Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Master Gardener Classes

In Otero County we offer a Master Gardener class every other year in the Fall. We just had our first class on September 12, 2017 these classes will run through November. The classes start at 8:00 AM every Tuesday and their will be a different topic each week.Participants of the class will have a final exam at the end of the schedule and for those that pass they will become Master Gardeners.

Otero County Master Gardeners are an active group and give back to our communities through volunteer hours. They have projects around the county that they help maintain and they also provide helpful information on gardening to neighbors and the community. The Master Gardener Hot Line is used to help answer questions when I am not available. I also use their diverse knowledge as a resource to help me answer questions.

Master Gardeners meet monthly here at the Fair grounds and plan their projects and up coming events.

We have room for more students in this years class and if anyone is interested please contact the office at (575) 437-0231 before next Tuesday September 19, 2017.

Master Gardeners is a wonderful organization that provides fellowship and expertise in gardening. If you have any interest please cont me.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Summer Rain

It is very nice to be back in the rainy season the grass is greening up trees are perking up and the weeds are growing up. Our summer rains are important for many reason not just for the needed moisture but they add nitrogen to the soil and they can help flush the salts down past roots which is very important for plant health.

 I have been receiving many calls on the weeds that these rains help germinate. We sometimes will see weeds we have not seen before in addition to the weeds we see frequently. When we receive adequate moisture all our plants and seeds will respond. Now is a good time to do some weed control. Some species are already mature and it is a little late to work on those other than pulling them while the soil is soft. However others are just developing and pulling or spraying these young weeds now should give good control.

Whatever approach one takes to go after the weeds make sure you don't disturb neighboring desirable plants. If a herbicide is used READ THE LABEL!

This is the one of the best times of the year to be in our part of the country but it will come with a some added work to keep our green space looking good. So get outside and enjoy the rain.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Otero County Fair


The Otero County Fair is August 15 to 19 and we need your fruits nuts and produce. Come enter your crops at the Fair or just come see the Fair but please come. We encourage everyone to visit the Fair and have a good time.

Fall Garden


I know it is the middle of July and thinking about a fall garden may not be on your mind but in our part of the world it can be time. I have Master Gardeners already getting started to put theirs in. Pick varieties of plants that will mature before our first frost and that will very with where one lives in the County. In the basin that is around October but in the mountains that could be September.
Either way we still have a growing season left to produce some crops, additionally row cover can be used toward the end of the season to finish out the garden. If the weather is good to us and our monsoon season  starts it is a good time to plant.We also can pick certain varieties of plants that will grow well into the Fall.
There are options available to have a Fall garden come by the extension office and we can help you plan.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Iron Deficiency in Trees and Shrubs- Iron Chlorosis

                                                Iron Chlorosis in Trees and Shrubs

I receive numerous calls and see many more examples of iron deficiency in trees and shrubs here in Otero County. This is one of the more common problems throughout the state.
Iron comes in several formulations available at Garden Centers around the country. Most of these work when applied early in the Spring before plant leaves are fully developed when sprayed directly on the leaves. This also works slightly faster than applying to the soil. However, it has been my experience that most homeowners do not recognize the problem that early so then a soil application is necessary because the leaves are not receptive to a foliage application.

First of all Iron Chlorosis will cause yellowing of the leaves early in the season. The veins of the leaves remain green but the rest of the leaves will yellow which can progress to black dead spots and eventually leaf drop. This is readily seen and can effect many deciduous trees and other shrubs. It can start in one section of the plant or the whole plant can exhibit these signs. It can effect one tree in an area and the others may appear normal. The important thing is to recognize the problem and treat the plant.

If there are multiple trees of the same variety in an area and only some exhibit signs of the deficiency I would still treat them all. The reason is because if the area is of similar soil content then it probable that the other trees will eventual show signs of the deficiency so treat them before they exhibit the signs.

Now we are back to the issue that we have identified the problem but the leaves on the plant are to mature to apply the Iron directly to the foliage so we will need to apply the Iron to the soil. This still will work quite well but it takes a little longer for the Iron to be taken up by the plant and to see a visual difference it the plant.

If we are needing to add Iron to the soil we have one option to use in our high Ph soil and that is FeEDDHA this is the formula that will not be tied up by our high Ph soils. This is very important because if the other formulations of Iron are used on the soil the high Ph will not let the Iron be available to the plant. So when shopping for Iron supplements for our area by the FeEDDHA formulation.

Be sure and read the directions on how to mix and apply the iron and make sure the correct amount is applied as the label suggest. If any assistance is needed please contact the Extension Office.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lawn Care


It is that time of the year that the Extension Office gets numerous calls about the home lawn. I thought I would take a moment to address a few common questions.

Water: Water is the first factor we look at and here in Otero County quality and quantity are the consideration. We have high pH soils and our water is hard so to manage these issues we can do a few things better.
 1- water deep and less frequently which means water once or twice a week and make sure the water goes down about 6 inches. this encourages deeper roots and maintains better subsoil moisture. Frequent shallow watering does not encourage deep roots and contributes to drying out and this can make the salt issue in our soils worse.
 2- How high should I mow my yard? Cool season grasses like Fescue, Brome and Rye need to be kept higher at 2.5 to 3.5 inches. Warm season grasses like Bermuda can be mowed at 2 to 3 inches. Remember the higher the above ground portion of the plant the deeper the roots go. If  mowing is done frequently it is better for the lawn, removing a high percentage of the plant at cutting stresses it.
 3- Controlling weeds in the lawn is easier if the lawn is healthy and can compete against the weeds. When weeding is needed it is most effective when the weeds are young and easier to control. If a herbicide is needed find the appropriate herbicide for the weeds present and read and follow the label. If assistance is needed in identifying the weeds contact the Extension Office for help. Remember there are cool season weeds and warm season weeds and they will need to be treated separately.
 4- Watering and mowing grass takes nutrients out of the soil even when there is no bagging of the clippings. Soil samples will tell the home owner exactly what nutrients are need to produce a healthy lawn. Many home owners just go to the store and buy a commercial fertilizer and sometimes this works. However, to really understand your lawn soil samples need to be taken ever few years and fertilizer should be put down in two or three applications throughout the growing season and not in one large application. Knowing what type of grass is in the lawn is important for proper fertilizer application.
 5-Aeration is a very useful lawn management application that is environmentally friendly and inexpensive. It is very beneficial to tight sodded lawns like Bermuda and high traffic areas.

In summery:
-Water deep and infrequently
-Raise your mowing deck to the correct level and mow frequently
- Feed your lawn as needed but don't over do it
-Control competitive weeds
-Aerate  the lawn

If anyone has questions on lawn care and maintenance please contact the Extension office for help and suggestions.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sacramento Riding Club

Sacramento Riding Club first meeting of the year will be June 3, 2017 at 2:00 PM at the Wilbanks Arena in Mayhill. This is open to youth 18 years and younger you must bring a parent to sign a waver. If you have questions please contact Sid Gordon at the NMSU Extension office at (575) 437-0231.
Bring your horse and we hope to see you there.