Garden Calendar for July 2021

July is a tough on many plants, even our Southwest natives. There are few tasks to that you must do, and some things your should avoid doing this month since many plants are heat stressed. Water Wisely Water is critical in the desert, but don’t let your plants become “drip sip” junkies. Instead of a little bit of water every day, water less often but for longer time, so the water sinks in two or even three feet into the ground — where roots should be. Roots need to encouraged […]

Growing Gardenias and Camelias in the Desert

Many garden centers have camellias and gardenias prominently displayed at this time of year. Occasionally an azalea too. These are in flower and their beauty and fragrance is very tempting. Before you succumb to temptation, realize that these not native to our arid Southwest climate and will need some special care. The Issue is Our Soil & Water & Climate Camellias, gardenias, and azaleas need acid soils. Our Southwest soils are alkaline. Our water comes out of the tap alkaline. Furthermore, all soils have an amazing capacity to buffer themselves, […]

Garden Calendar for May 2021

May Day! Time to get your garden and landscape ready for the summer ahead. Most tasks in May revolve around making sure the water system is working, and fertilizer to encourage fruit production plus warm-season growers to grow. Irrigation System Tune Up Time Irrigation systems require checking and tune-up on a regular basis. Some tasks should be done once per month, some should be done quarterly – as the seasons change. Tune up irrigation system now with these tasks. * clean filter – knock it out and soak it in […]

Warm-Season Vegetables for the Southwest

The weather is warming and the vegetable gardening questions are mounting – time for the warm-season vegetables! Good news – there is so much to plant now in the Southwest! Warm-Season Vegetables are Many So many choices, so little time and space! You could grow: Amaranth, Artichoke, Beans, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Greens (MANY!), Melons, Millet, Okra, Peppers – both Sweet and Hot, Squash – Summer, Squash – Winter, Sorguhm, Sunflower, Sweet Potato, Tomatillo, Tomato, Zucchini, and more. Site For the Garden Part I First of all – where exactly do […]

Citrus Care for the Southwest

Citrus are easy to care for. Unlike some fruit trees who are drama queens, citrus is more of a “leave-me-alone-to-get-the-job-done kind of fruit tree. There are only three things you need to do as a citrus owner, and one of them is a don’t! Number One Citrus Care Don’t prune citrus. Citrus trees naturally grow into a globe shape. They NEED to shade their trunk. SHADE! So you need to let them naturally form their glossy green globe. If you prune this natural shape into a lollipop – sunlight hits […]

Epsom Salt Will Cure All Your Garden Woes

Epsom salt will cure all your garden woes. Sure it will. And if you believe that one, I have some beach front property in Arizona for you. How about if I tell you that Epsom salt can cure some of your garden woes – when used properly? Now doesn’t that sound more like the scientific gardener you have come to know and love? How Epsom Salt Works Epsom salt is pure magnesium sulfate. Both magnesium and sulfate are macronutrients crucial to healthy plant life. Magnesium plays a crucial role in […]