Tag Archives: Ornamental Gardening

Why is my soil so compacted?

Originally posted on Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!:
Hopefully, the ground in your yard has thawed by now (regrets to those who still have frozen ground!). So why is it that when you try to push your shovel into the…

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Plant Nutrition. Some is Good. More is worse.

Introduction When it comes to nutrients, plants can be like Goldilocks.  For healthy growth and reproduction, nutrient levels have to be just right.  Plants can suffer from both  nutrient deficiencies and nutrient toxicity.  Each species of plants has its own … Continue reading

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Rock Outcrops | Observations and Thoughts for a Desert Rain Garden

Rock outcrops show us how lush, green plants such as native cherries can flourish in a desert during a major drought without expensive irrigation water. Continue reading

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What “cover crops” could home gardeners consider in the fall?

Originally posted on Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!:
Farmers across the country use “cover crops” over the winter. Cover crops do several things, depending on what is planted: Help prevent erosion and topsoil loss. Their roots, and the plants themselves,…

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How Some Animals Can Help Compost

Good scavengers for the backyard composting include pigeons, rabbits and chickens. Continue reading

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We Have a Vacancy: Building a Bug Hotel for Solitary Bees

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on Mind Your Dirt:
Now here’s a project that doesn’t take too much time and is simply perfect for the whole family. The materials used for this are all items you can hunt for in parks or woods…

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What is Compost?

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, compost is “a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land.” Simply put, compost is what is left behind by organisms that eat dead things. Biologists call these … Continue reading

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Summary of My Training and Experience Regarding Compost

My introduction to compost was a gift from my Dad.  As a farm boy and soil scientist, he had an avid interest in compost long before it became trendy.  Some of my earliest memories were of him turning and tending … Continue reading

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Fried Egg Plant aka Matilija Poppy Adds Sizzle to Mojave Gardens

  My mother introduced me to Matilija poppy when I was a teenager.  She planted one in her front garden.  The poppy didn’t exactly like where she put it, so it literally moved.  It spread by underground stems to where … Continue reading

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Surprise Visit From Pest Management Team Member

California Herps Page for Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard – Sceloporus uniformis   I was quite surprised to find a friendly visitor in my dining room this afternoon.  A rather calm lizard was basking on the tile floor.  My cat walked by … Continue reading

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Desert Natives Nursery​ Delivers

If you are tire of spending money on plants that don’t belong here and ultimately die, a local nursery operated by horticulturists with expertise in the local ecosystem is a wise investment. For what I spent taking risks on plants that never stood a chance, I would have been better off spending more money per plant on plants that do well under local growing conditions. Continue reading

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Value of Ancient Ways – Dialog with Pat Spray Regarding His Native American Ancestor’s Use of Key Hole Gardens

For all our stunning scientific advancements, listening to grandparents talk about traditional ways is well worth while. Sure, some traditions worked out better in the long run than others. As we push the limits on technical advancements, we are learning which traditions are keepers. Native American agricultural practices that endured through thousands of years without environmental collapse are worth in-depth study. Continue reading

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Free Water in the Desert

So, I’m not the only crazy person out there who sees free irrigation water in “flooding problems” I found a great series of links to videos on stormwater and rainwater harvesting. If you want to grow more than rocks in … Continue reading

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Houzz Article Features Good Overview of Earth Friendly Gardens

Benjamin Vogt of Monarch Gardens contributed a well written article that presented features to consider and benefits of earth friendly gardens.  My favorite, was his use of swales.   5 Ideas for a More Earth-Friendly Garden https://www.houzz.com/jsGalleryWidget/gallery/65260850//title_on=yes/width=620

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Mojave Roadside Swale Blooms After Desert Rains

I maintained the grade of the roadside swale and added landscaping to solve problems: flooding of the intersection, unauthorized “off-roading” across my front yard, and unauthorized cement laying in my corner. An additional benefit has been free irrigation water in an area where water is very expensive. Continue reading

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Iris Thrives in Mojave Gardens

None of the iris that I purchased bloomed so far this year.  The iris that were given to me, on the other hand, have been spectacular.  When I compare iris that thrived to iris that either died or failed to … Continue reading

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Gardening Applications for “Lighting & Reflections”

This gallery contains 5 photos.

these sculptures have potential for high end green houses, keyhole tops and chicken coops. ……… Continue reading

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Keyhole Gardens are a Proven Strategy for Working With Caliche in Arid Regions

I learned some wonderful strategies for working with caliche layers under poor soils from the local gardening community.  Keyhole gardens are one of the approaches.  I have seen several interpretations of the keyhole garden posted on Facebook.  Then  some Julie … Continue reading

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Meet Frick and Frack

Their assigned duties will include (with time) egg laying, nutrient processing, compost processing, pest control, chicken therapy and general entertainment. Continue reading

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Apricot and Marzipan Tart Tatin

Little green apricots are showing up on my trees.  Not a heavy set, but more than enough for me to want to find new recipes.  This one looks yummy.  I can’t wait to try it.  I could even use marzipan … Continue reading

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Article Published on Need to Expand Use of Pulses.

“Pulses:
• provide plant-based proteins and amino acids,
ensuring food security.
• fight obesity due to their high fiber content.
• prevent and help manage chronic diseases such
as diabetes, coronary conditions, and cancer.
• are an important source of plant-based protein
for livestock.
• fix nitrogen, increasing soil fertility.
• are sustainable, using less water than many
other protein crops.” Continue reading

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Houzz Article Provides Good Overview of What to Consider When Planning a Backyard Farm

Article features what to consider when planning: Vegetable Garden Backyard flock of Chickens Backyard farm animals Compost Pile Backyard bee keeping Backyard clothes drying Backyard Orchard  

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Growing in the Zone

When I am selecting plants that I am not familiar with, knowing which zone my garden is in, can be really handy. Continue reading

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Rhubarb Provides Foliage For Garden and Tasty Stems for Pies and Jams

I bought a six pack of rhubarb from Cal Herbolds.  Searching for the best micro-climate, I planted them in a variety of places.  They didn’t do well in well drained sand with full sun. This rhubarb, on the other hand, … Continue reading

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Article in a nut shell, locally native milkweeds are good for monarchs. Tropical and non-native milkweeds may bloom at times that disrupt monarch migratory schedule.  Additionally, non-natives may invade natural habitat and destroy native plants needed by many species.Milkweed Can Be Bad For Monarchs?

Source: Milkweed Can Be Bad For Monarchs?

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Source for Milkweed.  I am not familiar with this nursery. I am bookmarking it for future references and thought that  I should share it with you.Asclepias Tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) Hello Yellow | Milkweed Plant | Plant For Monarch Butterflies

Asclepias Tuberosa – Carefree, long-lived N. American native both deer and drought resistant, and the only plant the monarch butterfly will lay her eggs on. Source: Asclepias Tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) Hello Yellow | Milkweed Plant | Plant For Monarch Butterflies

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This article supports use of infiltrating roof run off and road runoff in rain gardens.  More could be gained than free irrigation for native and drought tolerant gardens. Storing Extra Surface Water Boosts Groundwater Supply During Droughts | UT News | The University of Texas at Austin

Although years of drought and over-pumping have depleted groundwater in Arizona and California, a new study shows the situation has created underground reservoirs where extra surface water can be stored. Source: Storing Extra Surface Water Boosts Groundwater Supply During Droughts … Continue reading

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Banana Yucca Blooms for Easter

Happy Easter! Continue reading

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Holly Leaf Cherry Provides Dark Green Foliage With Little to No Irrigation

Native to California, the holly leaf cherry is a tough shrub to small tree that provides dense evergreen foliage, food for birds, shade, and depending on the location, privacy. Continue reading

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Firecracker Penstemon Adds Pop to Mojave Gardens

Of all the plants that I have purchased to date, firecracker penstemon has given me the biggest bang for my buck. Continue reading

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Botanic Gardens: Spring Plant Sale

On the weekend of April 2nd and 3rd, nearly 10,000 plants and more than 600 varieties will be available for you to purchase. Continue reading

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Peace, Love and Soil – Composting improves soil, gardens, moods, and relationships.

Peace, Love and Soil – Composting improves soil, gardens, moods, and relationships. Continue reading

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“Angelita Daisy”

“Angelita Daisy”, (Tetraneuris ivesiana Greene), provides color and food for bees almost year round. Continue reading

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Red Etampes Pumpkin Seeds | Buy Seeds by the Packet or in Bulk at EdenBrothers.com

I looked up a source for red pumpkin seeds to grow the pumpkin listed in the following recipe.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVxSXc_221g&google_comment_id=z13jwdkbkvz5glk3u22ezheofnjwg3ale&feature=em-comments I am currently looking for ways to eat without “white stuff” per instructions from my cardiologist.  There are a lot … Continue reading

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Dirt-free Potatoes – and That’s No Hay | Garden Maine

• By Faith Pineo • We like to try something new each gardening season and decided to give this a shot a few years back. But this method was only new to us, as our grandfather used to plant this … Continue reading

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Free Days at Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens

Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden is a great place to view and purchase plants that grow well in Southern California.  Their collections and nursery include plants that do well in the Mojave Desert.  Their botanists are also a great resource. … Continue reading

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Cool Fix for Gardening on a Hot Day – Banana Smoothie for Electrolyte Balance

These tasty treats are quick, cold, and help my body handle working and gardening in the high desert heat. Continue reading

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Peanut Butter and Jam Donuts – Cool Summer Alternative to Baking Bread

Inspired by Share Your Cool & Easy Recipes for Surviving The Desert Heat by Paulette L Motzko, this donut recipe is a low heat alternative to baking bread in the summer.  The donuts are deep fried on an induction burner that can be … Continue reading

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Discovering The High Desert Gardening Community

I started to blog about  “My Caliche Challenge” in 2013 because I felt a need to connect with others who also garden or farm in the Mojave Desert.  I was fortunate that some of my neighbors have extensive training and experience farming, … Continue reading

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Yuzu Tree

Yuzu Tree.  Add this one to my wish list! I didn’t know about Yuzu Trees until I read Cast Iron Dan’s blog.  Click on the Yuzu tree link to see his blog.  Had to laugh about the lime tree in his bedroom. … Continue reading

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Pomegranate Jelly

Pomegranate Jelly.  Pomegranate is one of the plants on my wish list. Click on the link to see Cast Iron Dan’s blog.

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Just the Basics… | Simply Made Kitchen and Crafts | Stuff Maddisen might like

via Just the Basics… | Simply Made Kitchen and Crafts.

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Introduction to Integrated Pest Management

Master Gardener, Steve Turlo, presented information on Integrated Pest Management On June 22, 2013 from 1 – 3 pm at the Newton T. Bass Apple Valley Branch Library located at 14901 Dale Evans Parkway, Apple Valley, CA 92307. Introduction to … Continue reading

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