The Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Southern Nevada provides research based, horticultural information on gardens, landscapes, plants and other related topics. This newsletter of July 2022 is one of many resources of information available to the public to help accomplish this mission.
* For details on classes and registration links, see the Horticulture Classes & MG Booths section below.
GARDENING INFORMATION AND HELP: Contact the Master Gardener (MG) Help Desk via telephone Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed for state holidays) at 702-257-5556 or by email at (ExtensionClarkMG@unr.edu). Walk-ins are welcomed at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89123, except on Tuesdays and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon when the the Help Desk is located at the Research Center and Demonstration Orchard at 4600 Horse Drive, North Las Vegas, NV 89131. Walk-ins are welcomed. The Help Desk will also be closed the first Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon.
Botanical Garden: Open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays) for self-guided tour. Scheduled tours start in September 2022.
For Extension gardening publications go to (extension.unr.edu). Select Publications in the QUICKLINK drop down. Change the year to 'All Years' for a more complete listing of documents. Use keywords such as tomato to narrow you search.
Figure 1: Apricots ripening at the Orchard.
The Research Center and Demonstration Orchard located in North Las Vegas is overseen by the University of Nevada, Reno and is part of the larger Center for Urban Water Conservation. Three government entities use this space: UNR, UNLV and the City of North Las Vegas. For 25 years the universities have been growing plants and demonstrating how this can be done with lower water usage. Each is growing a variety of plant species, testing to see what will grow well in the Mojave Desert. The data collected during this research is then used in publications put out by these universities.
The center is located at 4600 Horse Drive and is a research facility. Master Gardeners and community volunteers harvest the produce, weigh and record the amounts under the supervision of university staff. Over a number of years that data is used to evaluate the plant’s performance. The plant health and its susceptibility to disease or pests is also monitored. That data is used to evaluate our fruit and nut trees and grape vines in our largest publication, “The University of
Nevada, Reno Extension Research Orchard Fruit Tree Evaluation and Recommendations for Southern Nevada”. This pdf publication is available on the UNR Extension website, (extension.unr.edu).
The Demonstration Orchards have 544 fruit trees, the oldest having been planted in 1997 and they are still producing fruit! There are 24 varieties of fruit and nut trees. Harvest usually starts in June with apricots, apriums, and peaches being the first to ripen. Peaches continue through the summer with varieties that are early season as well as those that ripen mid and late summer. These are followed by plums and pluots in June and July. They are joined by plumcots, Pluerry, cherry plums, nectaplums, peacotum, nectarines, figs, almonds, fresh hops, and herbs. Apple varieties are ready in mid-summer and then others are later in the early fall. The end of summer brings on persimmons, quince and the early pomegranates. Alternate years, dates from the date palm tree are available. Harvests go into the fall with pomegranates, sometimes into late November or even December depending upon the weather.
The end of July and the first weeks of August is grape harvest time. Over 200 grape vines in 17 different varietals, including both table and wine grapes are grown at the center and are available to home winemakers and local wineries. A university research study on grapes has been conducted since 2016, examining different drought tolerant rootstocks for two varietals of wine grapes; Syrah and Colombard. The study took a look at how external stressors affect the crop. These included measured observations of vine health and fruit development for various amounts of water applied, vine performance under extreme high temperatures and varying degrees of soil salinity and protection of the fruit using several different pruning techniques.
Figure 2: I’ltoi Onions and Master Gardener harvesting hops.
The Research Center and Demonstration Orchard also includes 100 palm trees and twelve large vegetable beds. One of those beds is devoted to asparagus, one to hops, one for herbs, another to flowers for the pollinators and half of one for artichokes. The remainder get planted with cool or warm season varieties of vegetables. The warm season vegetables that have been planted are peppers, both sweet and hot, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, a large variety of squash, sweet and ornamental corn, pole beans, okra, garlic, potatoes, spring and bulb onions. Cool season crops include a variety of greens, peas, beets, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and many Asian varieties. Varieties change depending upon what is available and what new crop warrants testing. No till methods, companion planting, integrated pest management, growing in the shade vs full sun, addition of different compost or mulch covering, and crop rotation are practices that are embraced at the center. It is all about testing things out!
So, what does the center do with all of this produce, you might be wondering? Since they are open year-round to the public, a farm stand is in effect where produce can be sampled and purchased. Deliveries are made to immune compromised seniors. Bakers use the fruit in their pastries and any excess goes to local food banks. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Come visit, get your garden, backyard vineyard or orchard questions answered, load up some wood-chip mulch and get some delicious produce! Article written by Research Center and Demonstration Orchard Manager, Louise Ruskamp, June 2022.
There is a lot of talk about organic gardening, yet people have different ideas about what this means. If you are interested in finding out what organic gardening really is and how you can apply these principles to your home garden then this class is for you. Come learn the principles of organic gardening and how they apply to the home gardener. Register at (Organic Gardening). Instructor Dr. Angela O’Callaghan.
With thousands of gardening books available today, how do you know where to spend your time and money? Gardening books should be informative and in your area of interest. They should be enjoyable and inspiring! And they make great gifts for any occasion-birthdays, anniversaries, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, etc. This PowerPoint covers some of the recently released gardening books on seed propagation, native plants, attracting beneficial wildlife, and gardening advice specific to Nevada to help you decide on your next read. Register at (Garden Books). Presenter Gail Brandys, MG, MS, CSP (ret).
The fall can be the most fun time to grow plants. The weather has cooled off with the mornings rather chilly. Most of the insects have gone until the spring. And, because it is not as warm, you use less water. There are an amazing number of vegetables that love our fall weather – many more than like our summers! Come and join Master Gardener Lori Evans to learn how your fall and winter garden can produce some of your most tasty vegetables. Register at (Fall/Winter Gardening).
Crafts, collectibles, gifts, foods, and DJs music along with our Master Gardener Booth for your enjoyment and learning experiences. Tivoli Village is location at 400 South Rampart Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89145. Free admission and parking. The booth will provide gardening information, answer your gardening questions and has two free native/desert adapted wildflower seeds packets per family.
Knowing what trees do best in the Mojave Desert is only part of the story: knowing where to put them, how to plant them and how to care for them can help you prevent some costly mistakes. Learn how to pick a landscape tree and how to care for it. Register at (Tree Selection). Instructor MG Laura Eisenberg.
How about using plants that will do well in our soil, will do well with our weather and with our water? You can have a lush landscape while saving energy, water and money! There are so many native and desert adapted plants that will do well in your yard, giving your landscape color and interest. Discover how to use these wonderful plants in your landscape. Register at (Plants). Instructor Professor ML Robinson.
Working smarter not harder certainly applies to gardening. Whether you are planting, pruning, or doing maintenance, there may be a better way to accomplish your tasks. Come join Master Gardener and Safety Professional, Gail Brandys as she discusses tips, tools and techniques to make your gardening more efficient and enjoyable while putting less stress on your body. Following her tips will make gardening easier and more productive as she demonstrates some of the creative tools and simple techniques. Register at (Easy Gardening).
Houseplants are ideal for gardeners who want to bring a bit of the green outdoors inside. And although houseplants are aesthetically pleasing, they are also known to boost your mood, increase concentration and creativity. Houseplants can reduce stress and fatigue as well as clean the indoor air. Some houseplants are easier to grow than others. If you are interested in growing houseplants, come join Master Gardener Lori Evans on Wednesday as she discusses the benefits of houseplants, how to select your houseplants and how to grow them successfully in your home. Register at (Houseplants).
The Master Gardener booth will have lectures, round-table discussions, answer gardening question and distribute free gardening publications and native/desert adapted wildflower seed packets. The World Market is located at 435 South Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89106. The Expo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Sunday it will close at 4 p.m. Entrance is free to Seniors and Military on Friday. A list of lectures and discussions will be available in early September. Contact the Help Desk at 702-257-5556 for more information.
The Las Vegas Plant Festival is a celebration of plants and was created to share the love for plants and the plant community. There will be expert speakers talking about caring for and growing plants. The MG booth will provide gardening information, answer your gardening questions and has two free native/desert adapted wildflower seeds packets per family. The festival is located at 104 East Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas 89104. Free parking is limited.
We do get winter–OK, maybe not a Maine winter, but we do get cold. Our approximate first frost date is November 15. What can you do to extend the season of frost tender plants that may still be producing? What should you have on hand to make the transition to winter successful? Come and join Master Gardener Lori Evans and learn how to help your garden survive the winter. Register at (Winter Garden).
To many in the Mojave Desert roses are a desirable addition to the garden. With hundreds and maybe even thousands of cultivars to choose from, selecting the right rose for the right place may seem daunting. Learn about the attributes to look for in roses that will do well in our dry climate and how to get the biggest blooms and healthiest plants. Register at (Roses). Instructor Dr. Judith Kafantaris.
Lavender grows in the Las Vegas Valley- some as annuals and some as perennials. Climate change is messing with their growth. Join the discussion with Master Gardener Glenda Bona to learn about the types of lavenders that grow here and how to maximize their potential. Think about WHY you want to grow lavender:
Learn about which lavenders do well here and how to maximize the potential of the lavender you grow. Register at (Lavender).
* In person classes are held at the UNR Extension Facility at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89123. For additional class information, please contact Elaine Fagin at (email@example.com). If expecting an email for a class, please check your spam and junk mail folders. Our notices are sent via Listserv emails, which sometimes go to these folders. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ruskamp, L.; Sgamma. R., 2022, Desert Gardening in Southern Nevada (2022-07), Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, MG Newsletter, Edition 22-07
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