Crop rotation has been around for more than 150 years as a good management technique for reducing disease and fertilizer problems, whether you grow a small number of plants or large numbers.
Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. Send questions to Extremehort@aol.com.
Asparagus usually grows well here, but there are some differences among the varieties. Stay away from heirloom varieties such as Mary Washington because they don’t produce enough spears in any climate.
Although large pine trees provide shade, they require excessive watering to remain healthy.
Grapeleaf skeletonizer and grape flea beetle were found in the orchard during the last couple of days. These two pests damage grape leaves but few other plants.
Q: The top ring of sago palmfronds died after I transplanted it but remain on the plant. I left this brown ring of fronds around the crown of the plant and it looks like new growth coming from the center is OK. Should I trim off the dead fronds without disturbing the crown or just let them fall off?
Q: I see many times where you’ve said fruit trees only need feeding in the spring. However, without periodic applications of nitrogen, my 3-year-old peach tree leaves become yellow. Could there something going on I should investigate?
Q: I purchased a few waxleaf privet plants in February. They were planted in my yard using drip irrigation with one drip emitter per plant for about one month now. I am starting to see some black markings and yellowing on the leaves. I also think there may be some root rot, but I am unsure.
If you have fruit trees, the next big tree management activity you are facing is fruit thinning or removing excessive amounts of fruit so that the remaining fruit gets larger. Peaches, nectarines, plums, apples and pears must have excessive fruit removed if you want larger fruit. Do this as soon as the fruit reaches the size of your thumbnail.
Q: Peaches from my dwarf peach tree were very small again last year. This is the third year the fruit developed into a small size. We fertilize them twice a year with vegetable spikes and our in-ground system fertilizer system has Dr. Benson’s Natural Mix added five times per year. Any suggestions?
Q: I have some tomatoes and pepper plants in pots. They are about 18 inches tall. Is it too early to plant them in my raised bed garden? It’s been too cold lately to plant.
Q: I am from San Miguel Community Garden, a nonprofit garden located near the North Las Vegas Airport. We are considering adding more grape plants to the garden. We have Flaming Red and Thompson grapes. You said you have grown many different varieties in the Las Vegas Valley, and I was wondering if you would share with me other varieties that were successful for you so we can explore them as well.
Q: I want to propagate my prickly pear and bunny ear cactus. Should I place the cuttings immediately in the ground or in a pot and plant them in the ground later?
Another freeze went through the valley this past week along with some unusually cold weather. Freezing temperatures are more damaging to plants as we enter the spring months because plants are starting to wake up from their winter dormant period. These same plants might have no problems with these temperatures in December and January.