Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Parkstrip Class

I will be teaching a class on Parkstrips this coming Saturday. I invite all to come and attend. If you are interested you can sign up by clicking on the link below. The class will be held at the Conservation Garden Park in West Jordan. Seats are filling up fast and space is limited!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Landscaping Classes

Here is a list of Landscaping classes that will be held at Asphalt Materials DIY Landscape Center in West Jordan. They will all be full of great information for people that want to do it themselves! I will be teaching several of the classes including Soil Basics and all of the classes on Landscape Design for Utah. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Succulent Pots

 I spent last weekend at the 2013 Salt Lake City Home and Garden Show and loved every minute of it! It was a huge success and I just want to thank everyone that came to see me.

I made several succulent pots for the tables in my booth. I think they turned out very well and I had many people wondering how I put them together. I think that they are a great addition to any home and they are sure to be a good conversation piece. So on that note here are the instructions.

You will need these items to put them together:

1. Glass bowl or container.
            I purchased mine from Hobby Lobby and Michaels. They were $5-$10 and look great.

2. Gardening Charcoal
            I used Black Gold brand Gardening Charcoal.
3. Cactus Soil
4. Decorative Rocks
5. Succulents

To start the process you want to fill the bottom layer of your glass pot with the Gardening Charcoal. You might be wondering why in the world you need the Charcoal. The reason that you need it is because there is no drain on the bottom of the glass pot. The water needs somewhere to sit while it evaporates out. If you didn't have this layer of Charcoal then the water would sit in the root zone of the succulents and the roots would rot.

After you have added the charcoal then you want to add the Cactus, Palm, and Citrus Soil. The reason you need this specific type of soil is because you need it to be fast draining so your plants don't rot. You need to put as much soil in the pot as you need to cover your largest root ball.

The next step is adding your succulents. When you remove the root ball from the pot make sure not to damage it to much. You also want to break up the roots a little to loosen them up and encourage them to move into the new soil rather than stay in the same cube they have been in there whole life.

After you have placed the succulents in there new home you can add some decorative gravel to the top of the soil. This really serves no purpose other than to make the pot look even better!

You need to water your succulents after they are planted. Don't add a ton of water, just make sure there is enough to make the soil evenly moist. Remember the idea is to have the water go through the soil and then sit in the charcoal at the bottom of the pot. If you put to much in then it will sit in the soil not the charcoal.

I water my succulents every 3-4 weeks or when they start to look bad. They are super easy to take care of and are very good for people that have trouble keeping other plants alive. Its almost better if you forget to water them.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I talk to many people that have trouble with the soil in their garden. Dealing with the soil on your property is something that can be very frustrating, whether you are dealing with sand or clay. There are several ways that you can go about solving the problem. One of the best methods to deal with the issue is the use of compost. Adding compost to the top 1-3" of soil will help to break down a clay soil and add nutrients.


Compost in its simplest form is organic matter (leafs, grass clippings, banana peels, ect..) that has been broken down. The breaking down is done by aerobes (small organisms with a oxygen based metabolism), earthworms, ants, and nematodes. Along with organic matter you will find soil, air, water, and nitrogen. All of these mixed into your garden can greatly help a dried out barren soil.

In order to take advantage of composting in your own yard there are several things that you must do. The first thing to decide is how and where you are going to place it in your own yard. Some people will just have a pile of it in the corner of there yard open to the elements. This is the cheapest and simplest way of doing it but some of your neighbors might not like the sight of what appears to be a trash heap in your yard. A step up from this is to erect a small structure to hold it. Some people use pallets that have been screwed together. Not only does this help hide it but it also helps to keep it not looking like a pile of trash. If you are willing to spend a little money you can buy an enclosed container. These are much more pleasing to the eye and will help you store it much better.


Once you have decided where and how you are going to store it the next thing to do is start composting. You can add all sorts of organic matter to it. One good rule of thumb to follow to help it break down faster is for every one part green material add two parts brown material.

Green Material:                                         Brown Material:
Leaves                                                       Newspaper
Grass Clippings                                         Soil
Fruits and Vegetables                                Dried Leaves
                                                                  Bark Mulch

You can also add egg shells as they are an excellent source of calcium.

Once you have added things to your pile you will need to add water to it as well as flip it with a pitch fork or shovel. This should be done about once a week to help things break down. Other than that just let mother nature do her work.

Once things have broken down you can add it to you garden. Over the next several growing seasons you will start to notice that your plants are looking much happier and healthier.

WARNING: If you plan on applying your compost to your vegetable garden make sure you know the source of your raw materials. If you are using grass clippings that have had pesticides applied to them some of it may be transferred to your vegetable garden. Make sure you know the source of all your materials.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ericameria nauseosa- Rabbit Brush

One of the easiest plants to grow in the Inter-mountain West is Ericameria nauseosa-Rabbitbush or Rubber Rabbitbrush. It can be found growing along roads and highways in the Rockies and Great Plains regions. These areas tend to be very hot and dry with changing levels of soil quality. If such areas exist in your garden then they are a great place for this shrub. It can survive in other areas but this is where it does best and where it can be fully utilized. In fact if you have an area in your landscape that you don't have sprinklers or your don't plan on installing any than that is a great place for this plant.

Rabbitbrush is quite beautiful in the fall when it blooms yellow. It also combines well in the landscape with other drought tolerant plants like Penstemons, Four O'Clocks, and Yuccas.

Rabbitbrush can and should be pruned back yearly if you have it in an area in your yard where you need it to behave. Especially if it is getting water on a regular basis. The more water it gets the bigger it gets. If not pruned it will get large and overcrowded. The best times to prune this plant is after its yellow color has faded in the late fall or in the early spring. There are advantages to both times. If you prune it in the fall you can dispose of its seeds before they spread. It can be irritating to do it this time of the year though because those seeds love to blow all over the place and tend to go right up your nose! The advantage of pruning it in the spring is you don't have to deal with the seeds flying all over the place.

When pruning it should be sheered back to the ground. It tolerates this drastic pruning cut well and will grow vigorously from the crown of the plant. When it grows back it will do so in a nice rounded shape.

Height: 1-7 ft (around 2-3ft when pruned yearly)
Width: 2-6ft
Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: August-October
Deer Resistant
Water: Once established it can survive on rainfall alone