Autumn Sage

Autumn sage, Cherry sage –Salvia greggii

Southwest Plant of the Month: Autumn sage, Cherry sage –Salvia greggii Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3′ x 2′ Plant Type: Semi-evergreen Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Colors: Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow Physical Description: Brilliant 1″ flowers slightly above glossy, bright green aromatic leaves on woody, densely foliaged branches. Flowers normally cherry red to pink but also white, yellow, orange, rose and purple. Care and Maintenance: Pruning required to reinvigorate foliage and blooming. Spittle bugs. Odd colored flower varieties often not…

Read More »

Save Some Seeds

Save some seed for Sandoval County Seed Library

Many of you know that SCMG has a Seed Library project at Esther Bone Memorial Library in Rio Rancho. Well, I’ll bet you didn’t know that we also have a second location at Loma Colorado Main Library. That’s because we didn’t advertise this Seed Library’s late season opening. But, it’s time you know. Within the first month of operation, the Sandoval County Seed Library at Loma Colorado Library had 23 members. They “borrowed” all herb and flower seed and many of the vegetable varieties have…

Read More »

Preserving Yarrow

Yarrow adds color to gardens in the spring, but by the middle of July the flowers fade and turn brown. Usually, the stems and leaves are still green. How can the intrepid gardener maintain the color in the garden? Yarrows are perennials. You can’t pull them out to replace them. Cutting the spent flowers leaves the stems, which are not ugly, but lack color. But, there is a low-cost, easy way to maintain the color until the end of the year. When most of the…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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,…

Read More »

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…

Read More »