Tag Archives: Success Gardening in the Mojave Desert

Lupine Seedlings Emerge After Winter Rain

After years of drought we finally got good rain in the High Desert. Lupine seedlings started to emerge in December.  I have carpets of them where mud puddles collected.  Spring is on its way! Advertisements

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Farmers Flood Fields to Store Rainwater. Next is Protecting it from Evaporation

Dan Charles Recently posted a story on NPR, As Rains Soak California, Farmers Test How To Store Water Underground about farmers flooding their fields with rainwater in order to infiltrate the water into store the water in soil and replenish … Continue reading

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California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum) Adds Fall Color to High Desert Gardens

I took a lot of chances on planting California native plants slightly out of their natural range.  Most of them didn’t make it. One of the successes, among my favorites, was California fuchsia (Epilobium canun). I planted mine where the … Continue reading

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October Rain | Time to Sow Seed and Plant Bulbs

Its a perfect day for planting in the High Desert. We just had a nice October rain and there is 20% chance of rain for the rest of the day. It is warm and balmy with a light wind. In … 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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Meet VIP Member of Pest Management Team

Well, I wish the praying mantis could focus on less beneficial herbivorous insects than honey bees. Just the same, this insect carnivore,  is welcome in my garden.  This one was rather brazen and had no objection to a photo session while eating it’s … 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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Plum Good – Call for Recipes – Please?!

This blog has a mixture of recipes that I tried and recipes that look tempting all organized in one place.  I have a mountain of plums to can and quick! They are falling off of the tree faster than I … Continue reading

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Polish Up Your Soapbox: How to Rant Without Being a Big Stupid Jerk

Originally posted on The Daily Post:
We all need to let off steam sometimes, and what better place than the internet? We certainly advocate for thoughtful, reflective posts, but the odd rant can be a lot of fun to write —…

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Dance to the Spicy Taco Recipe!

  April 1, 2016: The Global Pulse Confederation (GPC) and its Partners around the world continue their celebrations of the UN-declared International Year of Pulses with the launch today of the World’s Greatest Pulse Dishes, a collection of 60+ pulse-based … Continue reading

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Bicycle trailers. Pushing/pulling the limit..

Originally posted on Happy Harvest Farm:
Well hello, and welcome back to “The adventures of the bicycle life”.  I am pleased to report that my love for the human powered machine has continued to grow.  This past week I have…

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Simple Starter Compost Pile | Wire Basket

A simple way to start a compost pile is to create a wire basket.  Take a sheet of mesh fencing such as chicken wire, hardware cloth, or chain link fencing that is readily accessible.  Overlap the sides of the mesh … Continue reading

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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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My Answer to The White Crowned Sparrow

My parents came to visit when my home was relatively new.  I showed my little vegetable garden to them with requests for advice.  One problem that I was having was that seeds would germinate, and then disappear within a day … Continue reading

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Local Gardener Skips Soil: Hydroponics Garden

Turning the desert into an ‘oasis of healthy eating   The Victorville Daily Press released an  interesting article about a local gardener who uses hydroponics to grow his vegetables.  Good read. By Rene Ray De La Cruz Staff Writer Posted … 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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Studying the National Electric Code with Frick and Frack

My new pullets needed to learn to not be afraid of humans.  I really needed to spend time with them for socialization training.  I also have a backlog of homework and studying from a series of medical issues in my … 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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Social Documentary Photography – The Isolated American West

This is the part of the world where I live. I have passed many of these places while working as an Environmental Scientist for the State of California.

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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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Margie Ruddick Is Wild by Design

Originally posted on THE DIRT:
Wild by Design / Island Press “Combining ecological function and design is now mainstream,” said landscape architect Margie Ruddick, ASLA, in a talk at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. “It’s no longer fringe.…

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Mojave Aster

Mojave Aster,  is easily one of my favorite plants.  It features large blue flowers with a yellow center.  When it opened it’s flowers in my garden this morning, I had to share it with you. My Experience Growing Mojave Aster … 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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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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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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“Angelita Daisy”

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