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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
Growing artichokes in the desert can be a challenge

Q: I contacted you earlier about my artichoke and tiny black bugs. I applied a solution of Garden Safe Neem Oil as a spray. Hosed it down a couple times so cut off the top few inches of leaves. No pests since then. The main plant is dying, and there are several suckers growing. I have been looking online for the care of the plant.

Cold winter temperatures are detrimental to growing citrus

Q: Why does your list of recommended fruit trees have no citrus? I understand the problem with freezing during the winter, but nurseries and garden centers here sell citrus. If I could provide some sort of wind block from cold winter winds and some frost protection, would lemons or oranges have a chance or are they just generally doomed?

Ripe figs attract omnivores this time of year

Q: Your advice has helped me get a couple of dozen figs off my relatively young trees this year. However, the attached photos show where there were two figs a few days ago and now they are entirely eaten. I have a net over them so I don’t think it’s birds, and I cannot see bugs anywhere on the plant.

Oxalis can be difficult to control in Bermuda grass

Q: We have a very lovely and well-tended hybrid Bermuda lawn. This past fall, and now this summer, it has been invaded by a weed called oxalis. What are your suggestions for killing this weed and not damaging our lawn?

Pomegranate resilient in desert, but watch overwatering

Q: A combination of overwatering and this heat caused my 9-year-old dwarf pomegranate leaves to yellow and drop on about a third of the plant. I turned off the water and hand watered it with small amounts of water. The only thing I did differently was to give the plants a small dose of Miracle-Gro in the spring. Any suggestions?

No quick fix for old irrigation system at condo community

Q: You emphasized it’s better to water longer rather than more often. But what if that’s not possible? Our small condo community has an old irrigation system with everything watered from the same lines. We irrigate for nearly 24 hours. Less than that and small plants really struggle. Is there anything we can do?

Humidity of monsoon season can cause plant disease problems

This is the time of year we see a rise in humidity along with a threat from afternoon rains. This rise in humidity and high nighttime temperatures can also bring plant disease problems. You can do something now to prevent diseases before they occur.

Higher priced potting soils are worth added expense

Q: Please settle a disagreement between my wife and me. Each spring my wife plants several plants in pots for our patio using bagged potting soil. Each year a few of them die and others live. This happened two years in a row. I contend the potting soils need to have some real dirt mixed in with it to make them better.

Intense sunlight can damage grapes

Q: I need confirmation of a problem with my grapes. A gardening Facebook group is certain my grape berries have thrip damage this year. I sent you a picture to confirm it or not.

Ponderosa, Meyer are not true lemons

Q: We have a 30-foot-tall lemon tree planted in late 2006. This tree produces large fruit, averaging 15 ounces to more than a pound. I consider this tree to be perpetual as it flowers fruit and maintains a crop in development at the same time. My question is, do we pick the ripe fruit or let them fall as they may?

Garden produce attracts foraging gray rats

Q: Once again I had a fairly good crop of tomatoes this year. One problem, though, a lot of ripe tomatoes are disappearing overnight. Are gray rats known for foraging and consuming garden produce? I spotted one about a week ago going over a side wall in my yard.

Avocado tree may not survive winter temperatures

Q: I am trying to grow an avocado tree. I have it in a container, and it’s now 22 inches tall. When is the best time to transplant, and what is the best way to take care of it in our desert?

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