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Desert Horticulture
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Desert Horticulture

Author: Bob Morris

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Desert Horticulture is as unique to horticulture as the desert to other environments. Growing plants in the desert is part science and part art. The science must be "tweeked" to grow plants successfully here. This podcast takes questions from listeners, and topic suggestions that are current, and discusses how to 'tweek" the science for Desert Horticulture.
66 Episodes
Food forests are gaining in popularity everywhere, including desert environments. But are the right thing to do? Join Bob Morris on this podcast exploring the pluses and minuses of growing food in the desert on this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
It's very simple. Prune flowering trees and shrubs when they have finished flowering. Now you dont have to download and listen to this podcast unless you want to learn WHY and WHEN to prune these plants to prevent sun damage from the intense desert sun.Support the show (
Pomegranates are easy to grow in desert climates since they originated from the warm arid climates in in Central Asia. Did you know there are about 640 varieties of pomegranates and those grown for their fruit can ripen them anywhere from late summer to midwinter.? The fruit "skin" can range in color from lemon yellow to pink to red to purple. The juice can be sweet or "puckery". The seeds can be range from chewable to "spitable". "Wonderful" pomegranate is the most common variety grown in the US and known for its tart juice and hard seeds.Support the show (
The most common question I am asked is how much water should I give my landscape plants. It is a difficult question to answer because it can mean different things to different people. But a little detective work and the use of some equipment can give you some answers on this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
The primary reason homeowners are choosing turf type tall fescue for home lawns is because it stays green during the winter. But what if you wanted to save water and still have a beautiful lawn? Try the hybrid warm season grasses. They can be bought as seed online and still give you a very nice looking lawn.  But you will have to overseed them in the fall if you want a green lawn through the winter. Confusing? Learn more on this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
I received a question about ash flowers from a concerned reader. This caused me to think about ash trees for urban landscapes in the desert. Are they a good choice? Only you can decide that but be informed about what ash trees can and can't do before you buy. And if you decide on one, know which is the best one, how to plant it and maintain it. All this and more on this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
Meet Diane and Tom of Herbs by Diane of Boulder City, Nevada, who grow and sell herbs to chefs, restaurants as well as the public. Learn their secrets about growing and producing as a small scale producer. You can email questions directly to Diane and Tom at and ask for their weekly list of items available.  Have something you really want to try.? Contact Diane and Tom for custom growing and harvesting.  Herbs, greens and microgreens can be picked up in Boulder City, NV,  on Thursdays at Fruitsandroots in Las Vegas or Sunday's at the Fresh52 Farmer's Market in Henderson.  All this and more in this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
Most desert lawns are small and functional. The only places where they are large is where water is not expensive. Learn which lawn grasses are best for your desert environment, which grasses to use and why, how to plant them and manage them for future years. All this and more in this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
Artificial grass has many pluses and a few minuses that most people dont realize when they elect to plant it in the desert. Listen to this podcast and learn what these are before you buy. Then make your decision on this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
Mulch is anything applied to the soil surface. It can keep the soil cooler, save water that is already in the soil and control weeds. Organic mulch may rot or decompose into the soil and improve it. Learn why mulch is a critical component of desert soils and which ones you should be using and why.Support the show (
Quite a few people have been asking what vegetables they can plant in this fall. This podcast discusses the fall planting of vegetables in the desert and what you can do to have a more successful fall garden.Support the show (
Summer time when it's hot is not the best time to plant landscape plants. The best time is an early spring and early fall when temperatures are cooler. But sometimes planting during the heat is unavoidable. Learn what mistakes some of the professionals make and how to avoid them. All this and more on today's Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
Summer Heat and Plants

Summer Heat and Plants


According to some, this past summer heat was hard on plants. Was it the heat or was it something else? Listen and find out. All this and more on this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
Mineral Fertilizers

Mineral Fertilizers


Plants don't care where their nutrients come from. Its not the source of the nutrients that is the problem. Toxicities arise in fertilizers when and how it is manufactured or mined. That is not to say that so-called organic fertilizers are blameless and that topic will be handled in another podcast. Learn how plants use nutrients, which nutrients are important for plant growth and why. Learn how to apply fertilizers and when in this Desert Horticulture podcast.Support the show (
Ever hear of the Damascus rose? Syria is a pretty dry place. Roses can do quite well growing in the desert. But you should know which ones to use, which landscape locations are best, how to plant them and care for them to look good. This audio podcast will tell you how. Also read about them on my blog at the show (
HOA's have the daunting responsibility to keep landscapes attractive and save money at the same time. Two of the most expensive costs to community members in desert HOA's is the water bill and landscaping bill. Landscapes can be attractive and not ruin the resale value of its homes for community members, and all the while keep water costs to a minimum, by following some simple rules. Learn what they are and how to implement them.Support the show (
Thinning fruit, or fruit removal so the remaining fruit becomes larger, doesn't work on all fruit trees. Some are "thinned" during the pruning stage, Some trees dont seem to care if they are thinned or not. They produce the same regardless. Learn which ones to thin and why on this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
Bottle trees (Brachychiton pupulneus) are NOT desert trees. Many people believe they are but they come from semi arid parts of Australia and should be watered, planted and managed as mesic not xeric plants. Spider mites are the bane of many gardeners whether they are found on Italian cypress or tomato plants. Learn how to identify and manage them. Plant yellowing is common in the desert either resulting from a plant nutrient shortage, planting or watering issue. Learn the difference!Support the show (
I would like to see you do three things to your landscape the day after a rain in the desert; make sure your irrigation applications are away from cement and steel structures, inspect your landscape and fruit trees and shrubs for borer activity and take care of any mushroom problems that appear. Water in the desert is very destabilizing. Desert soils are formed under eons of dry weather. Keep water away from cement and steel. Borer activity will express itself with sap oozing from the trunk and limbs the day after a rain if they are present. Mushrooms are a good sign in a residential landscape. It's a sign of biological activity.Support the show (
Are you frustrated that during the last few years early spring freezes eliminated your peach crop? Want to learn what plants are growing in your yard to take better care of them? Want to know how to prune a miniature or genetic dwarf peach tree? Learn all this and more on this episode of Desert Horticulture.Support the show (
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