Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 03.17.23
By Cassie McClure
If you ever have a problem in your garden and wish for some one-on-one help, reach out to the Extension Master Gardeners (EMG), a program of New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) Cooperative Extension Service. An introduction to the program was the topic of “Gardening Now and In the Future: Master Gardeners, Who They Are and How They Can Help You!” at the free Lush & Lean Workshop sponsored by Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Water Conservation Program, on Thursday, April 20.
“We’re volunteers with a passion for helping residents grow their best gardens,” said Sylvia Hacker, a certified Master Gardener with 20 years of experience figuring out the most common and daunting problems residents might encounter in our area.
The NMSU Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Program began in 1981 in Albuquerque. Each year, EMG programs throughout New Mexico produce knowledgeable gardeners who enjoy assisting their local Cooperative Extension Service office in providing accurate, research-based gardening information to city and county residents.
One service is their hotline on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 AM to 12 PM, which can be reached at (575) 525-6649. The NMSU EMG Chapter has 23 certified MGs and 11 MG Interns. Some other examples of Master Gardener activities include:
Answering gardening and landscape questions through venues such as the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market and events planned through the Extension Service Office.
Working with schools and community garden participants by providing technical information and presenting educational programs, including hydroponic gardening.
Providing community educational information and programs on topics such as plant selection, pest management, soil composition, and sustainable landscape practices.
Assisting with Extension youth programs, such as 4-H and AgVenture Days.
Assisting residents, garden groups, City and County departments, and at community events such as the annual Art in the Gardens Tour, the UTEP Chihuahuan Desert Plant Sale, and the City of Las Cruces Utilities Water Conservation Program Water Festival.
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.
The Final topics and speaker is:
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: las-cruces.org/180/Utilities For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO INFORMATION: Les Finley inspecting a tree.