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.
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Question: Have you ever heard of adding vinegar or citric acid when fertilizing plants in our area?
Q. I am interested in raising dragon fruit. Any suggestions or comments?
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?
Q: I have a pomegranate plant that I started two years ago. It is about four feet tall now, and looks like it wants to be a bush.
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.
Don’t forget that one of the places you can visit to see a holiday lights display is Ethel M Chocolates Botanical Garden at 2 Cactus Garden Drive in Henderson near the intersection of East Sunset and Mountain Vista.
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.
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.
Question: This question is regarding our bottle tree. Should we trim and shape the tree? It has grown to a considerable height. The wind, appearance, and health of the tree are our concerns. Does the cracking on the trunk need addressing? And should I wrap the trunk in winter?
Q . Before the first freeze in Las Vegas what should I feed my bougainvillea? I have three plants, all in the ground. They are 6 years old and I wrap their bases before the freeze. They always come back come March and bloom beautifully August through October.
Question: I had a 3-year-old mesquite tree in my front yard that just blew over in the wind today. The landscapers planted it in the grass without a drip system. I was told watering the lawn would be enough for the tree. Today, the landscapers told me it fell because of the roots being at the surface. Do you recommend putting in the drip line for a new tree?
Q: Is it too cold to dethatch my Bermuda grass lawn? Do I have to wait until next year? What about overseeding? Is it also too late? If I need to wait, then when?
Question: We are considering planting a couple of pistachio trees. Is this a good move? If so, should we plant them in full sunlight or in a spot that gets sun only part of the day?
Question: Do you have any suggestions on fruit trees for the Amargosa Valley area? I have an apiary out there, so I try to plant things that are good for the bees but that will survive the heat and cold.
Q: I planted a pomegranate tree two years ago and this year it produced six fruits. One was of decent size while the others were on the small side. When the large one split, I picked it only to find the inside was light pink. The seeds were well-developed but not the expected red color.
Question: I’m super excited to order some fruit trees this year from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Orchard, but it only makes sense for us to have them in large containers. Which varieties would do well in containers?
Q: I heard about a cherry tree from the Dave Wilson Nursery website that has very low chill hours. Can we order these from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Orchard?
Question: I live in Summerlin and have a Bartlett pear tree. I wish to plant an apple with a harvest time far from the Bartlett pear so I don’t have too much fruit at once. Which apple varieties would be best? I have received conflicting information from local sources.
Q: We have an Elberta peach that we harvest in August and the fruit is always small and on the mushy side. Are there better peaches we can grow?
Question: I have one black mission and one white fig planted six years ago. The second crop of figs are small and easily fall off. I’m guessing they get 6 gallons every other day during the heat. Both trees grow very rapidly and are very healthy. What can be done to increase fig growth?
As I promised, here is an abbreviated version of the problem and solutions to rabbit vandalism in residential landscapes.
Question: I am sending you a picture of my funky-looking tree. I think it has some sort of disease problem.
Q: I planted six Podocarpus in March, three by the north wall and three by the south wall. Now the three on the north wall have leaves that are turning brown. The three on the south wall are fine. I didn’t realize that the trees would get this much sunscald. Any suggestions on what I can do, besides give them macronutrients and hope for the sun to change course?
Question: We planted a very small fig tree next to our wall 11 years ago, and now it is taking over the whole backyard. I heard the roots can do considerable damage to our plumbing and wall.