Living in Reno has some impressive advantages- the mountains, the proximity to so many outdoor activities, the weather, the growing economy. But we do have to be proactive in our gardening because we live in such a diverse climate. From snow in the winter to searing hot, dry summers, our landscape can take a beating. Follow these tips if you're adding to or completely renovating your landscape.
1. Plant Native Plants. Plants like paintbrush, varieties of sage, and Nevada smokebush thrive in Northern Nevada because they are native to the area. There are hundreds of options to choose from. Work with a local garden center or contact Nevada Native Plant Society to learn more about plants that will do well in your yard.
2. Choose Color. Keep things interesting in your yard by adding pops of color. If your yard is mainly lawn, consider adding several pots with annual flowers. Petunias, marigold and salvia do well in containers and in the heat, but will only last until the first frost. Perennials (plants that return year after year) can typically handle the cold winters and can be planted in your yard for long-lasting effect. Roses are a popular choice and typically do well in Northern Nevada.
3. Keep a Garden. Tomatoes, peppers, and squash are some staples that do well in a vegetable garden. Choose herbs, which can be planted in the ground or in containers. Work with a local garden center to choose plants and to help lay out your garden if you're new to gardening.
4. Be Water Wise. Because Northern Nevada summers are typically hot and dry, it's important to use water efficiently. Make sure your sprinkler system is set to water in the mornings or evenings and is running properly. Remember to only water on your assigned watering day. Instead of a full lawn, consider hardscape like a patio, sitting area, fire pit, stone, or rock walkways.
5. Prepare for Animals. If you're in an area with deer, consult a local garden center for plants and trees that deer do not like. If you're a fan of hummingbirds or butterflies, there are many options that attract them and plants can be chosen to stagger the blooms throughout the summer.
6. Hire a Professional. If you are new to the area, have a big project, or just don't have a green thumb, it may be best to hire a professional landscaper to design and install your landscape. They will be able to recommend and install the most efficient watering systems and help you choose plants that will thrive for years to come.