Southwestern Deserts

October, 2006
Regional Report

Stop Fertilizing Citrus and Landscape Plants

Feeding now encourages tender new growth, which is susceptible to frost damage. Wait to fertilize until early spring, as new growth starts.

Transplant Strawberries

Plant strawberries in rich garden soil. Varieties that perform well in the low desert include 'Camerosa', 'Chandler', 'Sequoia', and 'Tioga'.

Plan Your Winter Lawn

If you have Bermuda grass, conserve water by letting it go dormant in winter. Irrigate once monthly to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. No mowing is needed. Grass will begin to green up again in spring. If you choose to overseed Bermuda with ryegrass seed for a green winter lawn, do so between mid-October and mid-November when night temperatures remain below 65. Water rye two times daily for 10 to 15 minutes for the first two weeks. Reduce to one watering every other day for 15 to 20 minutes the third week. Thereafter, water every 5 to 10 days, depending on soil and weather. Water should soak 4 to 6 inches deep.

Sow Wildflowers

Native wildflowers are well adapted to local soil, temperature, and rainfall and can establish and self-sow for successive years.

Water Pecan Trees Deeply

Nuts are still fattening within their shells and should not be deprived of water. Some nut drop of black, undeveloped nuts is normal at this time of year and no reason for concern. There's no need to climb a ladder to harvest: Wait for fully developed nuts to drop and just pick them up.

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