Friday, June 16, 2017

5 Epic Dad's Day Gifts!

We rounded up some great gift ideas for Dads who love to be outdoors!

The backyard fire pit is where everyone wants to hang out on a summer night!
Whether you're roasting marshmallows or snuggling up in the cooler months, this gift would be the perfect memory maker.

Find a new use for something that needs a new life!
These truck succulent planters are fun and manly at the same time.
The possibilities are endless!

If you're handy with a paint brush, these pots would be perfect for anyone that's a fan 
of Star Wars and plants!

This gift keeps on giving! Give dad an endless supply of his very own limes to go with his relaxing backyard brew!

Give dad the ultimate place to relax with his very 
He'll be able to practice his putt until his heart's content
 right in the backyard.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Ultimate Guide For A Fuss-Free Summer Yard!

Second application of Pre-emergent weed control.  Depending on the amount and timing of your first application, it may have become ineffective by now. Weeds will continue to start from seed throughout the warm season (especially with the summer rains).

Do NOT fertilize your regular (non-Palm) plants with high nitrogen (over 7%) now!

Fertilize palms 2-3 times during this period with Dr. Q’s® Palm Tree Food (14-4-14) to provide the special nutrients needed for vigorous growth and rich, green color.

More is not always better! Resist the temptation to water everything to death in the heat. Just because a plant “looks dry” does not mean it needs more water. If the soil is too often watered, the plant can not breathe, and can not take up the water in its soil.
Consult your watering guides. Check out Star Note #900A and Star Note #900B.

Prevent and control Spider Mites on evergreens like cypress and juniper by using a high pressure hose to wash the foliage every 2-3 weeks. Symptoms include a dusty, off color or rust colored appearance and fine webbing on the foliage. Apply a miticide like MalathionBug-b-Gon or InsectMite & Disease Control if infestation becomes severe.

Keep your lawn healthy without excessive growth by using a balanced, high iron fertilizer like Dr. Q’s Triple Play (7-7-7) or Super Iron Plant Food (9-9-9). Watch for summer weeds like dandelions and spurge. Pull by hand or spot spray with a broadleaf weed killer. Don’t spray your whole lawn. Herbicide-temperature interaction could cause severe damage.

Control insect pests like roaches, ants, black widows, earwigs and so (roly-poly) bugs with chemical or pyrethrin based insecticides. When using any pesticide, read complete instructions and follow package directions exactly! (top)

For more information on the Gardener's Calendar, check out Star Note #100.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cutest Father's Day Garden Gift!

Here's a fun, homemade keepsake for the 
Dad that's always out in the garden!
Dress up a plain plastic Hand Trowel with colorful paints and a clever way to tell Dad how awesome he is!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Hand Trowel (Fiskars)
  • Assorted Paints (use acrylic)
  • Paper plates for paints
  • Paint Brushes
  • Tacky Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Small amount of Small Rocks (bagged or bulk)

Start by removing any dust or stickers from the hand trowel.

Use a larger paint brush to paint several layers of paint onto the inside of the trowel.
You can also paint the handle a different color if you wish.
Use a smaller paint brush for the lettering or any other smaller details.

Pick complimentary or contrasting colors that you know 
dad will love!
Acrylic paints give the best results and dry quickly.

With a paintbrush, dab a generous amount of tacky glue to the bottom tip of the inside of the trowel.
Place a few rocks onto the glue and allow to dry thoroughly before holding upright.

Top it off with a colorful ribbon and your gift is ready.
Made with Love!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

5 Essential Tips For Growing Succulents

Succulents are fun and can add a fresh and trendy edge to any indoor or outdoor space!
They're easy to mix and match, since they all have similar light and water requirements.
Here are some tips to ensure your succulent growing success!
Tip #1
Use sandy, well-draining soil.
Succulents don't perform well in a traditional potting soil so be sure to look for a soil that is specifically for cactus & succulents.

Tip #2
Empty drain plate after watering.
Soggy roots are a recipe for succulent death. 
If container doesn't have holes in the bottom for water to drain out, place a layer of gravel or rock in the bottom.

Tip #3
Let soil dry out between watering.
Indoor succulents can go weeks between watering, possibly months!
Outdoor specimens will need to be watered every week to month depending on sun exposure and temperature.

Tip #4
Place them in bright direct or indirect light.
Succulents will not perform as well if placed in a shady or low light location.

Tip #5
Make sure there is adequate airflow surrounding plants.
Terrariums are a fun way to display succulents, just remember to keep the top of the container open to allow air to the plants.

Succulents are one of the easiest and forgiving plants you can grow and they make great gifts too!
Have Fun!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Perfect Plants To Attract Birds & Butterflies!

Butterflies and birds provide a source of enjoyment and education for many of us.  
Here are some of the plants, usually found in this area, that attract them.

For Butterflies:

Butterfly Bush
Buddleia davidii

It's all in the name!
This variety reaches 5 x 5 feet with clusters of fragrant dark purple flowers in summer. Likes full or part sun well-drained soil and moderate water. Cut back heavily in early spring. Feed with Dr. Q's Rose & Flower Food.

Halls Honeysuckle
Lonicera japonica 'Halliana'

Vigorous fast-growing vine with fragrant white and yellow flowers that attract many butterflies. Used on walls fences or trellises, good ground cover on slopes. Full sun any soil and deep infrequent water once established. Prune heavily in early spring.

For Birds: 

Chilean Mesquite Tree
Prosopis chilensis

This complex hybrid is the most frequently used landscape variety.  Grows rapidly to 20 x 20 feet and produces a seed pod that provides food for birds. Young trees may have thorns. Best in full sun with good drainage and deep infrequent water. Prune to open canopy and prevent wind damage.

Prickly Pear Cactus
Opuntia phaecantha

Spreading spiny variety to 4 x 10 feet! It has large yellow flowers followed by rose-red fruit in late spring and early summer that the birds will love. Give this one some room in any desert landscape. Deep water every 2 weeks; withhold water in winter.

For Hummingbirds:

Autumn Sage
Salvia greggii

Hummingbirds adore this popular desert shrub! It grows to 3 x 3 feet and has tube shaped red flowers most of the year. Also comes in coral, pink, white and purple. Plant in full sun amended well-drained soil, water moderately. Prune after bloom cycle to keep active.

Cape Honeysuckle
Tecoma capensis

This vigorous heat-loving vine is a winner to attract hummingbirds in the cooler months. It grows to 8 x 8 feet and has clusters of red- orange tubular flowers in spring thru fall; colorful accent. Prefers amended well-drained soil and moderate water. Prune as needed for form and control. Protect from frost & freezing.

For more plants that attract wildlife to 
your yard see Star Note #545.

Monday, May 29, 2017

5 No-Stress Summer Flowers That Last

As the weather warms and cool season flowers fade, it’s time to think about summer and flower varieties that will produce in desert heat and hot, dry winds. 


This is a showy, glossy green, heat-loving plant with flowers in unusual shades of grape, raspberry, blue, red, rose, white and bicolor. Excellent in masses, as borders or spot accents. Avoid overhead sprinkling. It may return from seed next year.


Makes a spectacular addition to any summer garden. Ranging in size from dwarf to 3 feet or more, this heat lover produces flowers in nearly every shade imaginable. Good in pots; remove spent flowers to encourage repeat blooming. Avoid overhead sprinkling.


 This a bright, cheery, heat-loving plant is available in trailing or clumping varieties. Trailing types make excellent ground covers while clumping plants are perfect for spot accents, masses or borders. Colors range from white to burgundy, yellow, orange, red and bicolor. Don’t over water this one!


Makes an excellent trailing plant for shady containers, window boxes and hanging baskets. In shady gardens it makes a nice, compact accent or border. In varieties like Cambridge Blue and Crystal Palace, rich blue flowers contrast with bright green or bronzy green leaves. Other varieties may be pure white, pink or blue with a white eye.

Pentas or Star Flower

Are wonderful, spreading, multi stemmed perennials grown as annuals in our climate. Compact plants are continually covered with clusters of white, pink, lilac or red flowers. Superb as borders, masses or accents. Takes overhead watering better than most bedding plants.

Most colorful blooming flowers have much more tender roots than trees or shrubs so it is important that you have rich garden soil. Due to our poor native soil, it is best to add organic material like Paydirt™ Planting Mix or Humus Gro, with a liberal addition of Dr. Q’s® Gold Dust Starter Fertilizer. Install your flowers, water with a solution of Dr. Q’s Plant Tonic, fertilize monthly and enjoy! Container gardens are super too!

For More Warm Season Flowers, Check out Star Note #310!