Search Results for: Don Gardner

Resources

How Not to Kill Your Trees Pt. 2

…with the mower or trimmer. This is especially important for fruit trees, young trees, and soft trunk trees like crepe myrtles. Don‘t install raised bed gardens around the trunks of the trees. Most of the roots are in the top 12 to 18 inches and the increased moisture, compaction and lack of air flow will decay the trunk and eventually kill the tree. It may take several years for the damage to appear, so no one ever thinks the raised bed actually…

Cucumber growing

by Trisha Shirey Cucumbers are pretty easy to grow. They do have very long vines, so you’ll want to have a sturdy trellis for them. I find that they do really well on my 4 x 4 livestock panel fencing mounted on T-posts. The cucumbers climb up with their own tendrils. But there are space saver types, cucumbers that you can grow in containers. Look for bush varieties in your growing area. Cucumbers want sun and warm, fertile soil to grow. Start s…

How Not to Kill Your Trees

Trees are our most important landscape elements and can add to the value of our homes. Many of the problems that trees have are a result of human error, not nature. Here are some mistakes to avoid that will kill your trees. Avoid planting trees too close together or too near the house. Plant most large trees no closer than 10 to 12 feet from the house. If an oak tree is going to be 40 feet in diameter at mature size, it should be 20 feet from…

Seeds Versus Transplants

How do you decide when to plant seeds or transplants? Seeds are cheaper to buy and there is a wide selection of plant varieties to choose from especially when you order from catalogs and online. The seed packet will be the best source of information about how and when to plant the seeds. Beans and radishes germinate quickly and form roots quickly, so don’t require the extra work of starting them indoors. Some plants don’t really like…

Sonoran Simple Salsa

…les to taste (10 chile tepins or pequins usually equate to medium-hot) pour in tomato sauce (optional) add very small amounts of chopped white onion (no more than a quarter of a small onion) (optional) add squeezed juice from 1/8th slice of lime blend or puree briefly (3-5 seconds), but make sure all cilantro stems are liquified, so repeat as necessary for best results, pour salsa into a container and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. If you s…

Freezing Herbs for Year Round Use

…s as needed. They may also be minced finely after they thaw a bit. Herbs may also be preserved in oil or butter. This method requires a bit more work to prepare but the color and flavor are much superior. To prepare: Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of clean, dry herb leaves to a food processor. Pulse to chop coarsely and drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil (or oil of choice) or one stick of butter, cut into chunks. Process, scraping bowl frequently. Add gar…

Tough Plants

All these plants are pretty tough. You won’t have to worry about insects with them. Cast iron plant Wants dry shade (in fact, it’s perfect for that dark shady spot where nothing else will grow) When leaves start to look battered or brownish, cut them to the ground Evergreen, but cut back in spring to encourage new growth Works indoors too Flame acanthus (Anisacanthus wrightii) Drought tolerant, doesn’t need a rich soil Deer don‘t li…

Freezing and Drying Vegetables and Fruits

If you can’t eat everything from the garden or give it away, how can you save it to use in the future? Freezing is simple! Put tomatoes in freezer bags that lay flat to conserve space. They’ll be fine later for drinks, sauces, and soups. Freeze diced peppers and onions, perfect for casseroles and curries and soups. Slice okra (and even bread it) for fried okra any time! Or just slice it and bag it for gumbos and stews. Green beans, peas, and cor…

Other Search Results

Fruits of our labors even if some took “almost” a century

…at their cold hardiness. I fell in love with an A. celsii ‘Tricolor’, as it was called then, which is rated for a zone or two just warmer than us. First crazy freeze and they were mush. My regular celsii didn’t fare well in 17 degrees but did return, just slightly modified. Do take a serious look at their mature size, too. This cute little A. americana will grow up fast, and it won’t take even 10 years! Event note: The Cactus & Succulent…

Spring into summer with gusto

Can you believe this? We’ve had spring (and winter!) longer than 15 minutes. Poppies keep popping up with spuria iris. I can’t have too many native winecups. In the cat cove, they team up with Gulf penstemon and Calylophus berlandieri ssp. Pinifolius. And this time of year is just about my favorite on the patio, when Marie Pavie and star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) double up on perfume whammy. In a Temple garden we taped recentl…