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Bob Morris

Gardening columnist

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert and professor emeritus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.

The Latest
Bermuda grass can invade lawns when water is scarce

Let’s focus on controlling Bermuda grass this fall. Common Bermuda grass is sometimes called “devil’s grass” by old-timers. All types of Bermuda grass, from common (the weed) to hybrid Bermuda (think golf course), like heat, sunlight and water but can invade when water is scarce and other plants struggle to shade the ground.

Mid-October is best planting time of year

This is the best planting time of the year right now. When planting trees, shade the south and west walls and windows of a home to reduce the cost of summer cooling.

Soil consistency in landscape makes irrigation easier

Whether you add compost to the existing soil at planting or bring in a totally different soil mix, make sure the soil is as consistent as possible throughout the landscape. Making the soil the same when planting makes knowing when to irrigate much easier to figure out and schedule.

Location is all-important when selecting landscape plants

Now is the optimum planting time during the fall and also the time when nurseries begin their fall planting sales. Location is all-important when selecting landscape plants and matching them to their correct landscape microclimate.

Water plants if it’s a hot, bright, windy day

Most of the damage done to plants during high summer temperatures was due to a lack of water. And if there are strong winds, they also use more water. The bottom line, if it’s a hot, bright, windy day, it’s time to water now.

Planting calendar will help when growing vegetables

It is important to select good varieties of vegetables to plant in the fall, and the publications by Dr. Sylvan Wittwer, formerly of Logandale, make some solid, old-fashioned varietal recommendations he has had success growing in this area.

Wait until end of September to plant trees, shrubs, fruit

Planting can occur almost 12 months of the year in our climate, but there are times to plant that are better than other times. For the best times, begin planting most trees, shrubs and fruit around the end of September.

Roses only need water every other day in summer

Roses do not need daily watering, even during the hottest days. If the soil was prepared correctly at planting time and the soil surface covered in wood chips, they should get watered — at the most during the hottest times — every other day.

Renewal pruning will reinvigorate hibiscus

Renewal pruning, cutting deep inside the shrub and removing larger wood, results in a flush of sucker growth from the remaining stubs that will be succulent and produce lots of leaves and flowers.

Bird pecking can indicate fruit is ready to harvest

Plums and pluots improve in flavor when they are kept on the tree longer and harvested closer to their mature date. These fruits are normally harvested from the end of July to the first or second week of August in our climate.

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