Southwestern Deserts

March, 2010
Regional Report

Make Plant Lists

Spring plant sales at regional botanical gardens are around the corner. Start researching what plants could fill those empty spots in your landscape, considering the sun exposure and space available.

Transplant Tomatoes

If you haven't done so yet, get tomatoes into the ground in the low desert. The sooner they can establish root systems, the better your chance of having a nice crop of tomatoes before summer heat hits. Be ready to protect them if frost is predicted. Higher elevations can wait a bit longer before transplanting.

Transplant Holiday Amaryllis

Transplant amaryllis bulbs received during the holidays after bloom is finished. A site with morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal. Improve the soil with plenty of compost, and sprinkle a phosphorus source in the bottom of the planting hole to promote flowering.

Fertilize Containers

Warmer temperatures are causing a growth spurt. Make sure container plants have nutrients to grow on. Replenish slow-release fertilizers or add organic fertilizers, such as fish emulsion and bone meal.

Check Irrigation Equipment

Turn on the system manually and examine all emitters and bubblers to make sure they aren't clogged. As plants grow, emitters should be moved outwards to keep pace with the expanding canopy or dripline. This is where feeder roots are actively absorbing water. If the spaghetti tubing is long enough, you may be able to just pull the unit away from the trunk and place the emitter farther out. However, many installers don't prepare for this necessity. If tubing is too short, attach another section using connectors.

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