Shady Way Gardens Bits and Briefs
It's gone!! One of the more hellacious Junes has finally passed. But where has it gone? Probably into a hellacious July! So the gardening watchword for July is the same as for June. It's water, water, water those unestablished, newly planted and small trees, shrubs, flowers and veggies. Until (of if) we have monsoon rains, plants are susceptible to immediate death if you miss a crucial watering. Of course, it's also possible to overwater certain plants such as Lavender, Texas Sage, Cassias. Decrease applications to any plants where water doesn't drain into soil. Many plants will die if left for too long in standing water. Plants on drip irrigation systems benefit from a periodic deep hose watering to flush out salts that may accumulate around root zones. Placing organic mulch, straw, leaves etc. over bare soil around root zones will conserve moisture and keep roots cooler.
Roses and other plants will appreciate light applications of all-purpose fertilizer throughout the summer. To avoid damaging roots during hot weather, it's safest to use only about 1/2 to 1/3 the recommended dose. The root systems of some plants cannot absorb lots of nutrients when soil temperatures are high and only take up water.
Don't do any heavy pruning that
might expose tree or shrub branches to sun as they can easily scorch.
The more leaves the better to protect the plant. However, being fast
growers during the heat, Mesquites may become topheavy and
susceptible to blowing over. Cutting back longer branches and very
careful thinning can moderate this problem. Save twigs and branches
for your next barbecue. Some of the weirder ( or more interesting )
plant people among us might actually appreciate the potential character of
a blown-over Mesquite or other tree. If the roots aren't
completely pulled out and the tree is alive, do some judicious pruning and
leave it to its own devices. Who knows, years from now you may be
the envy of the neighborhood with your unique, "sculptural", angle-trunked
tree! If you start looking around you'll notice that large trees
with character are often the results of being partially blown over then
left to do their own thing. Enough with that lollipop look!
(?) associated with sun and fire by astrologists, is a Mediterranean
native shrub that grows well in our desert climate. This plant is
rife with centuries of folklore. As the herb of remembrance it was
used in weddings (so men could remember to be faithful!), funerals (so the
dead wouldn't be forgotten), and placed on ancestors' graves. Give
some to a friend that you want to remember you. Sprigs placed outside
your door would protect the house from thieves, demons and evil spirits.
Nightmares could be kept at bay by placing Rosemary under your
pillow. From antiquity to the present, the herb has been purported
to alleviate a myriad of mental and physical ailments including headaches,
wounds, sores, digestive problems, sore muscles, gout, baldness, impaired
memory, poor circulation, and dandruff to mention a few. Those
suffering from depression may be advised to wrap Rosemary leaves in linen
then bind them to their right arm. Apparently, the left arm is not
the right arm. In addition to its culinary use, Rosemary is
used today to scent cosmetics, perfumes, massage oils, etc.
If you have a difficult area that needs a vine or rambling groundcover you might try Arizona Grape Ivy (Cissus trifoliata ). It's a tough native vine that grows fairly rapidly in full sun or shade and climbs by tendrils. Its fleshy, dark green leaves are usually evergreen but will drop after severe cold. Underground tubers store water so it's quite drought tolerant. Sort of like a real ivy it will climb up and festoon living or dead trees, fences and structures. Crushed leaves are malodorous and the plant can become invasive. Shady Way Gardens has some climbing up their large Palo Verde trees.
Web Comments firstname.lastname@example.org September 13, 2004 © Shady Way Nursery 2004