The Master Gardener Volunteers of Southern Nevada provides horticultural information on gardens, landscapes, plants and other related topics. This newsletter is one of many resources of information available to the public to help accomplish that mission.
* See Horticulture (Gardening) Classes & Home Show below for more details. Zoom class information will be emailed several days before the event.
GARDENING INFORMATION AND HELP: Contact the Master Gardener (MG) Helpdesk via telephone Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. except holidays at 702-257-5556 or by email at (email@example.com).
For Extension gardening publications go to (extension.unr.edu). Select Publications in the QUICKLINK drop down. Change the year to All Years and Author Status to All Authors for older and a more complete listing of documents. Use keywords such as roses to narrow you search.
The Orchard in 2003. The fruit tree (top photo) are about 6-years old. Mostly grape vines are shown growing in the bottom photo.
The Research Center and Demonstration Orchard maintains test plots and provides information on fruit trees, grape vines and garden vegetables, as well as palms and native plants. We plant and collect data on these crops and then can pass the information onto the backyard farmers. We are open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon for walk-ins, curbside pickup or tours. Closed only on major holidays. Masks, social distancing, and contract tracing sign-in are required.
Wood Chip Mulch: Contactless “Load Your Own”: enter along the west side of the Orchard’s main gate on Horse Drive. Drive around to the north side of the property by the large dirt pile. Fill your own containers with your own tools. Currently supplies are limited, call before coming to the Orchard and please wear a proper facemask when other people are present. For pickup trucks or small trailers, “Tractor Loaded” is available from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. ($5 fee). Mulch is also available at the Extension Facility on 8050 Paradise Road. The facility is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays except holidays. No tractor loading available.
Produce & Herb Items: FYI: We are NOT a “you pick it” facility. Curbside or walk in available for cool season produce & fresh herbs. Ask to receive the weekly emails detailing what is available.
Seeds: Crimson or Pink Hollyhocks, Coneflower/echinacea, Gaillardia grandiflora/Indian Blanket Flower, basil, cilantro, green onion, carrots, chives, wildflower, hummingbird and butterfly mix seeds: $1/packet.
Native Plants: Working in conjunction with UNLV, we have several native plant species and cacti that are now available in 1 & 5 gallon and larger pots. Some grapes and herbs are also available. Ask for the list.
Purslane growing wild.
Dr. Don Deever, Assistant Professor, Extension Educator, Lincoln County, UNR, aka ‘The Weed Whisperer’ has spent a lifetime traveling the world discovering edible plants. He has found that the so called 'weeds' (any unwanted plant) have been given a bad reputation. Many can be beneficial in our gardens and some are very tasty and nutritional. Dr. Don as he is called, has written a series of articles on the good weeds. This newsletter will feature these articles giving a brief description. The full articles will be provided in a Blog Post at a later date.
Purslane is one of the most ubiquitous weeds that pop up in vegetable gardens in Southern Nevada, and therefore, it’s also one of the most maligned, despite its great qualities. Few gardeners know that if they were to allow purslane to continue growing, they and their garden would benefit in three major ways: less weeding, benefits the vegetables that grow around them and the plant is edible. Caution: Always positively identify a plant before consuming. Sickness or death may occur from eating the wrong plant. Use a good reference book or website for identification such as Plant for a Future (www.pfaf.org).
Team YHEP members presenting lettuce grown by hydroponics and tomatoes grown from soil to UNLV Student Food Pantry members.
Under the management leadership and vision of Tricia Braxton Perry and Dr. Angela O’Callaghan and with the imaginative, competent assistance of Nicole Hansen and Ian Ford-Terry along with a few dedicated volunteers, the Youth Horticulture Education Program not only adjusted to the realities that COVID-19 demanded, but also accelerated the use of technology to advance and promote the YHEP program. Although unable to reach the numbers of youth and parents from previous years due to the lack of in-person contact, the team developed on-line programs to maintain interest in horticulture and its many pragmatic benefits.
Additionally, Ms. Braxton Perry and her team secured generous grants from the USDA and Anthem Blue Cross to continue and to expand a life approach to horticulture and to provide career readiness with hydroponics education through a Garden Based Career Readiness curriculum that enhances Life Science goals.
The YHEP team produced 22 themed videos that highlight all aspects of plant science exploration including gardening best practices, the exploration of native desert plant species, hydroponics, and seed to table recipes.
The videos were made available to the public on the: YHEP Facebook page, UNR Extension YouTube page, and the Youth Horticulture Education program through UNR’S Extension web page.
YHEP also donated 42 pounds of produce to community food pantries and coordinated produce donations from Master Gardener vegetable beds to a local charity, Food Not Bombs as the pandemic continued to exacerbate food insecurity issues.
YHEP’s flexibility and work are remarkable and appreciated. For more information about the Youth Horticulture Education Program, please contact Tricia.
This class will teach the basics to beekeeping including practical information on how to set up your first bee hive. Register at (Beekeeping).
If you are looking for a beautiful flower that attracts all kinds of pollinators, has an incredible fragrance and grows as a perennial here in Southern Nevada, you want to learn about lavender. Some varieties do better here than others. Some grow as annuals, others as perennials. Come and let Master Gardener Glenda Bona teach you about the different types of lavenders and how they grow here. Are you interested in using the lavender you grow? You will get lots of ideas in this class! Register at (Lavenders).
Master Gardeners of Southern Nevada will have a booth at the Home Show providing gardening information and answering your questions. In addition there will be presentations on garden topics such as growing roses, caring for your trees and many more topics. A listing of topics and schedules will be available in early June and posted in the June newsletter. You can also call the MG Helpdesk for information in early June. The Home Show will have a variety of vendors displaying and selling home, gardening, health, and beauty items and services. There will also be a craft fair.
If you’ve gardened in other parts of the country and then tried to garden here, you’ve noticed the soil here is different. Our Mojave soils are infertile, salty and alkaline, fine for desert natives, but not good for much else. If you are curious about the soil in your yard, let Dr. Angela O’Callaghan help you learn. You will be asked to collect a baggie of soil from your yard for testing. Register at (Soil).
Who doesn’t love growing basil? It is the most popular of all of the herbs. But there are so many choices! Should you stick with the traditional Sweet Basil or take chances and go for the Purple Ruffle? Do you plant lemon or lime? What about Thai? And what is Holy Basil anyway? Masters Gardeners of Southern Nevada are doing the research for you! We have planted over a dozen varieties of basil in the Herb Farm at Extension to see which varieties grow best in our Las Vegas desert climate.
Master Gardeners Glenda and Mike will share the early results of the Ocimum basilicum (Basil) trials and even give you some ideas for using the many different varieties. So, make yourself a caprese salad and join us on Zoom! Register at (Basil).
If you are interested in finding out what the principles organic gardening are and how you can apply these principles to your home garden then this class is for you. Join with Dr. Angela O’Callaghan and learn the principles of organic gardening and how they apply to the home gardener. Register at (Organic Gardening).
Footnote1: For more information, please contact Elaine Fagin. We are pleased to make reasonable accommodations for members of the public who are disabled and wish to participate in our programs. If special arrangements are necessary, please notify Elaine Fagin at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 702-257-5573 at least 3 days prior to the event. If expecting an email on a Zoom meeting, please check your spam and junk mail folders. Our notices are sent via Listserv emails which sometimes goes to these folders.
Deever, D., Ruskamp, L., Perry, T., R Sgamma, 2021, Desert Gardening in Southern Nevada (2021-05), Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Newsletter, Edition 21-05
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