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Bay laurel a bad choice of trees

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?

Get pot-bound citrus in the ground

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?

Keep gardens out of full western sun

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.

Move plants when temperature permits

For those who would like quality roses, Plant World Nursery on West Charleston Boulevard has brought in Weeks roses. These are high quality roses. They will cost more than roses produced for mass merchandisers but they are high quality. For a recommended rose for the desert, visit my blog and search for “best roses for the desert.”

Queen palms require much to survive here

Question: During the excessive hot spell in July, our irrigation failed while we were out of town. As a result, one of our queen palms lost all of its branches. In spite of subsequent life support, it does not appear to be coming back. Is that too much to hope for? Is there anything we can do to help it recover, or should we just mourn its passing?

Damage to covered oleanders may be minimal

Reports from the weather station at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension orchard in North Las Vegas put the low temperatures Dec. 6 and 10 at 20 F with daytime highs around the same as the inside of a refrigerator. I am sure this caused some damage to plants. I posted the weather report on my blog for those interested.

Winter-tender trees best planted early fall, spring

Question: I have seven fruit trees, including some citrus, that I planted in half whiskey barrels about three years ago. They all have had fruit the past two years. I want to transplant them into the ground in order to get more fruit. Is it best to transplant them in the fall or early spring?

Wood mulch can cause collar rot

Question: I planted about 12 gardenias a couple of months ago, and they appear to be dying. I checked the soil, and it’s evenly damp. They have two, 2 gallon-per-hour emitters, and they were all being watered three times a week for 20 minutes.

Prune flowering shrubs just after a bloom

Question: When is it best to prune crape myrtle? I’ve heard before winter and again just before spring. The last two years, I trimmed back the branches (it is only about 5 feet tall) about one-third of the way in late February. What is right? We live in Aliante.

Taste best way to tell if lemon is ripe

Q. How do I determine the best time to pick lemons? Mine are yellow with some being very firm and others feeling “givey.” This has been a good year and my Meyer lemon “bush” will afford us lemon curd and juice for the next year.