An infrequent desert rain is not a problem. But when irrigation water is applied over and over to a soil that is normally dry, these soils shift, collapse and chemically change. In urban landscapes, this can be potentially destructive.
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.
When preparing to prune plants, follow these three rules: adjusting loppers or hand shears so they don’t rip plants instead of cutting them, making sure the blade is sharp for the same reason and sanitizing the blades.
By delaying the final pruning of grapes until March 1 before new growth begins. This helps reduce disease problems from developing on the grape bunches later.
Desert willow can look shaggy during the winter because of the brown seedpods that hang from the tree. The seedpods provide a good supply of birdseed for various desert birds during the fall and winter months.
If freezing weather came through your yard, fruit trees with open or partially opened flowers will lose fruit.
Flowers and small fruit will die with the slightest freeze. Freezing temperatures can eliminate all or some of the fruit you normally would harvest this next fall or winter.
There are two strikes against citrus growing well in the Mojave Desert. The first is their variable tolerance to freezing temperatures during the winter. The second strike is that oftentimes citrus trees flower in early spring when very light freezing temperatures are possible. Tolerance to these freezing temperatures is practically nil.
Gardeners who are new to Southern Nevada might want to check out resource books written for the Las Vegas climate or secondly Tucson, Arizona, and lastly the desert Southwest.
You can typically remove about one-third of the total tree roots with no problem. This is done sometimes when trenches are cut in the soil for burying irrigation lines. But when roots are cut, about one-third of the top should be removed as well.
Bagged steer manure was used in the past as a topdressing for lawns when overseeding. It was smelly but it worked well. Now there are commercial topdressing products available.
Spraying insecticides make mite problems more likely on susceptible plants such as Italian cypress. Miticides, unlike insecticides, are less likely to cause mite problems later.