Thursday, October 28, 2010

Winterizing trees, shrubs and lawns for the Southwest

Winterizing Plants for the Southwest

The year is on its’ way out already. Wow, that was fast. Now what to do in your garden?

Look for the obvious. Are some leaves starting to turn or fall on the ground? Are wayward branches causing an unbalanced look to your trees or shrubs? Do you have seed pods from various plants littering daily? Is there a plant that still needs that extra bit of fertilizer before the winter sets in?

These are all signs to be looking for when maintaining you garden. If you do these simple tasks now, the transition into spring will be much easier.

We start with the obvious. The falling leaves. If at all possible please try to incorporate these, nutrient rich, soil building, root insulating wonders of nature back into the garden. You can start a compost pile or grind them back up into and around tree wells, ground covers, flower and vegetable beds. The smaller you crush the leaves the quicker they will break down into the soil. This action will help prevent soil compaction, minimize water run off, reduce winter weeds, as well as helping to insulate tender perennials and roots.

If you have some unbalanced trees or shrubs you can do some light pruning. It is ok to remove a few branches or limbs this time of year to keep your plants neat and tidy. A good rule of thumb is to have a reason for every cut make before actually remove part of the plant. Use caution, however, you would do best to do a majority of your heavy pruning at the onset of spring instead of late fall. Doing so could stimulate tender growth which will be more susceptible to winter damage.

What is winterizing?

Seed pods hanging on a tree or shrub can mean seedlings sprouting up where you don’t want them. If you don’t mind extra plant material growing rampant, then let nature take its’ course. If you don’t want these extra plantings around, then now it is the time to remove them. It actually would have been better to remove them when they first appeared in most cases. Most flowering plants will bloom for a longer period of time if the seed pods are promptly removed.

Now is also the time to winterize your lawns trees and shrubs. A winterizer fertilizer contains a higher amount of potash. This is the last number listed on any fertilizer label.
This nutrient helps plants raise their resistance to winter damage. It also helps strengthen weak limbs and branches. Again this product is used during this time of year particularly on plants that have shown previous winter damage. It also contains nitrogen and phosphorous, which will help aid in a quick “awakening” for next spring.

The “not so obvious”, thing you can do at this time of year is to reduce watering! Please, help save our most precious commodity. You would be surprised to find out how many people over water during the cooler months of the year. I find some still water every day or even every other day during the winter months. In most cases I have found once every 10 to 14 days or even longer will suffice on most established plantings. This is a guide line only. Every landscape will have its’ own exceptions. The best thing is, “trial and error”. See how long your plants can go until they show signs of stress, without extra watering. You may be surprised how much less water your plants will actually use. Of course you would water more if our winter is dry and warm. One would water less often if we have rain or snowfall in our short winter months.

We really do have a wonderful fall/winter climate so get out there and soak up our bright winter sun!
Gary Guzman
Color Your World Greenhouse

Fall Color Trees for The Las Cruces Area

Fall Color Trees for The Southwest

Here’s a small list of trees that offer fall color in Southern New Mexico and West Texas.

The Chinese Pistache is one that takes on fall colors on its’ own. If you are picky about the fall color of a tree, this is one that may be better off chosen during the time of year that it changes. This tree can range from red, yellow, orange, pink, burgundy or any combination of the fore mentioned. The variation of color can be attributed to the genetics of each individual tree, and or the type of soil and fertilizer the tree is provided throughout the year.

Red oaks also have a beautiful fall color. The Shumard, Northern Red, or Pin Oak will do well if planted in richly amended soil, and are fertilized with acid forming fertilizer. In most cases additional amounts of iron chelate may be needed to keep these oaks thriving in our alkaline soils. If you are willing to do this for these oaks you will be rewarded with a beautiful healthy green leafed tree in the summer, and blessed with its’ brilliant red foliage in the fall.

Ash trees will also have some fall color. The Raywood Ash, which has very dark green leaves in the summer, will take on a gorges purple hue during the fall season. The Modesto, Berrinda, Bonita, and Arizona ash will generally take on a bright yellow or golden fall color. These trees are very tolerant of our alkaline soils and hot dry summers, so they make excellent trees for the gardener who prefers a low maintenance tree.

Ginkgo Biloba offers a very deep golden yellow color on a primitive looking leaf. This particular tree grows very slowly in would be very useful in an area with limited space. A named variety called Autumn Gold does not produce the smelly fruit that the non cultivated tree produces. And yes this tree is where the memory pill comes from, I almost “forgot” to mention.

Colorful fall trees for the Southwest

The Chinese Tallow is another tree that has some beautiful fall color as well. The fall colors on this tree are very striking, ranging from reds, yellows, oranges, and pinks. However this tree, when young, may suffer from some winter damage. Older more mature trees can usually withstand some of our colder months with little or no winter damage.

Las Cruces Fall Trees

Keep in mind the amount of cool weather these trees receive before the first hard frost plays a key role in the show of color. The longer our nights stay cool without dipping into well below freezing temperatures, the longer our fall show will be. Also good watering and feeding habits will help contribute to these trees’ full fall glory

Gary Guzman
Color Your World Nursery Website

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why are my leaves turning yellow

Why are my leaves turning yellow

There are two big reasons why the foliage on trees or shrubs turn yellow.
  1. You are watering too often.  Most established trees or plants need only moderate watering once they have been in the ground for more than 3-5 years.  Over watering can cause the depletion of the essential element in soil that will turn foliage green.  The element is usually nitrogen or iron.
  2. It could be the fall season.  Many deciduous plants start to turn their leaves yellow right before the leaves fall...this is one reason fall is called fall!  Remember you must have about 20-30 days of below freezing temperatures before this can occur.  
  3. Water is essential for all life including plant life.  But, if you have a drip system that turns on automatically every other day for the past 4-10 years eventually the natural ocurring elements will drain out.  Again, your soil will not have enough nitrogen and iron to keep your trees and plants with good green color.

Yellowing of Leaves

So what is someone to do when your iron and nitrogen are no longer in your soil?  It easy you purchase these types of fertilizers at your local nursery.  Almost all types of fertilizers have nitrogen but what you are looking for is the first number on the product.

The higher the number the more nitrogen.  Here is an example of what I am talking - ahem...I mean writing about.  20-20-20  This is a well balanced fertilizer with an analysis of 20 for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash.  There are many fertilizers that have a high concentration of nitrogen and should be used with care too much and you could burn the root system.

Hey, make sure you visit Color Your World Nursery Website...they have ton of free information regarding all plants, trees, and landscaping needs.
Guzman's Greenhouse

Paul Guzman

Cool Weather Veggies in the Southwest

Fall is a good time to plant cooler type vegetables.  But, where does someone in the Southwestern part of New Mexico go to get good fall weather vegetables.  Here in Color Your World Nursery located in Las Cruces, NM we have hundreds of vegetables ready for planting. They arrive on a weekly basis starting in early October and ending in Late November.

Here is a list of some of these fall vegetables:
  1. Lettuces.
  2. Kale for eating or outdoor color.
  3. Beets, Parsnips and Turnips.
  4. Radishes for eating.
  5. Spinach.
  6. Collards.
  7. Peas.
  8. Swiss Chard.
  9. Broccoli.
  10. Cauliflower.
  11. Cabbages.
  12. Onions.

In the Southwestern part of the country we have many light frosts but, most of these vegetables can handle temperatures below 32 degrees  Fahrenheit.  Kale will last all through out the winter months.

Not sure how to make the most out of your fall vegetable garden?  Ask our friendly staff inside our Store.  Or as Gary your gardening question(s) by following this link: Ask Gary Guzman

p.s. We also have a huge stock of colorful bedding plants that will last all winter long. Call us at: 575 521 0496

Friday, October 08, 2010

Fall is the best time to plant stuff

I get numerous emails, mobile calls, and comments on our forum about when is the best time to plant stuff.
Many people seem to think is during early spring and indeed that is a good time to plant.  However, the best time is really in mid fall. 

During the fall season many deciduous trees, plants, and flowering shrubs will go dormant.  Not only will they lose their leaves they will also stop growing, no height and watering for established plants watering can almost stop. 

There is one part of the plant that will continue to grow and thrive.  If haven't guessed by now what it is I tell you now.  The root system...yes roots from most plants will continue to grow.  This is why it is still important to continue watering and fertilizing during the cold fall and winter months for newly planted plants. 

Of course you should drop the schedule down quite a bit.  Basically once per week on new plants and trees and once per month on drought tolerant plants.  You can stop watering good healthy plants over 5 years old but only during the winter months.

Use a good root stimulator for root growth from the get go.  Remember a root stimulator is a vitamin for your plants roots not a fertilizer.

At Color Your World Nursery we also have a good supply of root stimulator and winterizer for your lawn grass.  If you live in our area - Las Cruces, NM please come by and visit us. 

If you have any questions please ask them here:

And don't forget to visit our forum.  Join and participate our gardening forum today:

Thanks from Paul Guzman
Manager - Color Your World Nursery.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How to make bougnvillea plants bloom

The Bouganvillea plant is a fast, showy vine that shines with bright red and other colors gives it a fine cover for patios or arbors. Also a good ground cover for banks. Use as annual color in colder climates. Evergreen in warmer climates. Full sun. Fast grower to 20 to 30 feet long. There are many varieties to choose from the camarillo, purple queen and gold rush are some that have wonderous color. They are easy to grow in the southwest but like lots of good sun for blooms.

They do not like temperatures below 32 degrees farenheight so be sure to take them in if you live where the cold get below freezing. They will bloom profusely during spring, summer and early fall.

If you want them to bloom all season long use a good fertilizer with lots of phosphorus. Green lights super bloom or BR61 will work great. Ask for them at your local greenhouse nursery. Don't be afraid to trim them when blooms expire then fertilize and water for extra long blooming seasons.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Texas Sage Shrubs

The monsoon season is upon us and the moisture it brings will be welcomed sight for many here in the Southwestern part of New Mexico.  Rabbits have been a big problem for folks who live in the out skirts of cities.  Right now they will eat just about anything including your  newly planted annuals and perennials.

Texas Sage Shrubs (leucophyllum) are about to bloom profusely.  They light up the landscape with bright bluish or purple colors.  This type of shrub does very well in the southwest and there are many varieties to choose from.

The Green cloud sage get about 8 maybe 10 feet tall if left alone but can be trimmed for some really nice border type shrubs.  Dark green foliage adds contrasts to the bright purple blooms

The Chihuahuan Sage is an evergreen shrub with light green foliage.  It is a showy and fragrant lavender flower that will bloom almost all summer long. Compact grower useful as a natural hedge, or xeriscaping landscape garden. It is a slow grower and can up to 5ft. tall.

Chaparral Sage (Salvia clevelandii) - Beautiful desert shrub with blue blooms during spring. 3ft high and wide. Gray Green foilage, low water and moderate grower. No thorns or allergies. Nice shrub for walkways or along shortUse in one's three's or five's for that natural look. 20 degress fahrenheit.

Compact Texas Sage. (Leucophyllum frutescens)
Silver gray foliage backs with pink blooms summer into fall. Compact means small and has rounded evergreen shrub useful for clipped hedges, borders. Tolerates drought, poor soils. This sage is disease and insect resistent, do not overwater. Loves the full Southwestern sun Moderate grower to 3 to 5 feet tall and wide.

There are many others but these are some of the more popular ones. Ask for them at your local nursery.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Watering plants during hot weather

I am often asked about watering during hot dry conditions.  Most folks who live in the Southwest will continue the same watering schedule as if it were spring or fall.  This is a big mistake.  Temperatures can rise up to 110degress farenheight during the mid day. 

Plants, trees are just like people and pets they need extra watering during this time.  If you are on water timer up your watering times about 5-10 minute more.  Most drought tolerant plants will be alright if they are well established.  This could be anywhere from 1 to 5 years and it all depends on what type of low watering plants they are.

It is important to do extra watering on non-native or plants that do better with extra moisture.   Watering in the early morning hours is best and deep watering is better than light...sprinkler type watering. 

Most first year planting of Junipers, Cypresses, and Pines will rarely recuperate if not enough water is added during the first year.  Once they dry up they will most likely perish.

I highly recommended adding a watering system to your landscaping.  Be sure to check for leaks and or proper watering flows. 

Click Here are some watering saving tips for those who are looking to save money on their water bill

Thanks from Paul Guzman
Southwestern Gardening Tips

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bedding Plants for spring time gardening

Now is the time to start planting all sorts of bedding plants.  Here is a small list of what type of colorful plants to use to make your garden or landscape come alive.

So much color can make your landscaping area come alive.  Not to mention the neighbors asking where and how you did it.  Just tell them to go on over to "Color Your World Nursery" for the best plants in Southwestern New Mexico.  Below is a small list of what they have.
  1. Impatients
  2. Lantana
  3. Marigold
  4. Begonias
  5. Gazanias
  6. Daisy's
  7. Coreposis
  8. Daylillies
  9. Columbine
  10. Penstemon
  11. Ajuga
  12. Black Eyed Susan
  13. Columbine
  14. Salvia
  15. Yarrow
  16. Dianthus
  17. Geraniums
These are only a few bedding plants available at Color Your World Nurseries located in Las Cruces, NM.
Come by and see the stunning colorful plants today.

We also have tons of vegetable and herb plants such as:
Numerous Tomato plants
Bell Peppers
Numerous types of chili plants

Friday, February 05, 2010

Where to buy fountains in New Mexico

You can purchase fountains, pottery and statuary for your landscaping needs at Color Your World Nursery. Our retail nursery is located in Las Cruces NM. 540 N Telshor. We have thousands of pottery pieces and fountains that will make your home the perfect paradise for entertaining or just for relaxing.

Here is a video of these wonderous fountains and statuary.
Color Your World Statuary

If you live in the Southwestern part of New Mexico it would be an excellent place to spend some time to see and enjoy the hundreds of pottery, fountains and statuary on site.

The Nursery is open 9-5 Monday thru Saturday and 10-5pm Sundays. We will stay open one hour later beginning in mid March

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When to trim Palm Trees.

When and why you should trim your Palm trees.

During the cold southwestern season Palm trees start to experience winter freeze problems.  Most notable are the fronds they start to turn a greyish or brown color.  Unless you live in the South portions of Arizona and or California these trees will start to look bad, almost dead looking.

But do not fear unless they have a disease or infested by insects they will come back looking better than ever.  But this will not happen until late spring arrives.

Many landscaping professionals like to trim the bad looking fronds.  Usually the owner or landscaper professional are not sure when to trim.

It has been my experience not to least not during the months of January or February.  Here is my reasoning.  Keeping those bad looking fronds will help keep the inner part of your Palm tree from freezing temperatures they also help with wind and flying birds who like to nest inside.  The new fronds sprout out right in the middle of the tree.  They act as a blanket surrounding the trees.

Once the weather heats up is when you should consider trimming your Palm trees.  If the fronds are not trimmed off at all they will eventually fall off with help from mother nature.  It is best for the over health and growth your palm trees that you trim them as the years go by.

Always use Palm Tree food when fertilizing. 
Paul Guzman

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Time to Prune Trees

It's been a very cold winter for the southwestern part of New Mexico.  Colder than most seasons and this is actually good news.  The freezing temperatures will kill off any remaining insects that will hatch more larvae and infest many of our trees and shrubs. 

This also means that many trees and plants that are very tolerant of the cold will probably go completley dormant.  It also means many more trees to prune.  Many novice gardeners think they have to prune their ornamental and fruit trees because it the right thing to do.  You do not have prune any tree or plant unless there is real reason to do so. 

Fruit trees need pruning if they are growing larger than what you need them to be.  Limbs that are touching or growing out of propotion than the rest of the treed need to be pruned.  Limbs that are touching electrical, phone, cable wires need to be pruned.  Be sure to call city, county or state officials before you prune near any of these type of wires.  Depending on your area many of these agencies will do this at no charge.

Branches or limbs that are broken or dead need to be removed.  You can usually tell if a branch is still viable by bending one way or the other.  If it bends it will shoot out new foliage.  If it doesn't it is time to cut if off.

Now that you are out there pruning it is a good idea to further observer your trees. Do they have holes in them are do they looking good or are they still small and thinish.  It is possible you may have had borer damage during the warmer months.  Fungus and and other diseases is also a problem. 

You can prevent some of these problems by using a dormant oil during the early spring season, just before foliage starts to shoot out.  Ask for this product at your nearby friendly nursery.

Got questions: You can contact me or ask your questions at

Monday, January 04, 2010