Stead NV area

Asked March 16, 2020, 9:05 PM EDT

Is there a publication to advise what natural plants to use in re-landscaping my back yard? I've wasted a lot of money in my past approach. I need low maintenance ground cover and easy care bush type for fencing/barriers. I'm trying to rid my yard of cheat grass and weeds. I like sage brush, but may be allergic to some types. I may need to plan additions over several years.

Washoe County Nevada

3 Responses

I have several fact sheets I can email you directly and if you can email back a photo of your yard and how you plan to water the area I can provide you with a more specific list. Unfortunately, with this portal I can not attach PDF documents to send to you, thus direct email will be faster.
Depending on your allergies you may be allergic to our state flower Big Sage, but not to Rabbitbrush that blooms at the same time. There are several natives that are options and if you own more than 1 acre of land you can take advantage of the Nevada Department of Forestry State Tree Nursery that sells perennials, shrubs and trees appropriate to our environment and in small sizes so they acclimate much more quickly to new environments., you can also text photos to 775-399-8522

These photos are from this morning, so not much light back there, yet.
my email address is
"you may be allergic to our state flower Big Sage, but not to Rabbitbrush"
I have both in my yard, I think. The glorious 3' - 4' sage colored bushes I seem to be ok with.
The smaller, yellowish, honeysuckle fragrant bushes are the ones I seem to have a reaction to.
(I realize now, that was the reason for the photos?)
I was trying to rid myself of the varmints, spiders and mice, so I sprayed with a peppermint solution which seems to have damaged my trees and some of the larger sagebrush.

My back yard is about 40' x 60'. Nevada Department of Forestry State Tree Nursery allowed me to buy a bunch of plants (2011) at the end of the season - even though I don't technically qualify. I spent weeks getting them, and some trees from Lowe's, planted but they all (about 80 trees & bushes) died by the spring.

I've been here for 30 years. At first the land all lawn and was managed by HOA gardener. That ended, fences went up and it was very difficult to water by conventional sprinklers. I let it go to weed to keep the dust down, but then the chickweed showed up and it's been un-manageable for me. (I'm physically disabled - weak muscles.) I feel like I need to do this in several stages over a few years. Clear the land first and put down some sort of cover to choke the weeds, like the 3rd photo. I only have conventional, garden hose watering option available for now. I plan on a produce garden in a 10' x 20' section. The rest will need some sort of cover until I can get the landscaping design and plants to grow. In 2019 I had about 15 trees that didn't survive (in pots), some from Arbor Day Foundation. Waiting on 2 to see if they survived the winter. I need it to be as easy on me and carefree as possible so I can manage it. The hot summers we've been having have kept me inside.

Thank you for the photos. It sounds like you went the right direction with working with small plants. A key question would be why did they fail. If you relied on Mother Nature to water most would die over the winter. Newly transplanted plants of any size have difficulty transitioning to new environments and must be supplemented with additional water for years even if they are native plants.
unfortunately, the photo that you like would take a complete and very efficient irrigation system and would take more water than you would want. If turfgrass grew in the area before then the ground should be able to support new plants. While it may be expensive I would suggest getting estimates to install a system. It will make your life much easier and promote the health of the new plants you purchase.
I will get a group of fact sheets together and email them to you. I'll also work on a few suggestions of plants that you may want to consider.