Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How To Lush-Up Your Landscape In One Simple Step

Vines have many uses in desert climates. Some provide bright color in hot areas, others cover bare walls and fences, dress up posts and columns 
or make nice shady area ground covers. 

Whatever your reason for selecting vines, it’s very important to pick the right vine for the right place. 

Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila). 

Dainty, evergreen vine starts out slowly then accelerates to cover large areas in a short time. Provides excellent cover in medium to dense shade; looks great on chimneys. Will climb equally well on wood, masonry or metal. Small, delicate leaves become larger and thicker with age. Water moderately in summer, deeply and infrequently otherwise.

Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica). 

Versatile, semi-evergreen vine is noted for its fragrant white and yellow flowers spring through fall. Excellent for fence, arbor, wall or trellis; good ground cover on slopes. Give moderate to infrequent water when established. Prune heavily and clean out in spring. Fertilize occasionally to increase flowers production.

A tough, brightly colored, sun-loving summer annual in shades of red, purple, pink or orange.

Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans and hybrids). 

Fast growing, deciduous vine has clusters of red-orange, trumpet shaped flowers all summer. Hybrid varieties have salmon-red or yellow blooms. Can cover a 20 x 20 foot area. Excellent choice for hot corners, walls, fences and arbors. Will take ample water, but does very well with deep, infrequent irrigation. Fertilize lightly in spring.

English Ivy (Hedera helix). 

Dense, tough, evergreen ivy climbs easily on walls and fences; good spot ground cover and filler for small spaces. Other varieties like Hahn’s English Ivy and Needlepoint Ivy will also fill the bill. Most do best with regular water and afternoon shade. Keep away from stucco as aerial roots will cause damage.

While many vines need little or no feeding, most will benefit from an application of a complete fertilizer like Dr. Q’s® Tree, Shrub & Vine Food in March, May and September

For More Vines, Check Out Star Note #515

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Here Are 5 Super Sweet Ways To Celebrate Mom!

Nothing warms a mother's heart more than a thoughtful and personal gift!
Here are some ideas that are sure to be a hit:

The Herb Garden

Give her the herb garden of her dreams in an assortment of pottery to suit her style. 

A Hanging Basket of Flowers

An easy way to dress up any outdoor space without taking up a lot of room.

A Succulent Planter

Succulents are so trendy and so easy to care for that it makes a perfect gift for even the not-so-green-thumbs!


Why not trade in your traditional gift of cut roses for roses that she can plant in her garden? 

A Houseplant

To elevate her style and air quality. Add a pretty decorative to give it your personal touch!

For more great Mother's Day Ideas, visit your local Star Nursery!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

7 Tips To Transition Into Summer

Here's a few tips to help your yard transition into warmer weather.

Reset sprinkler clocks to increase watering length due to increased temperatures. The best time to water is between the hours of 3 and 6 AM. Check with any Star Nursery for a copy of the Southern Nevada Water Authority Watering Guide or Drought Watering Restrictions Guide. Inspect your irrigation system for correct water delivery to all plants.

Control wild unwanted Bermuda by fertilizing and watering it until it is lush (this will make the plant more vulnerable), then treat with a non-selective grass killer like Remuda® or Round-up®. Several treatments may be necessary for effective control. An alternative is to cultivate the Bermuda. It makes a dense, water efficient turf when properly contained and cared for. Treated areas can be replanted or re-seeded after dead turf is removed. These herbicides are also effective in treating tree wells and shrub beds without harm to desirable plants. Remember – keep herbicide off of desirable plant foliage!

Aggressively manage insect pests with insecticides or organic controls. Paint fruit tree trunks with white, water-base paint or use tree wrap to protect from sunburn and help prevent borer infestation.

Refresh potted plants by adding new potting soil or shifting overgrown house and patio plants into larger containers with fresh soil. Use a long slow outdoor watering to leach buildup of fertilizer and water soluble salts. Apply a mild fertilizer like Dr. Q’s® Gold Dust (5-10-5) or Dr. Q’s Houseplant Tonic (5-3-1). Use cache-pots to surround patio plants and keep them from overheating. Increase watering frequency as needed.

Prune desert plants.  Now is a good time to do light pruning on low-water use plants and reduce stress from overgrown foliage and seedpods. Be careful not to expose tender trunks to full sun if they’ve been well shaded previously.

Be picky about fertilizer.  Most ornamentals will benefit from a mild feeding of a complete, packaged fertilizer like Dr. Q’s® TreeShrub & Vine Food (16-8-4)
Fertilize lawns before the end of the month to get them through the first heat wave. 
Renew mulches as necessary.

Plant heat-loving flowers like Texas BluebellsStar FlowersVincaMarigoldMoss Rose and Zinnias
Amend soil thoroughly and use surface mulches to make them more water efficient. Continue to plant summer flowers like Dahlias and Cannas.

For More Information On The Gardener's Calendar, Check Out Star Note #100!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Top 5 Items To Check Off Your Spring To-Do List

Brighten up your yard.  Plant all kinds of annual and perennial flowers for spring and summer color. Set out ground covers. GazaniaIceplantsHearts and FlowersIvyVerbena and Australian Racer are some good choices. After planting, use a pre-emergent weed control. See our friendly sales associates for details.

Pretty but destructive.  Watch for skeletonizers on grape leaves. Adults are iridescent purple moths and the attractive caterpillars are striped blue and yellow (with stinging, irritating hairs). Untreated they will strip all the green from the leaves very quickly. Several generations a season may weaken or kill your vines. Treat with Bacillus Thuringensis (Bio Worm Killer or Thuricide) which will kill all kinds of caterpillars but won’t hurt anything else.

Apply mulches on the surface of your vegetable and flower beds and around trees and shrubs. It keeps the soil cool and helps moisture retention. Paydirt™ Planting Mix is an excellent choice for all mulching needs. Bark mulch is a good alternative in high wind areas.

Give lawns a workout to prepare them for the hot summer months. StarNote 820, Lawn Care and Maintenance Calendar, lists fertilizer choices (StarNote 825 for Southern Utah). Continue over seeding as needed and aerate the lawn every 2-3 years.

Vegetable tips.  Mulch tomatoes to conserve soil moisture and water deeply, but not every day, to encourage deep rooting and discourage blossom drop. Plant warm season vegetables like squash, peppers, beans and melons. Plant hot season tomatoes like Heatwave which will continue to produce as temperatures climb. Feed monthly with Dr. Q’s® Vegetable & Tomato Food (6-10-6). (top)
For more seasonal tips, check out Star Note #100, The Gardeners Calendar

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How To Have A Flower Garden With Less Work!

Reliable Perennial Flowers

These Plants Give More Each Year

Perennials are the perfect solution for gardeners on a budget, those who don’t have the time or inclination for regular maintenance an annual bed requires, or those who just want the “English Garden” look. For best results, amend your soil with Paydirt™ Planting Mix. Add Dr. Q’s® Gold Dust Starter Fertilizer and Dr. Q’s® Plant Tonic when planting your choices. Here are some excellent varieties to consider:

Black-eyed Susan. This cheery daisy is easy to grow, preferring full sun and widely spaced watering. Yellow flowers with a black or green eye.

Blanket Flower. Similar to Black-eyed Susan, with flowers banded in orange, yellow, scarlet and brown. Tough, ever-blooming and water efficient. Will often spread readily in suitable sites.

Bush Daisy. These shrubby yellow daisies will bloom all winter in a mild year. Cut them back occasionally to encourage blooming. Hard prune plants in March to restore a compact look.

Canna Lily. Among the most tropical-looking of all hardy, blooming plants. Marked by banana-like leaves and orchid-like flowers in shades ranging from bicolor through scarlet to canary yellow. Tall forms reach six feet or more; dwarfs are closer to three feet. Cut back to ground in winter when foliage is completely brown.

Carnations are very hardy, take full sun and need no protection in winter. Garden varieties, normally seen as bushy, compact dwarfs, thrive under routine care. Shades range from scarlet through pink to white. Some are sweetly fragrant.

Chrysanthemum. These classic fall bloomers come in all colors except true blue. Some varieties bloom in spring as well. Cut back in June for re-bloom in fall; remove spent foliage in winter. Pinch early buds for more vigorous production.

Coreopsis. Tough, low-maintenance/high-performance plant is covered with yellow or bi-color, daisy-like flowers spring through fall. Excellent for borders or cut flowers. Remove spent flowers for continued bloom.

Daylily. Hybrid varieties show color from pink through lavender to bicolor, as well as the traditional yellow, red and orange. As the name suggests, each flower lasts a day, but several blooms occur on each flower stalk. Can be divided every two or three years.

Gaura. Pretty southwest native is covered with branching flower spikes of pink or white blooms. Extremely long blooming period. Fits well in dry or traditional gardens. Remove flower spikes when blooms fall.

Geranium. Available in many varieties including delightful scented varieties. Martha Washington has neon bright, multicolor flowers; Trailing Ivy is the toughest and excellent for containers and hanging baskets. Give these some protection on the coldest winter nights.

Lantana. This low maintenance hardy variety blooms with purple, yellow, red, orange, magenta and white flowers up to 10 months a year. Will go dormant in coldest weather; cut back in spring to keep vigorous. The purple, white and yellow varieties stay low and spread, while others may be trained into taller shrubs.

Penstemon. Easy-to-grow and heat loving, several varieties of these pretty plants are native to the deserts of Nevada and Southern Utah. All show colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers that attract hummingbirds. They re-seed vigorously and should be a part of any water efficient landscape.

Ruellia. Hardy, moderately sized blooming shrub that can take full or partial sun. It will spread through seeds if planted near or in good garden soil. It blooms throughout the warm season.

Society Garlic. Ornamental, garlic relative has spikes of pretty lavender flowers on and off all year. Foliage smells much like garlic, and some use the green leaves for seasoning. Good for traditional or dry landscapes.

Texas Bluebell. Tough and attractive. Newer dwarf forms bloom all summer under nearly any conditions. Colors are pink, purple or white, with purple being the toughest. Looks like an ever blooming tulip.

Trailing Lantana. This carefree variety blooms with purple or yellow flowers up to 10 months a year. Will go dormant in coldest weather—cut back in early spring to keep vigorous.

Victoria Blue Sage (Salvia/Mealy Cup Sage). Lovely formal-looking plant with flower spikes of rich blue or white. Hybrid varieties like Blue Queen and Rose Queen have shades of violet and pink. Neat and adaptable; mixes well with other flowers.

Western Columbine. Delicate, shapely foliage produces nodding stems of red and yellow flowers in spring. Hybrid varieties have many different colors. Give this one late afternoon shade and good, rich soil for best performance. Pretty addition to traditional gardens.

Yarrow. Free-blooming, ferny plant is tough, water efficient and easy to grow. Superb, multi-colored border flowers are excellent for cutting or drying.

There’s no reason to live without flowers in your yard, regardless of your budget, taste or time. Plant your choices with a little care, water and fertilizer and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Use These Tips For Your Best Garden Ever!

Don’t try to garden in caliche’! If you have an impermeable layer near the surface, build raised beds and fill them with a mixture of native soil and bagged organic material like Paydirt™ Planting Mix.

When locating your vegetable bed, choose a spot with good air circulation. Avoid excessively windy areas or reflective heat sources like south or west facing walls.

Use the right fertilizers for what you’re trying to grow. Leaf crops need lots of nitrogen; fruit crops like peppers and tomatoes need less nitrogen and more phosphorus and potassium. Dr. Q’s Vegetable and Tomato Food is excellent, as well as our Earthworm Castings.

Surface mulches help prevent weeds, conserve water and cool plant roots. Shredded Cedar Bark repels insects! Use them generously.

Most pests can be controlled by hand and sprays of water from the hose. The biggest pests in warm weather vegetable gardens besides aphids are caterpillars, cabbage loopers and horn worms. These can be safely controlled with Bio-Worm Killer® or an equivalent bacillus thuringensis (BT) product. Be conservative in applying chemicals. Use the right ones, and ALWAYS FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS.

If you want to start your own seedlings instead of purchasing transplants, add a 6 to 10 week lead-time depending on variety. For example, if you want tomatoes, you should start them indoors in mid January to have them ready for a late March planting.

For a list of warm weather vegetable, check out Star Note #205.