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Bob Morris

Bob Morris

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.

Grape varieties grown in hot dry climates do best here

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.

Soil prep, temps important for seed germination

Many people contacted me about whether they could plant seeds or put transplants into the ground because of this unusually cold weather. My answer was the same to them as it is here. It depends.

Freezing temps more damaging to plants this time of year

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.

THE LATEST
Spraying dormant oil now controls bugs for coming year

Maybe gardeners aren’t busy in Minnesota or Iowa during the winter, but for gardeners living in the Mojave Desert, it is probably our busiest time of year. I’m asked about spraying dormant oils on trees, but most people don’t know anything about them. It’s a shame because it’s probably the most important method to control bugs that may become problems during the coming year. It’s good insurance.

In desert , Bartlett sets fruit better than Bosc, Anjou

Q: I planted a Bosc pear tree seven years ago not realizing it required a second pollenizer pear tree. For several years, I did get a few pears even though the tree had lots of flowers. I think my neighbor’s pear tree was the pollenizer, but it seems to be failing. I have no room to plant a pollenizer pear tree. Not sure what to do.

Using fertilizer injector system depends on lifestyle

Q: I recently installed an underground fertilizer injector, and I was told to discontinue fertilizing by hand. Does this injector replace fertilizing plants by hand? Is it beneficial as a supplement? If so, how often should it be used?

Select plants that are adaptable to our desert climate

Q: We are moving to a new house and want to plant a row of trees by the fence for privacy and security. A local nursery suggested Carolina cherry and Japanese privet, but we heard these trees will not do well in this climate. Another suggestion was the African sumac. What would you suggest? We want evergreen for privacy.

Lack of water causes established trees to die back

Q: Around town and in my neighborhood, many midlife trees are dying. In beautiful large trees, there are dead branches and sometimes just a fully dead tree. Some trees are planted in gravel and some in a yard. Do you notice that also?

Aphids are a huge problem because they reproduce rapidly

Q: I have a small crape myrtle tree with leaves that were constantly wet this year. The ground and plants underneath were always wet. Now that the leaves are gone. I can see the branches are also wet. Another tree I have is perfectly dry and normal. What’s causing this and how can I correct it?