Articles (Posts)

Grow A Three Sisters Garden – For Success in the Southwest

Growing a vegetable garden in the Southwest is easy if you do as the Natives once did and plant a Three Sisters garden. Three Sisters The Native peoples across the New World have long had the tradition of planting the Three Sisters.* The Three Sisters live together and help each other not just survive, but thrive. Corn, beans, and squash are the Sisters, and each gives and receives from the others. Sister Corn Corn is Elder Sister and should be planted first. She will grow tall and provide something Middle […]

Southwest Garden Calendar for April 2021

Here is what you can do this April, 2021.  No two gardening years are exactly the same in the Southwest, so I like to offer a new calendar each month of the year. Before mid-April Prune frost damage off your tropical plants. This includes bougainvillea, lantana, yellow bells, and other tender perennials. Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials. You can plant them later but the sooner you get them in the ground before summer arrives – the better. EXCEPT! Don’t plant tropicals like palms too early. After mid-April Plant new citrus […]

Awesome Aloe for the Southwest

Many landscapes in the Southwest have aloes plunked around in them.  But instead of just plunking something in there – why not have a beautiful flowering aloe to attract hummingbirds?!  Wendy Proud, a representative for Rancho Soledad Nursery, shares one of her favorites in this guest post. Tangerine Aloe One of the first to spike (produce a spike of flowers) is the tangerine aloe (Aloe x Tangerine).  This cross between Aloe ferox and Aloe arborescens was shared by the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino California over 25 yrs ago.  […]

Rest in Peace Father Kino

Three hundred and ten years ago this week Father Kino died, on March 15, 1711. We remember Padre Kino 310 years later because he was so far ahead of his time. He fought against slavery and racism (radical notions for his time), and worked tirelessly for all humans to be treated with dignity and respect. Padre Kino Was Ahead of His Time I write of Father Kino on a gardening site because his humane treatment of people included respecting the uses of plants by Native peoples.  These uses would have […]

Wildlife Resistant Plants for the Southwest

Wildlife keep getting into the yard and munching my carefully nurtured plants. Grrr! Yes, they dig under or climb (or jump) over the barriers and decimate my plantings. The hungry wildlife in my corner of the Southwest include deer, javelina, raccoon, skunk, jack rabbit, cottontail rabbit, rock squirrel, ground squirrel, packrat, and mice. They are all hungry and relentless. (Legal note – this post contains affiliate links.  If you click on them and make a purchase, the non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few cents at no additional […]

March Chores for a Seamless Southwest Summer

The month of March is a great time to work in the yard in the Southwest. It is not too hot, nor too cold. It is generally a relatively dry month as well, so you won’t get rained out. There are just a few gardening chores to do in March so that this summer you can truthfully sing that the “livin’ is easy.” This March – Water It was a dry summer in 2020 and a dry and relatively hot winter. If you haven’t watered in the past month – […]