Gardening in Tucson

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Kirk-Bear Canyon Library - Iris Exhibit
FREE! Public Welcome!
Submissions: 9:00am - 10:00am. Each member who brings at least 3 irises to the exhibit will receive 1 club iris at the August meeting.
Exhibit Open: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Tear down: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Kirk-Bear Canyon Library
8959 E Tanque Verde Rd,
Tucson, AZ 85749
Phone: (520) 594-5275


Saturday, May 28,   Tucson Area Iris Society Meeting  
12:30pm  until  5:00pm.  At the Murphy Wilmot Library 
 (large room),  530 N. Wilmot Rd.,  Phone: 520- 594-5420.

 A talk with illustrations by author, Stephen Buchmann ,
 " The Reason for Flowers"  (including irises).  
  Business meeting will follow program.
Free.   18 and older.   Phone:  520-310-5222 for info.  


Nonprofit groups offer the right plants and advice for gardening at this time of year.

  • Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale
  • , April 9, 8-11 a.m. Aloes, adeniums, plumeria, figs and wildflowers are expected to be in abundance. Used containers, including stock tanks, will be available for sale. Pima County Cooperative Extension, 4210 N. Campbell Ave.

Friday, August 28, 2015


The Tucson Area Iris Society is Announcing:  A Gigantic Iris plant and rhizome sale on Saturday, September 19th , at the Harlow Gardens, 5620 E. Pima St., 886-5475,  from 10 AM - 4 PM.    Contact: Kristee at 310-5222, or see     GROW A COLORFUL SPRING GARDEN!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fall Garden Tours Sept and Oct 2015
special thanks to Elena Acoba, Arizona Daily Star

14th annual Garden Tour
What: Self-guided tour organized by Bisbee Bloomers.
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 5. 
Where: Grassy Park and 11 homes throughout Bisbee.
Admission: $10. Tickets available at Finders Keepers and High Desert Market until the day of the tour, when they’re available at Grassy Park.
Information: 866-224-7233, 
Rita Ranch Backyard Garden Tour
What: Self-guided tour organized by Purple Heart Park community garden supporters.
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 10 
Where: At least 10 homes within Rita Ranch.
Admission: $5. Tickets and maps available at Purple Heart Park.
Information: 591-2255, 
Homescape Harvest Tour
What: Self-guided tour of sustainable gardens organized by Watershed Management Group.
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 17. 
Where: About 24 homes throughout Tucson, plus the organization’s Living Lab and Learning Center, 1137 N. Dodge Blvd. 
Admission: $15, $10 for each person in a carpool or using a public bus. Tickets and maps available at the Living Lab and Learning Center.
Etcetera: A bicycle tour of 10 of the stops will be led by BICAS. $5 suggested donation.
Information: 396-3266,

Tucson Iris Society presents:

Wild Iris I have known
Oct 10, 2015 Eckerson-Columbus Library, 22nd & Columbus
Saturday, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
presented by Dr. Jacqueline Soule

 In nature, Iris are found in a wide variety of habitats, from deserts to cold mountains, sand dunes to grassy slopes, in meadowlands and on riverbanks. Nearly all species are found in the Northern hemisphere, particularly from Eurasia to Asia. Dr. Soule has lived and traveled in the region and will share with us images of some of the lesser known but still beautiful wild iris of the Middle East and Asia. Luckily, a number of these exotic species are available in the nursery trade.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Do's, don'ts for using old gardening supplies

With spring planting season approaching, it's time to take stock of what's in your garden shed or garage. That way you make sure to use what you have and toss out what you can't salvage.
Here are some tips on what to do with your leftover gardening supplies:
Toss out old seeds if they appear dried out or have mold or fungus, says Jon Childers of Mesquite Valley Growers.
Otherwise, they're OK to plant regardless of the date on the seed packet.
If they don't sprout in a week or 10 days, then sow newly bought seeds. You haven't lost much in trying old seeds.
"You're losing a little bit of time," Childers says, "but if it's early in the season, you have the entire season in front of you."
Any leftover soil amendments, including fertilizers, will be fine to use as long as they have been kept dry, says Mesquite Valley's Rodney White.
White cautions that stored amendments that are wet will break down and lose their potency.
Wet manure could get too hot to use safely, he adds. He recalls spreading an old bag of poultry manure that had been wet. "I burned some plants with it," he says.
Stored hot fertilizer also poses a fire and explosion hazard, according to the Arizona Master Gardener Manual by Pima County Cooperative Extension.
Leftover garden or potting soil also should be fine to use, White says.
Sometimes bags of soil will "get kind of funky or moldy or stinky" if they got wet and the organic matter started breaking down, he says.
"You could still use it. Definitely dry it out and mix it in with something else."
Follow the container directions for disposal of chemicals. White says leftover chemicals can be used if they were properly stored for up to three years.
The master gardener manual suggests discarding anything with damaged labels or in damaged containers.
Try to buy only what you need so that you don't store toxic pesticides and herbicides in the first place, according to the manual.
You can safely dispose of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers at several household-hazardous-waste collection centers. For information, call 888-6947.
Do not pour these down a drain or where they can pollute the water supply, the manual says.
Horticulturists at Tucson Botanical Gardens suggest doing these tasks around the garden in February:
• Continue to watch for frosts and freezes that can damage sensitive plants.
• Prune dormant trees, but not spring-flowering plants.
• Fertilize flowering perennials such as irises and roses. Start fertilizing citrus around Valentine's Day.
• Pull weeds before they go to seed.
Contact Tucson freelance writer Elena Acoba at