Southwestern Deserts

January, 2007
Regional Report

Care for Container Christmas Trees

Place your live Christmas tree in its container outdoors in a sunny location, protected from drying winds. Maintain moist soil, not allowing roots to dry out. Transplant in the ground in early March.

Recycle Cut Christmas Trees

Check with your local city government (usually Parks or Waste Management) to see if they recycle trees into mulch. The chipped matter is often recycled as mulch in city plantings or given to residents, a much better use than sending it to landfills.

Sow Tomato and Pepper Seeds

Sow seeds indoors six to eight weeks before transplanting outdoors on your area's last frost date. If you choose to plant earlier, be sure to protect from cold and wind.

Monitor Cool-Season Veggies

If foliage is yellowing, soil fertility may need a boost. Use compost tea with every other watering to give plants a boost. Alternatively, apply a faster-acting side-dressing of all-purpose fertilizer, such as 5-10-5.

Fertilize Citrus

Citrus should be fertilized three times per year, with one-third of a tree's annual nitrogen requirement provided with each feeding. The first application of the year is in January or February. Subsequent feedings take place in April/May and later in August/September. Water to a depth of 3 feet so fertilizer carries through the root system.

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