Southwestern Deserts

September, 2008
Regional Report

Reduce Watering

Change automatic timer schedules seasonally. Plants don%t use as much water in cool weather, and root systems that sit in saturated soil are prone to rot.

Plant Bulbs

Finish bulb planting early in the month to increase chances of an impressive spring floral display. Bulbs insist upon good drainage or they will rot. Loosen soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches and incorporate a 4- to 6-inch layer of compost. Mix a phosphorus fertilizer in the bottom of each planting hole. Unusual bulbs adapted to Southwestern conditions include African corn lily, baboon flower, crocosmia, harlequin flower, tritonia and watsonia.

Transplant Perennials

Try these fragrant and colorful herbaceous plants in the landscape: catmint, jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa), lavender, licorice marigold (Tagetes lucida), scented geranium and yarrow.

Plant an Edible Flower Bed

Cool-season edible flowers that are easy to grow from transplants or seeds include borage, calendula, dianthus, Johnny-jump-up, nasturtium and pansy. Toss a few blossoms into a salad for a bright splash of color.

Add Some Pungeancy

Plant garlic, leeks, onions and scallions in well-drained soil enriched with plenty of organic matter. Plant garlic cloves pointy end up. Sow seeds for the others one-quarter inch deep or transplant sets.

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