Question: I want to plant potatoes here in Las Vegas. Our season is timed different than others, though, so there aren't seed potatoes available now for a mid- or late July planting.
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Q: I read with interest your column in the Review-Journal on watering. Our small lawn seems to be dying in patches. We water four days a week for 20 minutes at 11 p.m. We regularly feed with Turf Builder Plus and Ironite. What should we do?
Q: I took your advice and am treating pill bugs in my garden like slugs. I have drowned them with beer but they keep coming back. My neighbor is giving me his old cans of beer. I had to dig up the rhubarb plants and put them in pots. This is sure a frustrating year.
The freeze is coming. Remember that the coldest is just before dawn. Clear, cloudless skies are more likely to give us lower temperatures and freezing; windy cold is worse than just cold. Cover tender plants before you go to bed and uncover them when it is no longer freezing.
Q: This last year we have had very little fruit on our kumquat, although the tree had been ample with fruit before. The tree appears to be healthy, just no fruit. The only difference I can think of is that in previous years I covered the tree whenever the temperature was below freezing.
Q: We have 14-year-old pine trees with large water berms under them for collecting water. The inside of these berms are full of pine needles that I hoped would help hold moisture but they do not deteriorate. Should they be left under the trees or be removed?
Q: I am having trouble finding a tree to replace ash trees. I want something that doesn’t grow so tall and does well in our climate. We took out our ash trees because they were giant and the roots were all at the surface. I am now guessing we have a soil issue. True?
Q: I have two 20-year-old ash trees that appear to be dying. I have attached pictures. The smaller tree is a Modesto ash and it started losing limbs about a year ago. The bark is now separating and it looks like an old stump with a few sprouts. The other is a Rayburn ash. Its limbs started dying this summer, but the limb deaths are accelerating.
Question: Would you please tell me what type of mulch is not recommended to put in flower beds? I thought I remembered it being redwood mulch, but I can’t find anything on that. Could it have been cedar? My landscape guy says the shredded cedar is not a problem for vegetation.
Question: What is your favorite apricot to grow in Las Vegas?
Question: I have two Santa Rosa plum trees planted in my backyard. One is planted in a lawn, and the other is in a rock landscape. Both are doing well with numerous large plums growing on them. The one in the lawn area has about 25 percent small yellow plums that fall off when I flick them or shake the branches. The remainder of the larger plums look great.
Question: I have a recently planted ocotillo. It is tied together by wire. When should I cut the ties? Also, I heard that I should spray the plant with water frequently. What’s frequently?
Question: I’m replacing my red yuccas that have grown too large for a 3-foot area. They are in full sun. They spill over into the walkway where my grandchildren have been getting stabbed by the leaves. Can tree roses handle that location?
Question: Our Spanish dagger yucca was doing great, but it’s leaning badly now. There are pups coming from the base. Is this normal?
Question: I live in a third-floor condo that faces south. I get about seven hours of direct sun and have containers on my patio with spinach, tomatoes and peppers that are doing well so far. I was wondering if there are any types of fruit trees that produce and thrive in a patio container.
Question: We have a 20-year-old olive tree in our front yard diagnosed with verticillium wilt disease. The north third of the tree appears to be healthy. If we remove this tree, what distance from the old hole is needed for the new tree? We would like a replacement tree to provide shade. We are looking at oak, pine, ash, spruce or fir.
Question: After the grapes set their fruit in the next couple of weeks, can the vine be trimmed, or does it need to grow to provide shade and nutrition to the grapes?
Q: Last week we planted several fruit trees and have established trees as well. Would you recommend applying fertilizer around these trees now? Spikes or granular type of fertilizer?
Question: On the north side of our house, we have a 10-foot-wide space we are trying to landscape. Several have suggested planting bay laurel trees, but we are concerned about the tree’s size for the space. When we went to the nursery, their suggestion was the Majestic Beauty hawthorn tree. Will the hawthorn tree do well in our climate and soils?
Question: When is the best time to spray olive trees to minimize olive fruit? One of our olives can make a mess on our neighbor’s front sidewalk and entry patio if not sprayed.
Question: I purchased a lovely Meyer Lemon tree in a 1-gallon pot in the middle of the spring. It already had six lemons on it. I have the original fruit, have new fruit growing and still am getting blossoms. Should I transplant it now into a larger pot or wait until after the fruit ripens and is used?
Question: What should we be doing to our fruit trees right now?
Question: I have planter boxes that get hours of direct sun. I’ve tried everything from corn to edamame, grapes, peppers, tomatillo and many others. I have even put up shading, but either there is too much sun or maybe I overwater. I’d like to start now and get a jump on summer.
Question: When do I no longer have to protect my citrus plants from freezing weather?
This has not been unusual weather. It’s the norm. But watch out! February can be dangerous for plants. December 1990 was one of the coldest months on record, but February 1989 was much more damaging to plants.
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