Garden Calendar for July 2021

July is a tough on many plants, even our Southwest natives. There are few tasks to that you must do, and some things your should avoid doing this month since many plants are heat stressed. Water Wisely Water is critical in the desert, but don’t let your plants become “drip sip” junkies. Instead of a little bit of water every 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. Roots need to encouraged […]

Castor Plants Add Color to the Landscape

Castor for color, and because the critters don’t eat it! Castor is a large, colorful plant for warm season color in the Southwest. Indeed, it grows large enough for some shade too. What is Castor Castor (Ricinus communis) comes to us from eastern Africa and is now spread world-wide in tropical areas. Oil of the seeds was important in ancient Egypt, imported at great cost from the kingdom of Nubia. Any plant that could reap great profits was subject to “industrial sabotage” back in the day, which is how castor […]

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 […]

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 – […]

Fertilizer in the Southwest

Fall is a good time for fertilizer in the Southwest. This will help them put on some healthy growth and store a little excess energy for the winter ahead. This year (2020), I am urging folks in the Lower and Middle Deserts to fertilize after Fall Equinox. More about Southwest Zones here. Fall Fertilizer Fertilizer is NOT plant food. Plants make all of their own food! They combine sunlight, air, and water into – basically – sugar. This is called photosynthesis. Plants can get all they need to survive from […]

Garden Calendar for September 2020

September used to mean back to school and back to the garden, but this year is different. Summer 2020 was a scorcher in the Southwest, so this September is going to have less chores than usual. September is Time to Transition Yes, September is a transition month. The soils are still warm from the summer heat, but the nights are starting to get a tiny bit cooler. What plants really notice though, are the hours of daylight. As the days get shorter, the plant genes are urging them to do […]