit resistant.
  • September 26, 2015
    Proper plant selection, soil preparation, mulch, and irrigation are important for establishing and growing landscape trees in New Mexico.


  • October 3, 2015
    Depending on the type on melon, there are several signs that indicate the best time to harvest.
  • October 10, 2015
    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
    Fall is a good time for planting trees and shrubs in New Mexico for several reasons.
  • October 24, 2015
    There are many opportunities to experience new vegetables in your garden and to rotate new crops.
  • October 31, 2015
    Insects that come indoors when houseplants are brought in for the winter may be managed by chemical treatment and traps.


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


  • December 5, 2015
    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
    Deciduous trees may be pruned now that they have entered dormancy.
  • December 19, 2015
    Composting in New Mexico can continue even through the cold of winter.
  • December 26, 2015
    There are alternative methods of composting available to New Mexico gardeners during the winter.

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!