Southwestern Deserts

March, 2009
Regional Report

Transplant Landscape Plants

Now's the time to add native or desert-adapted trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, cacti, and succulents. When choosing a planting area, allow enough space for the plant to grow to its full size without bumping into buildings, utility wires, or pedestrian areas. Plants that outgrow their space will require frequent pruning, which is stressful to the plant and creates green waste.

Transplant Colorful Perennials

Add coreopsis, yarrow, butterfly weed (asclepias), lavender, penstemon, blackfoot daisy, chocolate flower, catmint, gaura, sandpaper verbena, and gaillardia. Dig the hole about 12 inches deep to allow roots to spread easily.

Adjust Timers

Increase the frequency of irrigation as weather warms. Water should run the same length of time throughout the year; it is the frequency that changes. The easiest way to save water is to change your timer at least 4 times per year, but water conservation specialists recommend 6 or more. Most landscapes on drip irrigation are overwatered!

Prolong Cool-Season Vegetable Harvest

Continue to harvest peas and they will keep producing awhile longer. When broccoli, argula, lettuce, and other greens finish their life cycles, let them flower rather than pulling out the plants. Not only are the flowers pretty and edible (toss them in a salad), they attract pollinators, who will also be available to pollinate your warm-season tomatoes and peppers.

Rejuvenate Perennial Herbs

Freshen up lavendar, rosemary, and other woody herbs. Remove dead stems all the way to the ground. Trim back selected branches to new growth to rejuvenate the entire shrub as needed.

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