Palm Care is As Easy As 1-2-3

For healthy, happy, palms here in the Southwest, there are only three things you need to do. Three! Palm Care is Easy Palm care tip 1: “Leaf” it alone! Prune no leaves (technically fronds) ever, because palms will drop what they do not need. If you dislike the appearance, wait until fronds are brown and drooped over before removing. You should only remove green fronds if they are a hazard to people or property (in a walkway or rubbing the roof). If you must, prune ONLY in May or August. […]

Growing Gardenias and Camelias in the Desert

Many garden centers have camellias and gardenias prominently displayed at this time of year. Occasionally an azalea too. These are in flower and their beauty and fragrance is very tempting. Before you succumb to temptation, realize that these not native to our arid Southwest climate and will need some special care. The Issue is Our Soil & Water & Climate Camellias, gardenias, and azaleas need acid soils. Our Southwest soils are alkaline. Our water comes out of the tap alkaline. Furthermore, all soils have an amazing capacity to buffer themselves, […]

Garden Calendar for May 2021

May Day! Time to get your garden and landscape ready for the summer ahead. Most tasks in May revolve around making sure the water system is working, and fertilizer to encourage fruit production plus warm-season growers to grow. Irrigation System Tune Up Time Irrigation systems require checking and tune-up on a regular basis. Some tasks should be done once per month, some should be done quarterly – as the seasons change. Tune up irrigation system now with these tasks. * clean filter – knock it out and soak it in […]

How Can You Tell a Lysiloma from an Acacia?

Feathery leaves, pale puffball flowers – is it a Lysiloma or is it an Acacia? Inquiring minds want to know! What is in a Name? Bear with me here as we start with some history and botanical exploration. If you get bored you can skip to the final paragraph – but I hope you won’t. Acacia are a group of trees in the Legume or Pea Family. “Acacia” was first described by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773 based on the African species he called Acacia nilotica. The name […]

Caring in the Land of El Sol

Caring. Looking back over the past week of posts there is one common thread through it all, and that is caring. A Common Thread As some of you know, I am taking part in a 30 day blogging challenge. My goal is to become at delivering to you, gentle reader, the content you want and need. Today’s assignment was to find the common element in my posts over the last seven days, and I would have to say it is “caring.” The Thread of Caring The posts have been about […]

Annuals for the Heat

Why annuals?  Most people like some flowers in their landscape. Gardeners and landscape folks call this “color.” Lucky for us, “color” in most of the Southwest is a year ’round thing – with a little planning. Plan for Color The trees, shrubs, and perennial plants that grow in our area have various bloom times, early spring, late spring, summer, monsoon season, fall, even winter. Thus, you could have one or more plants in FGB (full glorious bloom) in any give week. All this color is great, but sometimes one part […]