Get Wild! 5 Steps for Habitat Certification

Want to do your part to help the planet? Turn your backyard or business lot into a certified wildlife habitat that helps protect and promote native plants and species. According to a United Nations report, one million species may be "pushed to extinction" in the next few years due to human impact. As the Center … Continue reading Get Wild! 5 Steps for Habitat Certification

Medicinal and Culinary Uses for the Shy Violet

While violets’ delicate blossoms are a treat only for the observant, the plant has enjoyed a long history of medicinal and culinary use. Leigh Hunt, an English Romantic essayist, and poet is the first known author of the phrase “shrinking violet.” In 1820, he published a passage describing a bit of woodland in The Indicator, a … Continue reading Medicinal and Culinary Uses for the Shy Violet

A Celebration of Lilacs

One of nature’s long-lived symbols of spring, lilacs bring fragrance, beauty, and nostalgia to every landscape they adorn. Beloved by bees and butterflies, a quality cover for birds and wildlife, and one of the most cherished blooms in America, the common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) embodies everything we love about sweet, old-fashioned flowers. After all, is … Continue reading A Celebration of Lilacs

Starting Plants: Grow Your Own Vegetable Garden Transplants

Some plants can be started indoors early in the season, before soil and air temperatures are warm enough to plant outdoors. From a seed-starting perspective, most of our common vegetable plants fall into one of three categories. Don't do well direct-seeded outdoors - these plants seem to do better if they are started in a … Continue reading Starting Plants: Grow Your Own Vegetable Garden Transplants

Problem Guide For Southwest Gardens

A noticeable, fine web may be present on your Palo Verde trees (Parkinsonia spp.) and even from time to time on the Whitethorn Acacia (Vachellia constricta syn. Acacia constricta).  This “webbing” is produced by the Palo Verde webworms often called Palo Verde webbers. The webworm is a small caterpillar that feeds on the leaves and occasionally the bark … Continue reading Problem Guide For Southwest Gardens

February in the Low Desert

In February, continue to prepare for frost events and take necessary frost protection measures. Don’t let a warm week in February fool you into believing spring has arrived. The low-desert can still have periods of freezing temperatures during the month. Mesquites may ooze an amber-colored resin; this can be normal or released as a result … Continue reading February in the Low Desert

January Gardening In The Low Desert

January is generally a slow month for gardening in the low desert. Take advantage of this “quiet” time by preparing and planning for the upcoming spring months. January is a good time to prepare a new vegetable garden bed for spring planting. Prepare your vegetable bed by using a digging fork or rototilling to approximately … Continue reading January Gardening In The Low Desert

Pantry Profile: Chives {Allium schoenoprasum}

With its bright green stalks and vibrant, lavender-pink and spiky blossoms, chives are a lovely ornamental plant and herb garden staple. Found fresh in the yard in summer and dried in cupboards in the cooler months of fall and winter, chives hold surprising medicinal and nutritional benefits. A member of the Amaryllidaceae family {Amaryllis}, which … Continue reading Pantry Profile: Chives {Allium schoenoprasum}

Larkspur is the Flower of the Month of July

Did you know? Larkspur is the flower of the month of July and its meaning denotes Fickleness. Larkspur Flowers are irregularly shaped and bloom in a loose, vertical grouping along the upper end of the plant's main stalk. Larkspur is actually a very complex flower consisting of both petals and sepals. KingdomPlantaeDivisionMagnoliophytaClassMagnoliopsidaOrderRanunculalesFamilyRanunculaceaeGenusDelphiniumBaker's Larkspur (Delphinium bakeri) and Yellow … Continue reading Larkspur is the Flower of the Month of July

Pest Control Begins with Sound Gardening Practices

Today, gardeners realize that a balance of insects, good and bad, is most healthful for both the garden and gardener. For the most part, gone are the days of spraying indiscriminately to eradicate pests. Now, the focus is on good gardening practices, such as soil building and planting a diversity of crops, combined with barriers … Continue reading Pest Control Begins with Sound Gardening Practices