Urine as a Natural Fertilizer

Can human urine be used as an alternative fertilizer? Artificial fertilizers are produced by combining nitrogen in the air with natural gas. This process consumes a lot of energy, as it involves high temperatures and pressures. For those of us looking for a more environmentally sustainable alternative, it might be useful to look at where […]

Establishing a Wildflower Garden

I started my desert wildflower garden just over three years ago. I didn’t really know what to expect at the start, except that I was sowing native wildflower seeds, so they should grow well in the desert. Although I love my wildflower garden, there have been difficulties along the way. Wildflower or Weed? It can […]

Make Your Own Desert Plant Potting Soil

One of my pet peeves is recipe websites that make you scroll through pages of useless stories prior to getting to the ingredients and instructions. So I am going to start with the recipe and follow with the explanations. Native Desert Soil (Clay) Although native desert plants typically grow in 100% native desert soil (which […]

Cactus Seeds

Several of my more mature cacti flower and produce seeds. If the fruit does not get taken by animals, I harvest it and store the dry seeds in labeled containers. Seeds have the best germination rates when used within 3 years of harvesting, so I try to plant or share the seeds within that time […]

Pruning Problems

Although it is nice to see green space around town, the typical pruning practices in the Greater Phoenix area are disasterous. There are several common practices that I want to review: formally shearing shrubs, overpruning, cutting back to the ground, and trimming all species. Formally Shearing Shrubs A formally sheared shrub or tree is one […]

Starting a Wild Desert Garden

In 2019, I moved from an apartment into a house in Tempe. Now I had a yard of my own to take care of. There was no grass and no pool. The front-yard was mostly gravel with a few palm trees, an olive tree, and an oleander hedge that was overgrown with weeds. In the […]