2017 Southwest Yard & Garden Archives


  • January 7, 2017
    Old Christmas trees can be put to use in the garden after the holidays rather than being burned or sent to clutter the landfill.
  • January 14, 2017
    Pocket gophers can be problems in New Mexico, but control is possible, and there are natural predators who help us.
  • January 21, 2017
    Container gardens can provides some benefits to New Mexico gardeners, but they can also create new gardening challenges.
  • January 28, 2017
    Providing standardized irrigation instructions on plant labels can be challenging.


  • February 4, 2017
    Transplanting established fruit trees can be sometimes be successful if done properly.
  • February 11, 2017
    Mustard weeds are problems in New Mexico, but there are things you can do to manage the problems.
  • February 18, 2017
    Oxalis plants may look like clover, but they are a different plant that can become problems in landscapes and gardens.
  • February 25, 2017
    Pecan weevil quarantines in New Mexico are limited to the areas where the weevils were found, but New Mexico gardeners should be watching for the weevil in their pecans.


  • March 4, 2017
    Weevils that attack only puncture vine (goathead) plants are one tool to use with others in managing puncture vines in some New Mexico gardens.
  • March 11, 2017
    The pitch produced by a pine tree when it is injured is its own natural pruning sealer.
  • March 18, 2017
    Hardware cloth under raised garden beds can help protect gardens from gophers.
  • March 25, 2017
    Trees grown in containers can be done almost any season in New Mexico, but if the trees have been in the container too long there may be problems.


  • April 1, 2017
    Piñon needle scale infestations can often be managed by removing their egg masses from the base of the tree to prevent reinfestation.
  • April 8, 2017
    Mulberry trees which have been pollarded, or pseudo-pollarded, may grow if pollarding ceases, but they may also become hazardous trees.
  • April 15, 2017
    Sprouts from cut trees can be managed with herbicides or by manually removing the sprouts as soon as they appear.
  • April 22, 2017
    Unproductive field soil can be amended with compost and used in raised bed gardens.
  • April 29, 2017
    Pomegranates may be grown in parts of New Mexico, but some winter protection may be needed.


  • May 6, 2017
    Desiccation of newly planted landscape plants may be caused by many factors.
  • May 13, 2017
    In-line drip irrigation is appropriate for some gardening situations providing efficient irrigation for your plants.
  • May 20, 2017
    Grape pruning is important for good production of fruit.
    There are several sources of information to determine the cause of seasonal pollen allergies.
  • May 27, 2017
    African rue is a difficult to manage weed invading New Mexico.


  • June 3, 2017
    In some parts of New Mexico flowering plums, apricots, and some other fruits do not consistently produce fruit.
  • June 10, 2017
    It is indeed feasible to save pits (seeds) from a dying apricot tree to start a new tree.
  • June 17, 2017
    Container grown trees may be planted in the summer and will get some help from the monsoon rains, but don’t trust the monsoon for adequate irrigation.
  • June 24, 2017
    Annual rejuvenation pruning may be used to reduce and maintain the size of Spanish broom shrubs.


  • July 1, 2017
    Desert willows often start life as shrubs and become multi-trunked small trees or large shrubs, so breakage is not a major problem for them.
  • July 8, 2017
    Agave plants produce babies (offsets) as their replacements when they die.
  • July 15, 2017
    Summer lawn problems can be due to several stresses.
  • July 22, 2017
    Soil tests can help you prepare your soil to increase the chances of successful future gardens.
  • July 29, 2017
    Cockroaches in the garden may become pests indoors.


  • August 5, 2017
    Blueberries are extremely difficult to grow in New Mexico and not recommended, but some gardeners love a challenge.
  • August 12, 2017
    Excess water may cause damage to lawns in New Mexico, but there are other problems to consider as well.
  • August 19, 2017
    Cottonwood (Poplar) trees drop leaves due to mid-summer heat stress, but not all do so equally for various reasons.
  • August 26, 2017
    Lightning damage to trees may be obvious or subtle, fatal or non-fatal.





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!