Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

October, 2006
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Desert Harvest at the Gardens
Mesquite bean flour was an important and nutritious food staple in Native American diets, but if you've ever tried grinding these tough pods without the aid of an electric blender, you'll appreciate how hard people worked for their supper! Bring your mesquite pods to Tucson Botanical Gardens for milling between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 28. There will be other information tables and talks related to desert harvests from 9 to 3. General admission is $5 and admission for children 6 to 12 is $2.50. Children 5 and under and members are free. For info, visit:

Clever Gardening Technique

Recycle Free Wood Chips
Spreading mulch around plants is one of the easiest things you can do to conserve water and help maintain healthy plants. Mulch maintains soil moisture, reduces soil temperature, and inhibits weeds. Organic mulch, such as compost or wood chips, adds nutrients to the soil as the material decomposes. Free mulch is available through Nevada Cooperative Extension at their demonstration orchard in Las Vegas. Mulch is coarse, from chippings dropped by landscape companies. It is not finished compost. Free loading into the back of a pickup is available only on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.

Take I-95 or I-15 north to CC-215. Take CC-215 toward Alliante. Exit on Alliante Parkway, turn north to Horse Road, then left on Horse Road to the Orchard. For more info, visit:

If you live elsewhere, check with local utilities (they have to trim trees) and landscape companies for free sources of mulch. They have to pay a fee to dispose of it in landfills, so they are usually grateful for someone to take it off their hands.


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