Southwestern Deserts

April, 2011
Regional Report

Pollinate Tomatoes

As tomatoes begin to flower, lightly tap plants early in the morning to aid pollination. All it takes is a small movement for tomato pollen to pollinate a flower.

Fertilize Citrus

Fertilize citrus with one-third of its total annual nitrogen requirement. The easiest method is to buy a product formulated for citrus and follow package instructions. Scratch granular fertilizer into the soil at the dripline (canopy edge) where feeder roots absorb it. Do not apply close to the trunk, where there are no feeder roots. Water in deeply after application. Water should soak 3 feet deep for mature citrus, slightly less for recent transplants. Use a soil probe to determine how far water penetrates.

Sow Warm-Season Veggies

Sow seeds for black-eyed peas, cucumbers, jicama, lima and snap beans, melon, okra, and summer squash. Armenian cucumbers do well in the low desert.

Transplant into the Landscape

Continue adding all types of desert-adapted landscape plants, including trees, shrubs, vines, groundcovers, grasses, perennials, cacti and succulents. The sooner you get them in the ground to establish root systems before summer heat, the better.

Adjust Timers

Adjust automatic timers to water more often as temperatures warm. Water should run the same length of time year around; it is the frequency that changes. Don't be intimidated if you don't know how to set the timer. Most have simple-to-follow instruction booklets, or contact the manufacturer's help desk via a toll-free number or website.

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