Garden Calendar for August 2021

Summertime in the Southwest can be brutal on plants, and August is perhaps the toughest month of all. Every Year is Different Luckily for many of us, July 2021 brought monsoon rains, including up to 6 or even 8 inches in some areas. For some corners of the Southwest, too much rain came all in one event, causing erosion issues. On my little acre, we experienced wash-out of a number of the water harvesting berms. They are being rebuilt more sturdily following the principles discussed in Brad Landcaster’s excellent book, Read more

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 Read more

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. Read more

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 Read more

Citrus Care for the Southwest

Citrus are easy to care for. Unlike some fruit trees who are drama queens, citrus is more of a “leave-me-alone-to-get-the-job-done kind of fruit tree. There are only three things you need to do as a citrus owner, and one of them is a don’t! Number One Citrus Care Don’t prune citrus. Citrus trees naturally grow into a globe shape. They NEED to shade their trunk. SHADE! So you need to let them naturally form their glossy green globe. If you prune this natural shape into a lollipop – sunlight hits Read more

Epsom Salt Will Cure All Your Garden Woes

Epsom salt will cure all your garden woes. Sure it will. And if you believe that one, I have some beach front property in Arizona for you. How about if I tell you that Epsom salt can cure some of your garden woes – when used properly? Now doesn’t that sound more like the scientific gardener you have come to know and love? How Epsom Salt Works Epsom salt is pure magnesium sulfate. Both magnesium and sulfate are macronutrients crucial to healthy plant life. Magnesium plays a crucial role in Read more