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Garden Program Blossoms with Growing Audience, New Segment

LAS CRUCES - "Southwest Yard and Garden," a half-hour weekly program airing on New Mexico's public television stations, will celebrate its third season with national distribution and a new segment tracking a single garden throughout the growing season.


The program's audience will grow as episodes of "Southwest Yard and Garden," are offered to public television stations across the country, beginning in February. KNME/Westlink will offer 13 episodes via satellite.

In addition, "Southwest Yard & Garden" recently premiered on RFD-TV, a satellite network dedicated to rural programming. RFD-TV is channel 9409 on the DISH Network.

The program, which began airing in April 2000, is a production of New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. Staff with NMSU's agricultural communications department shoot and edit the program.

"Let's Get Growing," the program's new segment, promises to answer many questions that even regular viewers may have about their home gardens, said John White, southern New Mexico host and Doņa Ana County horticulture agent with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. White will follow the progress of homeowner Janet Brydon's yard near Las Cruces, starting Feb. 2.

"I inherited a yard that needed work when I bought my house, and I added some features," Brydon said. "I have to decide what is worth keeping, what is worth modifying and where I need to start over."

White will offer Brydon advice on preparing and maintaining a vegetable garden; improving a lawn; caring for fruit, shade and ornamental trees; and keeping an ornamental garden.

"The steps we take in this southern New Mexico garden will give growers farther north a heads-up about what they should be doing in the weeks ahead," White said.

The program will continue to feature two segments each week hosted by Curtis Smith, an NMSU Extension horticulturist based in Albuquerque.

In New Mexico, "Southwest Yard and Garden" airs on KNME-TV in Albuquerque on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. KRWG-TV in Las Cruces features the program on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 1 p.m. KENW-TV in Portales airs the show on Saturdays at 10 a.m.

For more information about the program and gardening in New Mexico, visit the World Wide Web site at http://cahe.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/