XERISCAPING In most instances, xeriscape principles and landscape best practices are one and the same thing. Let’s take a brief look at xeriscaping (what it is and what it isn’t) to dispel misconceptions that have dogged the concept since the Denver Water Co. formulated it more than 30 years ago. The city’s water agency correctly […]

Pesto Italiano … Grow the Basil & Garlic

Imagine our surprise that this wonderful Italian sauce … PESTO … can be just about anything.  That PESTO is simply Italian for anything ground or smashed with a mortar and pestle. Thus, “pesto” from a can, jar, restaurant or neighbor is some unknowable combination of smashed, hopefully edible, plants.  And, whether it includes peppers, spinach or whatever, […]

Fall Planting of Spring Flowering Bulbs – Color Galore!

Tips from our plant doctor, Jon Bruyn: As we enjoy the gorgeous fall colors, it’s time to think about next spring’s color. I just finished planting spring bulbs in several spots that had no color last spring because my perennial flowers were still asleep. I decided to incorporate more bulbs this year to solve this […]

Organic Can Be “Easy”

Tips from Plant Doctor Jon Bruyn By now, most gardeners are familiar with “organic gardening.” While many of you are followers of organic gardening, I imagine you have discovered some of its drawbacks. For example, an organic pesticide will not kill every insect in your yard and may not work as quickly as a chemical […]

What Does “Feed Your Soil” Really Mean?

Healthy Soil The Organic Way! If you know anything about organic gardening, you’ve heard the phrase ‘feed your soil.’ While it sounds like a good thing to do, you may wonder what it means. It may seem that working in fertilizer should do it; that’s feeding, right? In truth, feeding your soil properly is at […]

Updated … What is going on with our bees?

Below is our post on the 2006 bee colony collapse that brought attention and additional research to study this potentially huge problem.  Since this post, bee hives and bee populations have increased significantly and the causes of the collapse have been studied without the hysteria of a problem without a solution. The most recent USDA […]

Could We Benefit From More Trees?

Local Tree Canopy Lacking! This beautiful tree canopy and the combined tree canopy covering and protecting our northern Nevada community are important markers for determining the “green” space necessary to provide ideal living conditions.  We don’t have many local trees with this kind of dense canopy but the real issue is the total tree canopy […]

Winter Watering in the High Desert … Usually, Yes!

Successful  year-round landscaping makes us all winter bed wetters. Yup, it’s too dry in the high desert and again we must pull hoses this winter. Plants in the ground – especially newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials – need the equivalent of one inch of precipitation per month. If we have a dry period that lasts longer […]

Fertilizing in the High Desert

Plant Fertilizer Basics for the High Desert  Reading a bag of plant fertilizer can be an intimidating experience. Most people, especially those new to gardening, are not sure what to make of “NPK” or the three numbers that appear on every bag – but seem to be different on every bag. We’ve all been there.  […]

Using Cow Manure In Your Garden

Why don’t people use cow manure as much today??? Answer … Because it is smelly and no fun to handle!  Actually, steer manure has always been considered a good, cheap fertilizer and many old timers still swear by it.  The problem is that most cow and chicken manures are high in salts, which can burn (or […]