Jim Hardy

miketropicNovember 13, 2012

Would like to get in contact with you to discuss some over wintering and some of those pants in your photos of the desert garden. I couldn't find a email in your profile. If you could contact me at mkindoll@g*ail.com. I think you can figure that out and I might not get any spam from it LOL

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I sent you an e-mail (-:

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:59PM
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try it again when you get time I didn't get it but I do have some questions for you lol. thanks for your time

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:06PM
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Sent another one-might be faster right here

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:05AM
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might as well.. Didn't want to mess up the forum with personal messages but since the email thing isnt working oh well.

I have been wanting to start a desert type garden on my hillside for awhile. the only native desert type plant we have here is a prickly pear (although Ive never came across it in the wild ) so I was looking at other things that would over winter here. found a few agave but not much else. Any suggestions on things for a zone 6 desert garden?

I was also looking at your protection pictures and your desert has the wire cage over it. do you just cover with plastic to make a small greenhouse or fill it with somthing? does it get heated? I know the main thing is just to keep them dry but Im new with the desert stuff. any way a lithop would make it over winter here with coverage.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 8:16PM
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also forgot to ask since I am a zone warmer, I havent seen 0 or negative temps in 4 or 5 years if I protected the desert stuff as well as the palms the way you do but didn't heat with xmas lights do you think they would be alright? I find it strange they can go 6 months without light and live but it seems to be working for you. since I am at a place I figure I will live awhile a few new palms are getting ground planted next year and I will see how they overwinter. thanks for all the help

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 8:22PM
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Check the link under the last picture for Cactus

Mine get full sun,it is just trough plastic film wrap,
it is quite bright in there...if I could have all my houseplants in there I would.

I do this to keep them dry starting Oct 1-(its not always up,like during dry stretches.

Last winter I added a layer of 1" bubble wrap over the rain cover
and then another layer of plastic film.

I used a 1500wt heater inside) I have used up to 2)but...
this year it is about half as big because the palm in back is to big
and it is a waste to extend it that far....and oh yea,
I cut down the 6' Yucca!


It is smaller this year and needs to be for the Trichocereus
to stay toasty.

Here is a link that might be useful: I bought a lot of the cacti and agave here.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:48PM
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first of all thanks so much for the help..second my mind is blown that you even attempt to grow Trichocereus in the ground in Iowa..mine are in pots and I'm almost in zone 7 and still don't try them in the ground. I would imagein as with anything else they grow much faster that way though.
I guess its nothing ventured nothing gained next spring I'll try some stuff in ground and see how I fair. my wife is going to kill me when she sees all these plant "igloos" going up come october lol. thanks for the help I'll let you know how I make out. you should try a mekong Giant banana as hardy or better than bajoo and get much larger.perfect for Iowa

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:53PM
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Mike, it may not be necessary for you to go all out like Jim does, especially since you're in a zone 7. There are a plethora of species you can grow without protection. At one point someone posted this list of species that can grow in zone 5.

Desert plants for zone 5 and above

Yucca baileyi*
Yucca glauca*
Yucca elata
Yucca harrimaniae
Yucca baccata*
Echinocereus fendleri
Echinocereus triglochidiatus*
Opuntia polyacantha
Opuntia basilaris
Opuntia phaeacantha*
Cylindropuntia whipplei*
Cylindropuntia imbricata*
Cylindropuntia kleinae
Cylindropuntia spinosior
Agastasche sp (check HCG for a buttload of varieties)
Stipa tenuissima (now Nasella I think)
Bouteloua gracilis
Muhlenbergia torreyi
Chrysothamnus nauseosus*
Chrysothamnus greenei
Artemesia filifolia*
Artemesia frigida
Artemesia tridentata*
Sarcobatus vermiculatus
Forestiera neomexicana
Penstemon strictus*
Penstemon barbatus*
Parryella filifolia
Cowania mexicana
Purshia tridentata
Fallugia paradoxa
Atriplex canescens
Penstemon jamesii
Coryphantha vivipara*
Delosperma cooperi (might not be so ok in 5b east, its fine in 5b NM)
Nolina microcarpa
Hesperaloe parviflora*
Agave parryi*
Agave neomexicana*
Agave havardiana*
Agave utahensis ssp kaibabensis*
Mirabilis multiflora
Agave utahensis ssp. kaibabensis
Agave parryi var. couesii
Agave parryi (anything from over 7000')
Agave neomexicana

Off the top of my head, hesperaloe, sedums, ice plants, many trunking yuccas, many western perennials and others can be grown in a zone 7 with little or no protection. You should check the Yucca Yucca board, there are many people there who do similar things.


Here is a link to a book which has a lot of good info. Click on book preview, you will get a ton of info, save it as a favorite for future reference, the previewable pages do change over time, so keep checking back.


Also check out High Country Gardens. They are a great mail order nursery from New Mexico that has a ton of desert plants at good prices and is an easy to use website that gives good info about the plants. Many of the "Western only" plants can be grown as well if you provide a sheltered location or moisture protection.


Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:04AM
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thanks so much that is very helpful..although not for the wallet still helpful LOL. it goes from a zone 6B to a 7 then back again depending on what nature feels like. almost 65 degrees today..the high was 45 last week...I'll check all that out thanks so much again.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 2:21PM
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The last 2 summers have been awful for growing bananas,
I think I saw 2-3 times we got an inch+ and everytime
the Bananas would bust a leaf out and stop.....

Anyway, Mekong giant in it's first season here.
It is right here in my room now and has put out a leaf...
it's only one(-;
Going to plant it in front with the Saba and see who gets biggest-

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 2:23PM
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now why did you have to go and post that..I spy a T rex back there. any pups your willing to part with? Mekong grows very very fast here my friend has some 25ft ones and a saba that flowered this year but to late to get ripe fruit. the saba was larger by maybe a few feet but I think next summer the mekong will take the trophy. I am really starting to wonder what else you have hideing around your property. better stop posting pictures before I come out for a visit...

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 6:40PM
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Thats funny....(-:

I would be happy to give you one of the Trex but they got fried.

I did sneak two inside before they all got zapped.

I hope the Saba and Mekong have a nice race to the top of the house,would be fun to have a few giants.

If we have another dry summer though.......

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:05PM
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it gets sooo hot here in the summer being right on a river that I water every day sometimes twice a day to keep everything from gettin crispy. we will have a real humid time being on this river then it all goes away and its 105 for weeks on end. If you saved T rexs ever pup let me know... Are they true T rex or the steroidial giants from PD's .what else are you hiding that we havent seen yet. seems like you come up with something new and unique with every pic.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:40PM
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I think that is everything(-;

Where do you live?

The T-rex will come up next year from the roots....

They are Steroidal giant from Brian's Botanicals of E-bay.

Water is expensive here as they double charge for sewer...

The summer before we started the drought we had almost 70"
I think we had around 17" until Oct...7"+ since 10/1
not really useful to me at this point but much needed!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:48AM
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I'm friends with Brain acually. we were both acually looking for other versions of T rex not the sterodial giant, why I wanted one of yours. I have heard many people do root cuttings. the one time I tried it I ended up with mush so I'll take an established plant over root cuttings every time.

I live in rural KY so fertalizer, water are cheap. I can water every day for a month an still end up only 30 dollars on the bill. they do charge again for sewer but oh well it gets to hot here not to water or I would have crispy everything.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 2:53PM
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Got it...

If water was cheaper here I would have flooded my stuff nightly.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:06PM
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