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 […]

Desert Mistletoe in Your Trees- Part II

DeseMany people try to eradicate desert mistletoe, thinking it is harming the tree. Mistletoe would be a poor parasite if it killed it’s host. Desert mistletoe does minimal amount of damage, and thus lives with the host trees for many years. Desert Mistletoe Provides Food In the previous post I discussed the desert mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) and how it is part of a healthy desert ecosystem. It provides food for the phainopepla – a bird only found in the Southwest. It also provides food for humans – but only the […]

Lovely Lycium – the Desert Goji Berry

Lycium? Yep – that’s the name for goji berries. Did you know we have native goji berries in the Southwest? World Wide Plant Goji, goji berry or wolfberry is the name applied to the fruit of two Asian plants, Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense. but the genus is found around the globe, from China to Chile, Southern USA to South Africa. There are roughly 100 species all told, mostly living in arid areas, including rocky hillsides in Italy. Here in the Southwest we have these six common species, and some […]

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 […]

Almond Trees Grow Well In the Southwest

Almonds join a number of other plants from the warmer areas of the eastern Mediterranean that grow well in our Southwest gardens. Celebrate “National Almond Day” – February 16! There are many trees you can plant in your Southwest yard, but if you are going to the effort of planting and watering a tree, why not make it one that will also provide a nutritious and tasty snack – like almonds. Almond Tree Care These lovely trees are living beings, so they will need some care, but they do need […]

Figs are Easy to Grow in the Southwest

Figs are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow in our area. They do well in our alkaline soils, and can quickly grow into lovely, spreading shade trees. Trees produce fruit in as little as two to three years, and thrive and produce with little effort for the next hundred years or so. Figs do not need cross pollination, so a single tree can produce ample fruit for a household. Planting Figs Plant fig trees in the ground in late winter to early spring when they’re dormant. Figs won’t […]