Gardening in Tucson

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Iris Show and Exhibition April 11

FREE - "50 Years and Growing Strong" 
Iris Exhibition
Setup 8:00am
Library opens at 9am
Come vote for your 3 favorites and view
 the irises until 4pm.
Murphy-Wilmot Branch Library
530 N Wilmot Rd,
Tucson, AZ 85711
Phone: (520) 594-5420

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tucson Area Iris Club presents

  "Preparing Irises for Exhibit
Saturday March 14  1:30 p.m. at the
Dusenbery-River Library at the Northeast corner
of Craycroft and River Road.

All Iris meetings are free and open to the general public

Nonprofits offer native plants, gardening tips in spring sales

by Elena Acoba, Arizona Daily Star
Spring is in the air and so are the seasonal plant sales by nonprofit groups.
You can get gardening advice to go with the plants you buy. Several events also will have other outdoor items that help you grow and enjoy your gardens.
Here’s a round-up of what you can find.
  • March 5-7, Green Valley Gardeners
  • , Continental Shopping Plaza, 210 W. Continental Road. Among the typical landscape cactus, succulent and flowering plants for sale are what organizers call “orphans and oddities,” leftovers from nurseries and extras from members’ gardens. Civano Nursery co-owner
  • Alex Shipley
  • will talk at 9 a.m. March 5 about how to care for some of the plants for sale.
  • March 10-14, Desert Survivors
  • , 1020 W. Starr Pass Blvd. The nursery sells native plants. This sale will feature white prairie aster with tiny blooms, daisy-like blanket flower and fragrant mist flower, which attracts queen butterflies.
  • March 14, Organic Garden Fair
  • , St. Mark’s Church, 3750 E. Second St. The event is put on by the Tucson Organic Gardeners. Vendors will sell organic and non-organic starts for spring edible gardens, including tomato, pepper, squash, melon and cucumber. Compost and composting units also will be for sale. A petting zoo and informational booths will be set up.
  • March 15, Spring Rescue Sale
  • , 4342 N. Fourth Ave. Barrel, hedgehog and small saguaro cactus are among the wild plants rescued from development sites by the Tucson Cactus & Succulent Society. They will be on sale alongside landscape succulents from vendors.
  • March 21-22, Tohono Chul Park
  • , 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. Plants in the sale come from the botanical garden’s propagation efforts as well as local nurseries. A large section will feature plants native to Pima County, including scarlet bugler and many other penstemon varieties, butterfly-attracting narrow leaf milkweed, desert ferns and purple rock pixie.
  • March 22, Gardeners’ Spring Fair
  • , Continental Shopping Plaza, 210 W. Continental Road. Green Valley Gardeners and the Tucson Cactus & Succulent Society organize gardening seminars by local gardening experts and plant sales from as many as a dozen vendors.
  • March 27-29, Native Seeds/SEARCH
  • , 3061 N. Campbell Ave. Tomato, pepper, squash and melon starts are among the edible plants that will be for sale. Landscape plants such as blooming wildflowers, young saguaro and chaparral bush also will be offered, as well as gardening items from the retail store.
  • April 11, Pima County Master Gardeners
  • , 4210 N. Campbell Ave. Unusual plants among the stock of succulents, cacti, perennials and berries include spidery Peruvian daffodil, leafy umbrella plant, nierembergia with cup-shaped flowers and 3-gallon containers of slipper plant, a twisty flowering succulent. The sale includes used pots and gardening books and garden art created by master gardeners.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Do's, don'ts for using old gardening supplies

With spring planting season approaching, it's time to take stock of what's in your garden shed or garage. That way you make sure to use what you have and toss out what you can't salvage.
Here are some tips on what to do with your leftover gardening supplies:
Toss out old seeds if they appear dried out or have mold or fungus, says Jon Childers of Mesquite Valley Growers.
Otherwise, they're OK to plant regardless of the date on the seed packet.
If they don't sprout in a week or 10 days, then sow newly bought seeds. You haven't lost much in trying old seeds.
"You're losing a little bit of time," Childers says, "but if it's early in the season, you have the entire season in front of you."
Any leftover soil amendments, including fertilizers, will be fine to use as long as they have been kept dry, says Mesquite Valley's Rodney White.
White cautions that stored amendments that are wet will break down and lose their potency.
Wet manure could get too hot to use safely, he adds. He recalls spreading an old bag of poultry manure that had been wet. "I burned some plants with it," he says.
Stored hot fertilizer also poses a fire and explosion hazard, according to the Arizona Master Gardener Manual by Pima County Cooperative Extension.
Leftover garden or potting soil also should be fine to use, White says.
Sometimes bags of soil will "get kind of funky or moldy or stinky" if they got wet and the organic matter started breaking down, he says.
"You could still use it. Definitely dry it out and mix it in with something else."
Follow the container directions for disposal of chemicals. White says leftover chemicals can be used if they were properly stored for up to three years.
The master gardener manual suggests discarding anything with damaged labels or in damaged containers.
Try to buy only what you need so that you don't store toxic pesticides and herbicides in the first place, according to the manual.
You can safely dispose of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers at several household-hazardous-waste collection centers. For information, call 888-6947.
Do not pour these down a drain or where they can pollute the water supply, the manual says.
Horticulturists at Tucson Botanical Gardens suggest doing these tasks around the garden in February:
• Continue to watch for frosts and freezes that can damage sensitive plants.
• Prune dormant trees, but not spring-flowering plants.
• Fertilize flowering perennials such as irises and roses. Start fertilizing citrus around Valentine's Day.
• Pull weeds before they go to seed.
Contact Tucson freelance writer Elena Acoba at