The months of January and February are the time to apply fertilizer to landscapes. When precisely this application is made depends on the growth of the plant.
Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. Send questions to Extremehort@aol.com.
The bottle tree you are buying from the nursery — Brachychiton populneum — is not really a bottle tree at all. The true bottle tree (B. ruprestis) is very different from the nursery version because its trunk is truly shaped like a bottle. I
There is a trend of growing plants that take a lot of care to flourish in the desert. These include tropical or subtropical plants. Some of these plants grow better in the desert than others.
Major pruning of ornamental trees and shrubs is done during the winter months after leaves have fallen. Minor pruning (making a single cut with a hand pruner) can be done anytime.
The gardening trend seen most often now in Southern Nevada is growing “exotic” plants, those plants that don’t naturally grow here or are difficult to grow here. But these exotic plants require more effort and money on our part to ensure their good health.
Roses are a good choice for our Las Vegas climate and soils if kept healthy. If they are not healthy, they suffer in intense sunlight, summer heat and soil problems.
Cactuses and other succulents are as varied in their needs as different types of landscape trees and shrubs. We can’t help but think of a cactus as just a cactus, but they are not all the same and shouldn’t be treated the same way.
Most leaf drop of deciduous trees and shrubs occurs by mid-December. Some plants will start dropping leaves as early as the second week of November while others drop leaves later. But of course, much of that depends on the weather and tree health.
Desert climates like Southern Nevada have low humidity, so plant diseases aren’t frequently seen unless we do a poor job choosing plants for the landscape spots, planting, watering or managing them.
It is true the majority of pomegranates are picked around Halloween. However, the time to pick pomegranates depends on its variety. there are varieties of pomegranates that must be picked at other times. One such variety favored in Southern Nevada is called Utah Sweet that ripens and is ready to be harvested around the end of September.
Let’s focus on controlling Bermuda grass this fall. Common Bermuda grass is sometimes called “devil’s grass” by old-timers. All types of Bermuda grass, from common (the weed) to hybrid Bermuda (think golf course), like heat, sunlight and water but can invade when water is scarce and other plants struggle to shade the ground.
Whether you add compost to the existing soil at planting or bring in a totally different soil mix, make sure the soil is as consistent as possible throughout the landscape. Making the soil the same when planting makes knowing when to irrigate much easier to figure out and schedule.
Now is the optimum planting time during the fall and also the time when nurseries begin their fall planting sales. Location is all-important when selecting landscape plants and matching them to their correct landscape microclimate.