This year, more than 130 local gardening enthusiasts attended the 2017 Spring Stroll through the Demonstration Garden located at the LCU Administrative offices, 680 N. Motel Blvd. The event was hosted by Las Cruces Utilities Water Conservation Program in late May. Local agricultural experts were on hand to help people identify solutions for their gardens, pest control, and weed management.
“We have so many beautiful plants in our area that require very little water,” noted Rhonda Diaz, LCU water conservation program coordinator. “It’s great to see so much interest in not only keeping our city beautiful, but also using less water while doing it.” Diaz is a strong advocate of landscaping that reduces the use of quality drinking water for irrigation.
Local residents Clarence and Linda Myers retired to Las Cruces from Michigan over 10-years ago, and enjoy learning about new, drought-tolerant plants for their landscaping. “We like a small, manageable yard,” said Clarence, “and I need plants that can be cut way back that come back every spring.” The Myers were interested in learning about pomegranates (Punica granatum), a hardy deciduous plant that boasts bright red flowers and a delicious fruit.
Among other experts at the annual stroll, New Mexico State University (NMSU) Extension Weed Specialist, Leslie Beck, Ph.D., explained proper weed management techniques to the crowd. “Create an environment less ideal for the weed and more ideal for the plant,” was her advice, as she pointed out ways to identify and deal with common area weeds. One common small-leaf weed that invades area lawns is Black Medic, which Beck explained could indicate a need for more fertilizer in the soil. Carol Sutherland, Ph.D., NMSU Extension entomologist, and John White, curator of the UTEP Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, were also onsite and advising gardeners.
Attendees received free composted mulch samples from the community’s green waste program at the Old Foothills Landfill. Samples of Class A+ biosolid compost (“black gold”) from the wastewater treatment facility were also given away to help green up turf and build up organic matter in soil, while reducing water needs.
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
Content provided by Las Cruces Utilities