Sunrise is earlier, sunset is later. I have my mind on spring.
I have been researching water-thrifty plants to share with gardeners interested in having yards that conserve water and require less maintenance. Utah has been very proactive in its water-conservation efforts. Its motto is "Slow the Flow, Save H2O."
Utah Cooperative Extension, the Utah Nursery and Landscape Association, the Utah Botanical Center, the Native Plant Society and others have developed a terrific plant list at www.waterwiseplants.utah.gov.
The criteria for this list is that the "plants are water-wise, adapted to Utah's arid climate and cold winters, available in the industry, relatively easy to maintain in the landscape and have desirable landscape characteristics which remain desirable under limited water availability."
The climates of Utah and Northern Nevada are similar. Plants for Utah probably will also do well here. A plant on this Utah list will need to be "watered at most once every two weeks after establishment and will retain its aesthetic characteristics." Wow! Watering every two weeks! Think of the work saved and the water not used.
On the Web site, there is a "Landscapes" button. Clicking on it gave me before-and-after photos of some homes. These homes had previously had thirsty, water-using lawns that were redesigned and transformed into beautiful, water-efficient plantings. Take a look at the site to see the possibilities.
Using the "Browse" button, I found a section where all the plants on the list that I mentioned above may be clicked on. By clicking, you can see a photo and get a drought rating, a description, a user rating, and soil and exposure requirements. Photos and user ratings are not yet available for all plants, but this site has a wealth of information. A gardener can use it to get an idea of what many of the plants look like.
The Web site also has a feature called "My List." If you find a plant that you want to remember, download the information to "My List." When you are done finding all the plants you want, you can print the list and go shopping.
Finally, at www.conservewater.utah.gov/OutdoorUse, there is a wealth of information on sprinklers, lawns, maintenance and more. In the arid West, successful gardeners are water-wise.
Interested in keeping your evergreen trees healthy through drought and after fire? Attend a bark beetle workshop 6 Ð 8 p.m., Feb. 23 at the Carson City Library. The speaker will be John Christopherson of the Nevada Division of Forestry.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 887-2252. You can "Ask a Master Gardener" by e-mailing email@example.com or call your local University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office. Check out many useful horticulture publications at www.unce.unr.edu.
n JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.