have just purchased your own personal acre of prime Nevada
Ahem... I mean real estate.
Why there is no problem growing anything here at all!
Just look at all that sagebrush, Mormon Tea, Desert Peach, Cacti and
Somewhere around February or March you start to notice home
improvement stores setting out all kinds
of flora - flowers, roses and bedding plants at great bargain
Wonderful! This is just like California!
Why, all the tales you were told about the climate in Nevada
have been concocted to discourage Californians
there in the first place.
You do notice however, there are a few items like hydrangea, ice plants
and jade trees not on display and ask the
helpful attendant if he would not mind ordering them.
The attendant is most obliging and places your order - cash up front of
You leave the store with a very nice assortment of plants, soil
amendments, fertilizers, go home and set to work.
It occurs to you after
planting that a watering system of some sort will have to be
Since you planted your purchases in several eye-pleasing groupings
throughout the back half acre, you are not
exactly sure what to do and there is so much space!
The helpful fellow back
at the home improvement store suggests running
a several hoses from a manifold out to the
For only $30.00 a pop you can install a
battery operated timer at each location.
That is of course until you install a real watering system later on.
$120.00 later four stations are now installed. This is pretty neat and
simple. Beautiful days, a slight
afternoon breeze, mid 70's and a little cool at night. What
more could one ask for?
Two weeks later you wake up one morning and boy it looks bright
outside. The sun sure comes up early here!
You draw the curtains back to find at least four inches of snow
covering everything. Several hours later the snow
melts off and it is rather hard to distinguish your plants from
the compost surrounding them.
Must have been a freak snowstorm. These things do happen. Better get
back to the home improvement center to see if all
those plants are still on sale and wonder of wonders, they
So, you load up again to spend the rest of the afternoon
Something is wrong in the back yard. It looks like a major
flood. Closer examination reveals all the battery operated
timers are flowing at once.
None of them seem to
be working right so you shut off the main water supply and take one
of the timers back to the
store to see
what the problem is.
The knowledgable salesman says that because you left the
timers on over night, water in the timer froze and busted
When the temperature warmed up ice
inside melted, water flowed and created the swamp that is now your back yard.
$120.00 later four new stations are installed. It takes the rest of the
day for the miniature lakes to recede before
spring planting can continue.
You decide in the interim to place the new plants on your west-facing
deck. It is a very pleasant view in the evenings with the
sun setting over the Sierras. You plan on enjoying it with
your tender young plants.
Around three or four in the afternoon you hear outside what sounds kind
of like a roar and it is steadily increasing in
Excellent! That must be the
firefighting planes practicing their landing and take-offs from the local
airport you heard
so much about.
Well, it wasn't aircraft. It was a 60 plus mile per hour wind storm
barreling down the Sierras and through the valley.
The new plant purchases, what is left of them,
are scattered on the deck, in the sand and the rest are headed for
is getting a
Back at the home improvement store, the folks there now know you on a
first name basis. It is really nice that there
are still some places where a friendly, communal atmosphere
thrives. You do wonder though if that wasa smirk on the
cashier's face as you were checking out or just an over
The following afternoon it is perfect for planting again and
you notice every time you start work the neighbors set out
their lawn chairs, pop a couple cold ones and watch.
You never did introduce yourself so you go over to the
fence and make their acquaintance.
You learn some interesting facts.
People here don't start planting until the snow is off Peavine Mountain
or the begninning of June, whichever comes
one does any planting prior to that.
Why then are plants sold as early as February?
Well, never hurts the economy to sell product two,
three or four
times (the really slow learners) to
new Nevada home
Hmmm, that is interesting. Would the neighbors happen to have
any other useful tips?
As a matter of fact they do.
1. Do not buy anything expensive. Odds are it will die. If
a plant makes it past three years it might live.
2. Fifty plus degree temperature swings in twenty four hours
tend to limit your choices.
Trees seem to be out.
3. Buy from nurseries selling stock grown locally.
California imports are too thin skinned for the climate. 4. Erect some
kind of wind
break. Those afternoon freight
coming off the Sierras are the norm, not the
You can go the natural route and plant
, which you
can dig out of
the desert free of charge.
excellent protection and look pretty nice as
5. Have your soil tested so you know what kinds of soil
amendments to purchase.
Not what kinds of amendments
need; soil amendments you will
Oh, and get real familiar with the term
6. The county will spray your yard at the beginning of the
growing season (June, not March) for a nominal fee.
would you do that?