Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 3.31.23
By Cassie McClure
“Native Plants – Creating a Lush Oasis” presentation Thursday, April 6, will begin the next series (Spring II) of free Lush & Lean Workshops sponsored by the Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Water Conservation Program.
Jackye Meinecke, former owner of Enchanted Gardens nursery, who now consults and designs gardens, will present tips and tricks to enlighten homeowners about the varieties of native plants available and how to select them for their garden or landscape.
“We can create a traditional garden using native and drought-tolerant plants. Native plants provide shade, texture, and color similar to traditional plants,” said Meinecke. She explained that it depends on the soil you might find in your yard. “We have two distinct soils in our Southwest gardens. In the valley, most gardens are clay and caliche. In most of the gardens on the mesas, you’ll find sand and rock.”
“For example, if you’re choosing trees to plant in the valley, choose the Texas Red Oak, desert willow, or Texas honey mesquite,” she said. “On the mesas, choose Acacias, Escarpment live oak or Netleaf hackberry.”
Meinecke also cautions that gardening takes patience, especially in the beginning. “It may take a year or more for a native plant to establish in the landscape. However, once established, these plants grow quickly, thrive, and expand,” she said.
Meinecke will also talk about how different zones can affect how much water is needed and will discuss not just trees but also shrubs, groundcover, grasses, and good annuals and perennials to plant depending on zone and soil.
Free to the public, all Lush & Lean Workshops are held at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, Roadrunner Room, 200 E. Picacho, Las Cruces, on Thursdays from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Presentations begin promptly at 5:45 PM.
Upcoming topics and speakers include:
April 13, “Pests and Beneficials - Bugs in Your Landscape? Who’s Who & What’s What?”
Presented by Joanie King, Ph.D., Extension Entomology Specialist, New Mexico State University
April 20, “Extension Master Gardeners - Gardening Now and in the Future”
Presented by Sylvia Hacker, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Master Gardener
May 11, “Weed Identification and Management”
Presented by Leslie Beck, Ph.D., Extension Weed Specialist, New Mexico State University
May 18, “Pruning Workshop”
Presented by Les Finley, Horticulturist, Nurseryman, ISA Certified Arborist
LCU – Your Utility Connection. Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: lascruces.gov/180/Utilities For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO 1: An example of an oasis you could create in your garden with a Palo Verde with bear grass.