Compost & HOA’s – Compost Done Correctly

It is easy to create compost in a dry climate. Properly done, composting is not unsightly, nor does it smell, or invite pests. I discussed the basics last week (here). More than the Basics Do you get my newsletter? One reader who does emailed me via the link at the bottom and asked for help creating an HOA approved compost area. After several missives we determined that it might have to be a clandestine compost area because his board had already turned him down. When he discussed it with them […]

Compost in the Desert – Introduction

Compost in the desert is not hard – it is just different from what all the gardening books written for other climates tell you to do. We live in a unique area, so you need to use some unique approaches. “Compost Happens” – NOT! That bumper sticker (and tee shirt) slogan just doesn’t work in the desert.  Our usual humidity of 15 to 30 percent is just not enough for compost to happen. Some added effort on your part is needed. Ingredients for Desert Compost In humid climates, instructions tell […]

Create an Outdoor Office

An outdoor office are easy to add to your living space.  In this time of working from home and meeting online it makes great sense too. The Basics of an Outdoor Office Outdoor office work spaces don’t need to be elaborate. All you need is a wireless signal, a flat surface for your laptop and beverages, and some shade so you can easily view your screen. Porches My home is blessed with a porch on the north side that the sun never shines into.  There is a roof overhead for […]

August Gardening 2022

Every August in the garden is different from the year before – but there are some general good guidelines to follow.  We look at them today. The Rains Have Started – Maybe The Southwest summer rains are fickle – and have always been so. One August day in my childhood we stood in the sunshine in our front yard and watched the rain pouring off the neighbors roof across the street. This, more than all the parental nagging, made us realize that we really should not play in the washes […]

8 Tips to Eliminate Weeds in your Desert Garden

Weeds or wildflowers? Yes, we have all heard the argument. I am not here to go into it. I am here today to share with you some tricks to dealing with what you might consider weeds in your desert garden. Weeds are the Ultimate Opportunists Weeds are opportunistic plants. They will pop up wherever and whenever conditions are the least bit favorable. Your yard is going to be more favorable than out in the desert, especially if you ever water your plants, of have some rock mulch for weed seeds […]

Palm Care is As Easy As 1-2-3

For a healthy, beautiful palm there are only three things you need to do. Three! Palm Care # 1 – “Leaf” it alone! Leave the Leaves Prune no palm leaves (fronds) EVER. Palms have been taking care of themselves for eons and they know which leaves they need. They will drop what they do not need. If you dislike the naturally shaggy appearance of palms, at least wait until the leaves turn brown before you remove them. If you need to for safety, you can remove a green leaf – […]

You Can Grow A Colorful Garden in the Desert

Colorful flowers in the heat of a desert summer? Sure! And without spending tons of water either! Color Most of the folks reading this article enjoy color in our life – in the gardeners sense of the term that is. “Color” is the term for flowering plants that the Green Industry uses (nurseries, landscape designers, and the like). Color in the landscape provides us with something bright and cheerful to greet us as we look out the window with the morning cup of coffee, or something welcome us home from […]

Garden Calendar for July 2022

July is National “Smart Irrigation Month,” so let’s start with some discussion about watering your landscape and garden. July Watering All plants need more water as temperatures rise. Water is critical in the desert, but don’t let your plants become “drip sip” junkies. Instead of a “sip” or a little bit of water every single 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 growing. Deep Roots Encourage your roots to grow deep […]

Epsom Salts – The Gardeners Friend

Epsom salt is the gardeners friend twice over – or maybe I should say three times. First and second, Epsom salts contain two important macro-nutrients plants need to thrive, not merely survive. Third, gardeners can use some Epsom salts in the bath to soak away aches after a long day working in the garden. Why Plants Might Need Epsom Salt Epsom salt is a simple chemical compound of magnesium and sulfur linked together as magnesium sulfate. Both magnesium and sulfur are considered macro-nutrients – they are crucial to healthy plant […]

Silver Dollar Plant

Silver dollar plant is one of those plants that is a houseplant for folks back East – but it can be grown outdoors here in the Southwest. You Can Grow Silver Dollar Plant Silver dollar plant (Crassula arborescens) has many common names – and quite a few cultivated varieties with various names as well. Common names include silver dollar jade, blue bird jade, good luck plant, and African money plant. Whatever you call it – it is a luxurious succulent to grow. The silvery, waxy leaves have a hint of […]