Southwestern Deserts

November, 2010
Regional Report

Scout New Rose Varieties

Bare-root roses are planted in December and January in the low desert. Do you want to add a particular color or fragrance to your rose garden? Visit the fall rose shows held by garden clubs or go to demonstration gardens to see and sniff up close and personal. Ask your local nursery if they will carry the varieties you want. If not, order them online to arrive in time for planting. Choose those with high AARS ratings because those plants have been tested in a variety of conditions and are most likely to thrive.

Water Pecan Trees Deeply

Nuts are still fattening within their shells and should not be deprived of water. Some nut drop of black, undeveloped nuts is normal at this time of year and no reason for concern. There's no need to climb a ladder to harvest: Wait for fully developed nuts to drop and just pick them up.

Watch for Caterpillar Migrations

Armyworms, white-lined sphinx caterpillars and salt marsh caterpillars sometimes migrate in huge numbers at this time of year, seeking a place to pupate. (Although some years, we don't see them much at all. Go figure.) They do not do much damage to plants, but can be a nuisance because they fall into pools, virtually covering the surface of the water, or blanket landscapes and driveways. Their numbers will drop naturally so, other than clean-up, no control is needed.

Stop Fertilizing Citrus and Tropical Plants

Feeding now encourages tender new growth, which is susceptible to frost damage. Wait to fertilize until early spring, as new growth starts.

Continue to Reduce Watering on Landscape Plants

Change timer schedules on automatic systems as temperatures cool. Reduce how often the water runs, but not the amount of water that is applied during each irrigation. Remember the 1-2-3 Rule: Water should penetrate one foot deep for small plants, two feet for shrubs, and three feet for trees.

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