This Way Is Mulch, Mulch Better

mulch in a garden

What would you say if I told you about one little thing you can do for your plants that will reduce watering needs, increase the disease-fighting capabilities of the plants, help them become more heat tolerant, and add to the overall health of the soil? You’d probably say, “Wow, Garden Guy, I always knew you were brilliant!” It’s mulch. I wish I could take credit, but the idea really belongs … Read More →

Fall Gardening Fun

vegetable garden

We are coming up on the most productive time of year for gardening in the Southwest. The first thing to remember is that the soil needs a lot of organic material. This makes for a richer, more productive, chemical-free garden. To achieve good soil, lay down a 6-inch layer of compost, then add blood meal and bone meal (about 5 pounds per 50 square feet). Use a hard rake and … Read More →

Wildflowers

wildflowers

This spring’s glorious wildflower show can be re-created in your own garden — be it a flower-filled meadow, a few pots on a patio or balcony or anything in between. Wildflower gardening may be enjoyed by all gardeners, from beginners to advanced. Wildflowers can also be incorporated into any style of landscape from naturally wild to a more manicured landscape. With some planning, some cooperative rain and a little patience, … Read More →

Summer Vegetable Gardens

Row of corn

Well, the hot weather is here. To get a great summer vegetable garden, you have to think about which plants work well in the heat. To start, it is important to remember to give your plants a well-prepared garden bed. I recommend raised beds that receive afternoon shade. If you would like to try your hand at a summer vegetable garden, start with a few of my favorites (listed below). … Read More →

Structural Elements

climbing flowers on a trellis

There are many ways to start a garden, but one essential, often overlooked, element is structure. It not only adds dimension to your garden, but structure in any garden provides stable, beautiful areas with which to stabilize your plants. There are three types of structures that work in just about any garden — I’ve outlined them below. Teepee Trellis: This structure can be made of wooden stakes, bamboo poles or … Read More →

Gardening in Small Spaces

plants in pots

These days, Valley homes have smaller yards, which means less space for gardens. And for folks in apartments, having a garden seems like an impossible dream. If you grow a garden in a container, though, you can grow almost anything, almost anywhere. All you need is water, sun and afternoon shade. One of my favorite container gardens is a hydro-garden. In this garden, plants grow in a solution of water … Read More →

Citrus Trees

citrus tree

Citrus trees are a great addition to any landscape. They are easy to grow and take very little care. (Anyone who thinks it takes a lot of care to reap the rewards of citrus unnecessarily induce most of the problems.) If you’re considering planting a citrus tree, go to a reputable source. I like Greenfield Citrus — you can look at all the varieties. And this time of year, you … Read More →

Starting a Spring Garden

raised beds

It’s almost spring and that means that it’s time to start planning out exactly what you would like to include in your garden. I have grown flowers and vegetables many different ways, but the gardens I prefer to work with are raised beds. I also like potted gardens (You know, just planting vegetables and flowers in a variety of pots). Both of these types of gardens keep critters from eating … Read More →

The Bare Bones About Bare Root

Guava tree

Bare root fruit and nut trees do very well in this region. Apples, guavas, oranges, blackberries and pecans thrive in the desert and bring diversity to your garden. To produce fruit, deciduous fruits and nuts have minimum low-temperature requirements. When it gets down to 45 degrees or below for 60 minutes, you’ve got yourself a “chill hour.” Different types of trees have different chill-hour requirements. Choose varieties with low minimums, … Read More →


Dave Owens the Garden Guy
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