You Can Grow Epazote Effortlessly

Epazote is an effortless ‘erb that loves our Southwestern summer heat. And it’s not too late to plant some now. Why Grow Epazote? This is an herb you need if you ever cook beans. When added to beans as they cook, epazote has the almost magical ability to help predigest” beans.  This causes them to lose their ability to cause – ahem – digestive gas production. In other words, epazote is an all natural “Bean-o.” Epazote doesn’t take much work on your part. All you need is about 10 leaves […]

Lovely Leucophyllum – the Snapdragon Shrubs

Gardening in the Southwest is unique in many ways, and tops on the list are plants you don’t find anywhere else on earth. Leucophyllum , a shrubby member of the Snapdragon Family is one of these unique species.   Lovely Leucophyllum There are more common names for Leucophyllum than you can shake a stick at. Some of the more common common names are: rain sage, Texas sage, Texas rain sage, Texas ranger, Chihuahuan rain sage, blue ranger, cenizo, Texas silverleaf, barometer bush, ash-bush, wild lilac, purple sage, senisa, cenicilla, palo […]

Happy, Healthy Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a lovely shrub, and now that it’s summer – it’s one commonly found in nurseries and big box garden centers. And no wonder! Hibiscus are beautiful plants with a bushy, luxurious looking form, glossy green leaves, and bringing the feel of the tropics to your yard. Then there are the flowers! Hibiscus Flowers Are Awesome The large size of the blooms, combined with their exotic appearance and downright durability as a flower has helped them find their way into our cultural world view. Who hasn’t see photos of […]

Beans for Southwest Planting

July is National Baked Bean Month. You can celebrate by baking some beans to enjoy with your hotdogs (it’s National Hot Dog Month too) or – here in the Southwest – you can celebrate by planting some beans now to bake later! Many Beans! There are so many different kinds of beans to plant in the long Southwestern hot season. That’s a gardening term by the way – an easy way to refer to growing seasons – warm season, hot season, and cool season. The beans considered hot season beans […]

Garden Calendar for July & Summer Watering

July is National “Smart Irrigation Month,” so let’s start by talking about water for Southwest plants in summer. Watering Notes All plants need more water as temperatures rise. Water is critical in the desert, but don’t let your plants become “drip sip” junkies. Instead of a “sip” or a little bit of water every single day, water less often but for longer time, so the water sinks in two or even three feet into the ground – where roots should be growing. Roots need to encouraged to grow deep underground […]

A Passion for Passion flower

Earlier this spring, I mentioned  that vines are great in the garden for all their lovely blooms (Part I- Overview and Part II – Native Vines). A reader asked about edible vines, and here is one option for the Southwest – passion flower! Plants with a Punch Called variously passion flower, passion fruit and just plain passion vine, Passiflora has over 500 species and countless varieties, most with edible fruit. You may have tasted it before! Hawaiian Punch is made from the tasty Passiflora edulis. That particular species is not […]