Southwestern Deserts

May, 2007
Regional Report

Monitor Tomatoes

Maintain consistent soil moisture and reapply organic mulch if needed. Pick tomatoes as soon as they ripen or birds and insects may eat them for you.

Enjoy Saguaro Blooms

The Sonoran Desert's mighty saguaro cacti are coming into bloom with their creamy white flowers. Drive or hike into the desert to enjoy their beauty, as well as the many pollinators that visit them.

Plant Warm-Season Flowers

Flowers that take heat and sun while offering a long period of bloom include angelita daisy, black-eyed Susan, celosia, chocolate flower, coreopsis, cosmos, desert marigold, four o'clock, gaillardia, gazania, globe amaranth, impatiens, lisianthus, Mexican hat, Mexican sunflower, marigold, portulaca, rock penstemon, salvia, sunflower, vinca, and zinnia.

Plant Warm-Season Vegetables

Sow seeds for lima or snap beans, black-eyed peas, cantaloupe, cucumbers, jicama, and okra. Transplant sweet potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes. Dig in 4 to 6 inches of organic matter before planting.

Check Irrigation Systems

Examine emitters, bubblers, and pop-up sprays to make sure they are in good working order. If lawn sprinklers overspray onto sidewalks and streets, adjust their positioning to prevent wasting water. Program automatic timers to water more frequently as temperatures increase. The amount of water applied stays the same throughout the year; it's the frequency that changes with the seasons.

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