Southwestern Deserts

August, 2005
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Volunteers to Remove Invasive Plants
On August 13 Volunteers for Outdoor Arizona will remove bull thistle from Canyon Creek, an area in the northern part of the state that was devastated by wildfire two years ago. With other plants destroyed, invasive bull thistle takes over, outcompeting native plants, increasing soil erosion, and providing nothing of value for wildlife. Volunteers will wield picks and spades to get the plant's rootstock below soil level. Families are welcome to participate. What a great opportunity to teach youngsters about nature and the value of volunteering. For more details on the group and to register for the event, go to http://www.voaz.org.

Clever Gardening Technique

Hand-Pollinate
If fruits aren't setting for vining crops, such as squash, pumpkins, cukes, and gourds, it may be due to a lack of pollinating bees and moths. Hand-pollinate with a small artist's brush or Q-tip. Brush pollen from the male flower onto the female in early morning when pollen is most viable. Female flowers can be identified by the tiny fruit at their base, which, after pollination, will grow and mature. If it browns, shrivels, and dries up, pollination was not successful.

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