How to Pick The Perfect Tree – Part II

Want the perfect tree for your yard? There is simply no way give everyone reading this one just single answer to this question. Part of the issue is that you are going to purchase a living being. Like any living being, your tree is going to need the right place to live. When it comes to where a specific tree will thrive – there are some very specific needs. Many Factors to Consider In the previous post – “How to Pick The Perfect Tree – Part I,” we discussed soil, […]

How to Pick The Perfect Tree – Part I

If you want to watch a nursery person cringe, ask them: “What tree should I plant in my yard?” There is simply no way to correctly answer this question without a great deal of time and effort. The Southwest Is So Varied! Nursery people hate the question because the selection of the right tree for your yard depends on the soils where you live, the heat/cold load where you live, and on your own aesthetic preferences. Trees aren’t picky exactly, but when it comes to where they will thrive – […]

15 Sunflowers for the Land of Sun

Sunflowers are a native plant, used for centuries by the Native peoples. If you plant the right varieties – and plant them in the spring – you will have a gorgeous garden full of bright, sunny, sunflowers – anywhere in the Southwest! Sunflower Origins Originally sunflowers grew only in North and Central America (the “New World”). After Europeans “discovered” sunflowers, they were rapidly shared around the globe. There are over 70 species of sunflower, and countless varieties. Best known is the annual garden sunflower (Helianthus annus). As it happens, the […]

Here’s Why Are Ants Awesome!

We all know pollinators are important – but did you know that ants are too? While it’s true that there are some troublesome ants out there, there far more kinds of beneficial ants doing their part to improve the soil and better the growing conditions for plants. The “One-Percenters” Ruin It for the Rest. All ants get a bad rap because about one percent of them are bothersome to humans. The other 99 percent go their merry way – entirely ignoring humans. My motorcycle riding friends have a similar problem.  […]

Chard for Your Winter Garden

With colors as brilliant as a Southwest sunset, chard is a beautiful plant for any garden. Grow this “Vulgar” Plant for Leaves Sadly, chard’s scientific name is not so beautiful. Chard goes by the scientific name Beta vulgaris – the “vulgar” indicating it is only a commoner and not noble at all, it’s just a “common beet.” Also called Swiss chard, this beet relative is not grown for the roots. It has been bred for centuries to produce colorful and tasty stems and leaves. Chard leaves are good in salads, […]

Starting Seeds Indoors

Starting seeds indoors is relatively easy, and right about now it’s time to start thinking about your spring planting. You can use the “Seed Company” page on this website for ideas on where to order seeds and supplies, Starting Out with Starting Seeds You will need a well lit space and some way of keeping your seeds and tender young plants protected. Necessary Supplies Sterile seed-starting soil mixSeedling trays with clear plastic covers – either purchased or repurposed Optional Supplies Grow lightsHeat mat You can purchase kits that have seedling […]