Thursday, June 23, 2011

Desert Mountain Visits

Astragulus found on the side of  Japs Road
 This little yellow flower made me stop and back up to take a closer look.  Looks pretty spectacular, but most likely I will not be able to find it when the flowers are gone.

There were a lot of these penstemons growing in the area.  I believe that it is Penstemon humilus.  They also grow along the Cal Valley road.
 This penstemon, P confusus was found in the road cut of Highway 50.  It has a little brighter color than the population that is north of the Cal Valley road.

I have made a few visits into the desert mountains more precisely Cal Valley Road.  There were some nice native perennials growing in the area.  They are later blooming this year because of the cold weather that we have had.  The First time I visited that area, there was nothing blooming.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

native plants

A favorite Penstemon is the Eaton Penstemon. Check out the following pictures. Photos one and two and three

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pinion Pine Nuts

Ever since I have been in the nursery business, and probably longer than that, there has been a demand for pinion pine trees. They grow at a turtles pace, especially when they don’t get supplemental irrigation. It may take 20 years to grow and eight foot tree I plant them every year from seeds that I collect or buy. This year I bought nuts sometime in October. I have a fridge that doesn’t work. I store them there because the mice can’t get to them. I did not get them planted when I wanted to. I remember during the night or when I am out of town. I planted the nuts yesterday about one inch apart in three germination trays. There were seventy-two nuts in each tray. I planted part of them directly into the Leach tubes that I use. Some I sprinkled in germination trays filled with soil. They are watered and in a heated greenhouse just waiting to grow. I have to keep the mice away. I have traps set for them and there are cats around that get them, Check out Great Basin Natives for more native plants.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Before the Wildflowers Flower

Today was the first day of the year that I had a chance to check out the wild flowers. The snow had melted and the road was dry. I did not go all the way up the Cal Valley road. I did not have much time to go any higher and there was probably snow in the shady part of the road at a higher elevation. There was nothing flowering, but a lot of plants that were beginning to grow. In another week or two there should be some flowering. I have a few pictures.

The top picture is Eriogonum umbulatum and Flox taken today. The Second photo is Eriogonum blooming taken last year. The third picture is the estragulas taken last year and the last picture is the estragulas taken today.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Planting Trees That Don't Use Much Water

Many drought tolerant trees are irrigated by the use of drip lines. Initially A small tree doesn't require much water. The quantity of water for each tree may be set for one gallon every day. That keeps the tree alive and tree may grow quite well. The roots stay where the water is so the tree doesn't develop a good root system. A hard Wind may blow the tree over; especially if the wind comes just after they are irrigated. The roots don't grow beyond the wet soil from one gallon of water. If the tree survives the wind, the water is turned off because it is felt that it can grow in the yard like it grows in its native environment. When the supplementary water is shut off the tree begins to suffer from the lack of water. It is better to give the tree seven gallons of water once a week instead of one gallon everyday. As the tree grows water should be applied further from the trunk to encourage roots to move out. The tree has a much better chance of surviving on water from the sky if the roots have grown out a substantial distance from the trunk of the tree. Many of the drought tolerant trees have roots that grow a foot below the surface of the ground, but are way beyond the drip line. There are some years that there is not enough rainfall to soak the soil more than a foot deep. The trees have and extensive shallow root system that can capture rainfall.