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“During our first visit to the Desert Museum in 1994 we agreed it was the best full spectrum natural history experience we'd ever had - and right here in our own backyard! We've supported the Museum annually since then and encourage friends and business associates to do the same.”
-- Jerry Weinert
   & Marni Dittmar

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Botany 2009

All You Need Is Glove
Horticulturists

To get right to the point, there's nothing quite like handling spiny or thorny plants when you have a hole in your work gloves. A new pair of gloves is almost like health insurance for our hands.

$ 6.00
Number needed: 19/20
It’s not just dirt!
Plant Nursery

We create our own potting soil mixes in the Botany Nursery. Peat moss, a non-renewable, mined product, used to be a common ingredient for us. But now we’ve found something much better! This product, Coir, is made out of shredded coconut husk fiber.

$ 9.00
Number needed: 48/50
Take the acid out
Plant Nursery

Our desert plants like their soil a bit less acidic than non-desert species. Potting soil tends to be somewhat low on the pH scale for them, so we add pelletized agricultural lime. This has the added benefit of adding calcium, which is an important component of strong plant cell walls. $9.75 for a 25 lb bag.

$ 9.00
Number needed: 10/10
A Dash of this and a Shot of That
Plant Nursery

A quick fix for a struggling plant might be a dash of the fertilizer ammonium sulfate. It dissolves rapidly and can give a plant the shot of nitrogen it needs. It’s a great, inexpensive product we like to keep on hand. $9 for a 20# bag.

$ 9.00
Number needed: 5/5
Beefed up potting soil
Plant Nursery

Nursery Another important ingredient to our soil mixes is vermiculite. This puffed-up mineral acts like a sponge, helping with water, mineral, and nutrient retention. $14 for a 4 cubic foot bag.

$ 14.00
Number needed: 10/10
The Need to be Green
Plant Nursery

Magnesium plays a very important role in plants’ production of chlorophyll. Without it, plants lose their deep green color and are unable to produce enough energy to sustain them. Sulfate of Potash potash is a great source of magnesium and is a vital ingredient in our soil mixes. for a 50 lb. bag.

$ 16.00
Number needed: 3/3
The Gentle Touch
Plant Nursery

When hose-watering container plants in our nursery, a gentle touch is necessary. We use Dramm® Touch N' Flow Watering Wands with water brakers for good control.

$ 18.00
Number needed: 7/7
Containers, containers, containers…
Nursery & Plant Sales

We produce hundreds of plants each year for our Butterfly Festival Plant Sale. Though we ask for return of the empties, we still find ourselves needing to purchase many. Our needs fall mainly with 1- gallon black plastic nursery pots. $18 for a box of 75 pots.

$ 18.00
Number needed: 25/25
Dig It.
Grounds & Plant Nursery

Leaves up, roots down …we all learn that at the beginning of our careers. Well to get roots down it takes a hole, which takes a shovel. In our soil they wear out. New shovels make for happy horticulturists.

$ 18.00
Number needed: 4/5
Algae vs Plant.
Grounds

This is not a battle in New York, but in the fountains and ponds of the Museum. Algae, a photosynthetic organism that is not a plant, grows well in our water features. A means of controlling this algae is using an extract from the straw of barley, a plant. This non-toxic method reduces time spent raking it out and is harmless to fish.

$ 23.00
Number needed: 6/6
Staying Cool
Plant Nursery

“Well, at least it’s a dry heat.” That doesn’t apply in our greenhouses though, where the temperature is always 100 and the humidity is not far behind. High heat and humidity and little airflow can be a bad combination. That’s why we could use a few fans to keep the air moving.

$ 25.00
Number needed: 6/6
Keeping track of them…
Plant Nursery

“Who’s on first? That’s what I want to find out!” With so many plants in our nursery, sometimes it’s hard to keep track. Nothing that a good ol’ plant label can’t fix. Those plastic plant labels you see in nurseries aren’t just for customers. They help use keep track of accession numbers and propagation data. With our desert sun, they don’t last forever, and we are always in need of more. $29.50 for a box of 500.

$ 29.00
Number needed: 10/10
Yes, You Can Can
Horticulturists

New heavy-duty plastic garbage cans will eliminate the potential for oxidation catastrophe.

$ 35.00
Number needed: 3/3
Feed us now!
Plant Nursery & Grounds

To keep our plants in premium condition, feeding is occasionally needed. This is especially true of our 5000 or so containerized plants in our nursery. There are several fertilizers that we commonly need such as 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer. $35 per 25 lb. bag.

$ 35.00
Number needed: 10/10
How about something prettier?
Grounds

Many plants are featured on display on the Museum grounds each year. The Botany Department also produces specimen plants to be auctioned off each year during our big Gala fundraiser in late April. We never seem to have attractive pottery on hand for these situations. We could use lots of glazed ceramic and quality terra cotta pots.

$ 35.00
Number needed: 100/100
Tag it
Plant nursery and Grounds

Nursery and Grounds Ever wonder how we keep track of all those plants once they are planted on the grounds? Many plants that we use have very important data attached to them. Where they were collected, how old they are, and other information, is all logged in a database. Over many years we can could lose track of individual plants on the grounds. That’s why we metal-tag all the plants on the grounds that have important data associated with them. Tile spikes help keep those labels in place for the long haul. $39 for a box of 100.

$ 39.00
Number needed: 10/10
Gotta keep ‘em watered.
Plant Nursery and Grounds

Watering, especially in the nursery, is a frequent job. Kinked and leaky hoses can make a horticulturist groan. We use top-quality 5/8” X 75’ Flexogen® hoses. Though they can last for many years, we always seem to find the need for a few more.

$ 40.00
Number needed: 7/7
Slow Feed
Plant Nursery

In our nursery, we’ve found that a good way to feed our container plants is with Osmocote – a time-release fertilizer. These slowly dissolving pellets last around 3 months.

$ 55.00
Number needed: 10/10
& Staying Warm
Grounds & Plant Nursery

More often than you might think we look out of our windows in the winter and see some of our cacti shaking in their roots. We drop down below freezing several times every year and covering some of our more southerly species is a necessity. A bolt of insulating frost cloth is just what we need to help them get through those frosty nights. $100. for a 10 ft x 100 ft roll.

$ 100.00
Number needed: 2/2
Load 'em up!
Plant Sale

Load ‘em up! “If only I had a way to carry them, I would buy so many more plants at the Desert Museum’s annual plant sale.” So many times we have heard these words uttered from the mouths of would-be splurgers at our Butterfly Plant sale. It’s time to do something about it. We could use a few nursery carts to make our visitors happy. These heavy-duty 4-wheel nursery carts would also be very useful in our nursery for the rest of the year.

$ 145.00
Number needed: 3/3
Zoo Horticulture that is.
Horticulturist

The Association of Zoological Horticulture (AZH) is North America’s only professional organization of horticulture/gardening/botany staff of the zoos of Canada and USA. The AZH annual conference meets each fall featuring paper presentations, workshops, zoo visits, tons of inspiration, and plenty of plant talk. In 2010, the meeting takes place in San Diego. This donation will allow an opportunity for several of the Botany staff to attend.

$ 1250.00
Number needed: 4/5

For additional information contact Camille Pons, Development Officer, 520/883-3055, cpons@desertmuseum.org
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