All posts by Jannetta

Simple seedling waterer

Watering Seeds and Seedlings

Have you ever washed out the seeds you were trying to get to germinate by applying too much water?  Have you ever used a mister to avoid washing out seedlings, only to discover that they dried up due to lack of soil moisture? That has happened to me on too many occasions, so I decided to look for a way to apply the right amount of water on my seeds and seedlings and discovered a very economical way to do it. I drilled holes of…

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G. bipinnatifida

Desert verbena Glandularia spp.

Southwest Plant of the Month: Desert Verbena Glandularia spp. (Verbena spp.) Plant Form: Ground Cover Plant Size: 1′ x 2′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Pink, Purple, Red Physical Description: Flat-topped spikes of pink, lavender, rose to purple flowers on mounds of gray-green to deep green, three cleft or lobed and toothed leaves. Stems and leaves are often hairy. Care and Maintenance: Generally short-lived. Periodic shearing prolongs and renews the plant. Drought tolerant but periodic irrigation yields the best floral and…

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Puncture vine (a.k.a. Goathead) Tribulus terrestris

If you are new to gardening in New Mexico, you may not be familiar with the puncture vine, but once you step on one, you will become acquainted with this invasive weed very quickly. They are built to survive in an arid climate, and the seeds may last upward of twenty years, just waiting for the right climate in which to sprout. They are called goat heads because the fruit resembles the head of a goat or a bull. The fruits break up into several…

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Ericameria laricifolia Turpentine bush

Southwest Plant of the Month –  Ericameria laricifolia (A. Gray) Shinners  Turpentine-bush is a broadly rounded 1-3 ft. shrub with profuse, small golden-yellow flower heads and dense greenery that turns golden in the fall. Leaves are clustered toward the stem tip and are short and leathery. They emit a tart lemony scent when rubbed gently. If rubbed harder, the leaves get gummy and smell like turpentine.This small shrub bears numerous tiny yellow flowers in late summer and fall. Water Use: Low Light Requirement: Sun, Part…

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Vegetables for Decoration?

If your garden is space challenged, and you can’t decide to use the available area for vegetables or flowers, you might consider using vegetables within the flower garden. For example, lettuce makes an attractive border in a flower garden. Nasturtiums are edible flowers. Other salad ingredients, such as spinach and arugula can also be integrated with flowers. I let a patch of arugula go to seed, and last fall, found arugula growing along the garden path. By late winter, it had grown to almost two…

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Observe the “Micro Environments” in your Yard

Observe the “Micro Environments” in your Yard In general, locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are cooler spots.  Filtered shade (under trees) are also cooler.  Full sun all day requires tough plants.  Even if the tag on the plant says full sun, it may not mean full New Mexico sun.  The plant also has to stand up to the heat.  Afternoon sun can be a hot spot, especially against a wall.  Read books, check out sites on the internet, observe plants in your neighborhood,…

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Good Bug, Bad Bug

Good Bug, Bad Bug By Dudley Vines Vegetable gardeners around these parts soon learn to hate the squash bug, but check out this photo:   Spined soldier bug nymph (left) attacking squash bug nymph.     There is a wide variety of naturally occurring beneficial insects that can help keep pest insects under control if they are given a chance. Sadly, however, these insects are often misidentified and in some cases are mistaken for pests, leading to unnecessary and counter-productive insecticide applications.   Like all…

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Shovels 101

By Dudley Vines Shovels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you can pay as much as you like for a shovel.  First of all, do you want a short handle or a long handle?  According to True Temper®, short handles allow more precise digging in small spaces or in raised beds, while long handles are the standard, versatile choice and are especially useful when you need more leverage. After you decide on a long or a short handle, should that handle be…

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HOMEscape Solutions (. . . another SCMG class that really works!!)

By Charlene Spiegel I took my first HOMEscape Solutions class in the spring of 2010.  I had just moved from California to Rio Rancho the year before and I wanted to create some sort of landscape out of the never ending sand dunes that made up my ½ acre property, which was located high on the mesa just west of Unser Blvd and suffered greatly from the constant winds and blowing sand. The class made a believer out of me! Not ever having been much…

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Furman’s Red Salvia Greggii

Southwest Plant of the Month Furman’s Red Texas Sage Salvia Greggii A favorite of bee’s and hummingbirds, Salvia greggii cultivars, (Fuman’s Red) is one of many varieties of colorful and hardy salvia. Blooms in late spring and again in the fall – this variety of salvia covers itself in bright red flowers and holds a sweet aroma within its foliage. This is a drought resistant/drought tolerant (xeric) plant. Salvia (commonly referred to as ‘Sage’) represent a huge family of ornamental plants that attract a variety…

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