Southwestern Deserts

April, 2008
Regional Report

Finish Transplanting Landscape Plants

Get trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, cacti, succulents, and perennials into the ground before the intense heat of summer hits. Keep soil consistently moist for several weeks as roots acclimate, and then gradually taper off the time between irrigations. As a guideline in spring, water every 3 to 4 days for the first two weeks, then every 6 to 7 days for the next two weeks. If weather is hot, increase these frequencies.

Water Wildflowers

Prolong wildflower blooming by providing supplementary watering. Dig your finger down into the soil and when it's dry 2 inches deep, water the plants.

Pick Prickly Pear Pads

If prickly pear are growing out of bounds, pick off young pads while they are small, tender, and easy to remove. Young pads are edible!

Maintain Tomatoes and Peppers

Maintain consistent soil moisture for tomatoes and peppers. Add several inches of straw or other organic mulch to help maintain soil moisture and reduce soil temperature. Feed them an application of compost tea. Tie up a burlap bundle of compost and soak it in a pail of water. The resulting tea will provide a light blend of nutrients.

Fertilize Citrus

Feed citrus trees with their second feeding of the year in April or May. Apply one-third of the tree's annual nitrogen requirement. Apply fertilizer at the outer edge of the canopy dripline and water deeply. Water should soak 3 feet deep for mature trees, somewhat less for new transplants.

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