Hot Gardens Newsletter: Winter 2006
List of previous newsletters by
New Years Resolutions for 2006--and every year into
the future! Rather than an ambitious list of
positive things to do this year in your garden, we suggest
only two. Both can make a significant difference to the
planet we all share and to you, individually.
1. Plant a Tree --
Even If It Is A Small One. Trees are
wonderful air purifiers, so your new tree will help improve
air quality for all of us. Better yet, if you plant a
nectarine or other small fruit tree, you will have delicious
fruit to enjoy and add to your property value, too.
2. Change Just One Light
Bulb. Replace one 100 watt incandescent light
bulb with a 27 watt compact fluorescent light bulb and over
the 4.5 year lifespan of that one fluorescent bulb you will
prevent 94 pounds of additional greenhouse gases from going
into the air.
Yes, we know that fluorescent bulb
are more expensive initially -- about the cost of a
Starbucks cafe latte -- but over the life of the bulb you
will save about $73 in energy and bulb replacement costs.
We have "walked the walk" on this topic -- replacing all our
entry and hallway lights with compact fluorescent bulbs.
The Small Backyard Orchard.
Think you do not have space for an
orchard? During a recent visit to the Las Vegas Spring
Preserve gardens we saw a compact orchard producing
significant amounts of fruit.
plums are planted quite densely in an
area of about 20 feet by 50 feet. The trees have
been trimmed to maintain only a small separation
With over 300 days of sunshine
annually in Las Vegas, the trees receive all the sunlight
they need even though they are close together. And these
fruit trees will grow even in other places with less annual
sunshine. The dense planting shades the ground to keep
the soil and roots cool. And the gardeners, obviously,
provide fertilizer and water.
You can find more information about
fruit trees for hot, dry climates on this website.
(Note: the original desert demonstration garden in Las Vegas is now
closed. But, believe us, they had many fruit trees in
a very small space!)
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is amazing to see wildfires sweeping across the states of
Oklahoma and Texas in January -- a time of year when that
landscape is usually covered with snow. It is terrible
proof that drought is a year long event. It is also a good
reminder to continue irrigating your desert garden in winter
-- at least in the lower desert altitudes. Trees,
especially, should be deep-watered every couple of weeks in
A Note of Caution.
If you are buying bare root roses at this time of year,
check to be sure that the stems have some flexibility. If
they are dry like a stick and shriveled, they may simply be
dead. We prefer to purchase our rose bushes in Spring when
we can be certain they are healthy.