Thursday, January 08, 2009

Growing peppers for the southwest.

There are many types of peppers that can be grown in the southwest. Here is a list and recommendation of peppers and chili peppers for the Southwestern region of the U.S.

The botanical name for peppers is (Capsicum sp.) and they come in all shapes,colors and sizes.

Did you know that the more water you give your peppers the more hot they will taste. And cooler temperatures will actually decrease the pungency of chili peppers.

One of the most popular is the Jalapeno. This pepper can grow to about 3" long and about 1.5" wide. They are ready when the dark green flesh starts to turn a reddish color. They are of course highly pungent. It is really hard to tell which one will be hotter the next one. The jalapeno can be canned, pickeled. The tam Jalapeno is what most wholesalers use for their salsa's.

The long green chili are also very popular through out the southwest. The Anaheim Chili, is a classic Favorite with Unbeatable Mild Heat! 8-inch peppers are well protected by foliage throughout their growth.

The New Mexico Chili is another all time favorite. There are several varieties that you can grow or purchase. The NuMex varieties are usually mild to medium. The Sandia and Espanola peppers are much hotter.

Here are some tips on growing these awesome chili peppers.

1. Chili peppers are warm weather seasonal crop and require the same conditions as growing tomatoes.

2. Fertilizing should be at about 1lb per 100sq ft. You should use a fertilizer with a high content of phosphorous an analysis of 0-30-0 is excellent. However you should check with your local county extension agency to collect soil samples for a better analysis of fertilizer for your soil.

3. Chili peppers like well drained loamy sandy soil with a pH of about 7.0 or somewhere close. It is best if you use good compost to improve soil and water retention qualities.

4. Keep a good eye on your peppers. Pests such as the flea beetles, thrips, leafhoppers and horn-worms will damage your crop. Diseases can become a big problem. Nematodes, Verticillium wilt, root rot can reduce or damage all of your plants.

If you encounter any of these problems call you county Extension agency for some good advice. Or come by and visit Color Your World Nurseries for some expert chili pepper gardening advice.


Here are more tips on growing chili peppers

Monday, January 05, 2009

What makes pecan trees grow

What makes pecan trees grow
What do pecan trees need for good vigorous growth and heavy yields of nuts? I can answer that with one word, zinc. Zinc controls the size of the rosette in pecan trees. Most tree fertilizers have this soil ingredient. But it is rarely over .05%

Purchase pecan tree fertilizer with a high content of nitrogen and at least 3% zinc. This should be done in early spring, summer and fall. Do not fertilize in winter.

Remember pecan trees need ample chill hours to produce a good crop. A good rule of thumb is to count the number of hours between November 1st and February 15th that are between 32degrees f. and 45degrees F. These hours are cumulative and not continuous. In the Las Cruces, NM area we normally have over 1,000 chill hours.

Here are some varieties that do well in the southwest.

Western Schley - This pecan tree will do best in the arid desert southwest. It is a self pollinator and produces heavy fruit at an early age. It likes arid climates and is also excellent for southern California deserts and higher altitudes. It does well in the colder Texas Panhandle region. It usually ripens in late October and early November.

Burkett - This pecan tree is a medium to large round soft shell nut. It is rich, distinctive flavored kernel. It is a large tree and ripens in late September and through early November. Likes arid climates.

Cheyenne - Is a medium soft shell with an excellent flavor. It produces fruit early in the season - Mid September. Can pollinate other pecan varities. It like southern humid and arid climates including eastd and west regions. It is a semi self fertile.
Mahan - A very large soft shell kernel. This pecan bears heavy at an early age, and is also a good shade tree. It prefers arid warm winter climates. Ripes in Mid November.

Mohawk - Very large soft shell also a heavy bearer when young. It does very well in the Southwest and Southeast regions. It It is a very attractive tree also excellent for the large backyard. Ripens in Late October, early November.

Hardy Pecan - The Hardy Pecan tree, Carya Illinoinensis, is a beautiful, majestic tree that grows to a height of 70 to 100 feet with a spread of 40 to 75 feet. It has low wide spreading branches. The tree provides a bounty of sweet edible fruits and lots of summer shade after reaching maturity. Hardy Pecan trees have moderate water requirements and has a moderate tolerance to salt and alkali soils. This deciduous, hardy, shade tree is ideal for lawns because it does not shed its leaves until late fall and it is practically immune to the attack of insects. It begins to bear nuts in 12-15 years

Don't forget to visit our gardening retail stores located in Las Cruces, NM.

Paul Guzman

Sunday, January 04, 2009

What to plant for spring color

Spring flowering plants

I know is it a little early to start thinking of spring but this is one question I get almost on a daily basis. What type of flowers do I plant for spring?

Here are some general descriptions of spring perennials that will do well in the southwest. Remember you should fertilize once in the spring, summer and fall. If your plants are not blooming there could be a lack of phosphorus in your soil. Use Carl Pool BR 61 9-58-8 24 oz to boost your blooms during the peak season. If your nursery does not have this product just ask them for a good substitute.

Ajuga Plants - Purplish-brownish in color grown for their foliage easy to grow and propagate. Can be used as ground cover.
Black Eyed Susan - Usually yellow daisy like blooms with large black center they do better in full sun.
Coral Bells - Fantastic foliage color in spring and fall. Flowers bloom in late spring.
Coreopsis - Beautiful yellow, red and pink blooms that will last from last spring till fall. They do not like moist soil let dry before watering again.
Daylily Plants - Daylillies are easy plants to grow from deep dark red to light pink blooms. Cut down during the cold season and they will pop right up in spring
Columbine - Easy to go grow perennial usually multi colored but some species are gold in color.
Penstemon - Long limbs with beautiful small like petal blooms. Full sun and good drainage will work best.

What to plant in spring time

Rose of Sharon - Large purple, white, pink blooms from late spring until late fall in the southwest. Can be trimmed into a small tree.
Salvia - Long spiky like blooms that shoot straight up beautiful reds, purple, violet blue and even white.
Thyme Plants - Evergreen shrub with blue violet bloom all season long. Drought tolerant once established easy low maintenance plant.
Yarrow - A good ground cover plant usually with yellow cloud like blooms. Some species come in red easy to propagate. Plant in full sun but can tolerate some shade.

There are many more colorful plants to choose from. Be sure to visit your local nursery and ask them what type of color perennials would do best in your area.

Color your world nurseries will have these type of plants during the spring season.

Bonsai's At Color Your World Nurseries

Bonsai's at Color Your World Nurseries Las Cruces, NM.

Bonsai trees are actually plants that are in a tray. The soil is packed and small rocks placed on top. They need more care and attention than regular indoor decor plants. They are heavily pruned to give it that dwarf look. Bonsai's are done mostly by making the trunks and branches through pruning and wiring. Almost anyone can learn how to do this with a few hours of basic instruction from a teacher or by reading books. You can eventually become a professional bonsai maker.

Fertilizing bonsai should only be done about half strength of the usual fertilizers. You should also keep an eye on watering your should water more frequently during the hot summer months.