Southwestern Deserts

June, 2012
Regional Report

Harvest Beans

Harvest bush beans when they're about 6 inches long. If left to grow longer, the beans become stringy and less tender. Picking beans regularly also encourages plants to continue producing beans.

Transplant Palms

Palms are one of the few plants that thrive in the low desert if transplanted in the midst of summer heat. If you like the tropical look of fronds blowing in island breezes, try pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii), Senegal date palm (P. reclinata), which spreads with multi-trunks, or pindo palm (Butia capitata) with feathery fronds.

Plant Warm-Season Vegetables

Sow seeds for Armenian cucumbers, black-eyed peas, cantaloupe, and okra. Transplant sweet potato slips.

Protect Fruiting Vegetables

Put 50 percent shade cloth over eggplant, pepper, and tomato plants that were transplanted in spring and now bear fruit. Add several inches of fresh mulch around the plants to maintain consistent soil moisture and reduce soil temperature.

Sow Sunflowers

Dozens of choices in varied colors, flower sizes, and heights are available. 'Van Gogh' resembles the artist's famous sunflower paintings. 'Junior' is a pollen-free dwarf. 'Snack Seed' is a good choice for edible seeds.

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