Desert Horticulture

Desert Horticulture

Desert Horticulture is as unique to horticulture as the desert to other environments. Growing plants in the desert is part science and part art. The science must be "tweeked" to grow plants successfully here. This podcast takes questions from listeners, and topic suggestions that are current, and discusses how to 'tweek" the science for Desert Horticulture.... Show More

Episodes

September 17, 2020 42 min

According to some, this past summer heat was hard on plants. Was it the heat or was it something else? Listen and find out. All this and more on this episode of Desert Horticulture.

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July 3, 2020 44 min

Plants don't care where their nutrients come from. Its not the source of the nutrients that is the problem. Toxicities arise in fertilizers when and how it is manufactured or mined. That is not to say that so-called organic fertilizers are blameless and that topic will be handled in another podcast. Learn how plants use nutrients, which nutrients are important for plant growth and why. Learn how to apply fertilizers and when in...

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HOA's have the daunting responsibility to keep landscapes attractive and save money at the same time. Two of the most expensive costs to community members in desert HOA's is the water bill and landscaping bill. Landscapes can be attractive and not ruin the resale value of its homes for community members, and all the while keep water costs to a minimum, by following some simple rules. Learn what they are and how to implement...

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June 20, 2020 44 min

Ever hear of the Damascus rose? Syria is a pretty dry place. Roses can do quite well growing in the desert. But you should know which ones to use, which landscape locations are best, how to plant them and care for them to look good. This audio podcast will tell you how. Also read about them on my blog at  https://xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com/2020/06/this-isthe-time-of-year-when-garden.html

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Thinning fruit, or fruit removal so the remaining fruit becomes larger, doesn't work on all fruit trees. Some are "thinned" during the pruning stage, Some trees dont seem to care if they are thinned or not. They produce the same regardless. Learn which ones to thin and why on this episode of Desert Horticulture.

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Bottle trees (Brachychiton pupulneus) are NOT desert trees. Many people believe they are but they come from semi arid parts of Australia and should be watered, planted and managed as mesic not xeric plants. Spider mites are the bane of many gardeners whether they are found on Italian cypress or tomato plants. Learn how to identify and manage them. Plant yellowing is common in the desert either resulting from a plant nutrient shorta...

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March 3, 2020 22 min

I would like to see you do three things to your landscape the day after a rain in the desert; make sure your irrigation applications are away from cement and steel structures, inspect your landscape and fruit trees and shrubs for borer activity and take care of any mushroom problems that appear. Water in the desert is very destabilizing. Desert soils are formed under eons of dry weather. Keep water away from cement and steel. Borer...

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Are you frustrated that during the last few years early spring freezes eliminated your peach crop? Want to learn what plants are growing in your yard to take better care of them? Want to know how to prune a miniature or genetic dwarf peach tree? Learn all this and more on this episode of Desert Horticulture.

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February 27, 2020 39 min

Have you ever wondered how desert landscapes should differ from landscapes in wetter climates? Desert landscapes must endure hotter and drier weather and they require a whole new set of plants. We will learn why desert landscaping and landscape design are not just cacti and rock. We will compare it to Xeriscape and how it might differ from landscape designs in Colorado, New Mexico, West Texas and most of Utah. All this and more on ...

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This second episode discusses how to implement water conservation measures in desert landscape irrigation practices. Specifically it discusses how desert irrigation systems should be divided (valved) separately for the type of plants used (xeric vs mesic plants) and the size of the plants. Small plants should be irrigated separately from trees and large shrubs. It also discusses the use of a long metal rod (rebar) and inexpensive s...

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Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) has been grown in China for 4000 years as a fruit. It tolerates a wide range of climates including our dry, harsh desert. In this interview with Rafael for Desert Horticulture, learn how this tree has been cultivated in our Mojave Desert climate with few pest or management problems. Also learn how Rafael has developed some promising new cultivars that specifically were selected for our desert due to their p...

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Desert plants (xeric) use water differently from non-desert plants (mesic). Learn in this episode of Desert Horticulture how to irrigate desert plants and why terms like xeric, mesic, ET and others are an important first step when learning how to water a desert landscape.

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This episode of Desert Horticulture examines the possibility that verticillium wilt could be responsible for live die back in Desert Willow. The second question asks about soil amendments added to soil mixes such as Rock Dust, vermiculite or perlite. What are the reasons for adding them and why not? The third question compares Desert Museum Palo Verde with crepe myrtle and how they differ when managing them in the landscape and why...

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Three popular questions I was sent include improving the size of Bartlett pears, whether a pomegranate can be planted during the winter or not, and what are whiteflies and what damage do they create? In this episode I talk about the three major types of pears that can be grown in the Mojave Desert, how to get them bigger and when to pick them. I also talk about the best times to plant a pomegranate and what to be careful about. Fin...

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The dead of winter is not the only time to prune fruit trees. Fruit trees can be pruned 12 months of the year you just have to know what you're doing and do it carefully in the desert. Find out what kind of pruning you can do outside of the winter months on this episode of Desert Horticulture.

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November 26, 2019 26 min

Your plants are telling you something. Maybe not in English but if you observe them they are talking to you. That dark green color of leaves after you fertilize is a good indicator of high nitrogen fertilizer, good growth tells you plenty of nitrogen was present earlier in the season. Leaf scorch might tell you the plant is in the wrong spot or planted wrong. Yellow leaf color may be due to a lack of nutrients, improper watering, o...

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Don't know which fruit trees or varieties to grow and you live in a desert? You should hurry before the best ones are gone! I just received a Grow Organic fruit tree catalog and I wanted to walk through it with you if you are planning to grow fruit trees in the Mojave Desert. My experience is in two different locations in the Mojave (or Mohave) Desert for 25 years; for 18 years at the University of Nevada Research and Demonstra...

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Principles never change. How to apply them changes because you live in the desert. Vegetable production is the same in the Mojave Desert as it was in Michigan, Idaho, Utah or California. The APPLICATION of these principles change. Learn from this podcast the basic principles important when growing high quality vegetables in the desert.

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Italian cypress is a Mediterranean plant which means it can survive in hot Mojave Desert residential landscapes. But some problems exist that can turn these plants into a brown mess like watering too often, planting them in the wrong soil, pests and even borers! These can get big! Can you control their height? Come and learn about where and if these plants should be in your landscape, how to take care of them including pruning and ...

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October 29, 2019 27 min

Roses do beautifully in the desert for about 8 months of the year. The worst time is the middle of summer but they must be planted and irrigated correctly. Learn how to select, plant and grow roses so they stay beautiful all year long in the desert. 

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