Sunday, February 01, 2009

What to do in a Desert Garden in February?

There are tips on what to do in the desert garden this month from the
University of Arizona College of Agriculture Maricopa County Extension
There's also a lot of other helpful information and FAQ's on that website.
Another site of interest on what to do in the garden here in the low
desert is John Chapman's site.

Climate Information for February
in Phoenix, Arizona

    Average: 0.7 inches
    Record: 4.7 inches(1905)
Temperature (degrees F):
    Average High: 70.7 degrees
    Lowest High: 46 degrees (1899, 1903)
    Record High: 92 degrees (1921, 1986)

    Average Low: 44.7 degrees
    Highest Low: 65 degrees (1996)
    Record Low: 24 degrees (1899, 1993)

Note: Rainfall and temperatures vary widely within the valley depending upon elevation and microclimate.

To Do List . . .

    Winter lawns may require once to twice per week watering depending on the weather.

    After the first mowing, fertilize winter lawns with a high phosphate fertilizer like superphosphate, triple superphosphate, or a complete fertilizer that is 20% phosphorous or more by weight. Ammonium phosphate (16-20-0) is another option. Follow the application rates and directions on the label.

    Identify and correct problems with winter laws quickly.


    Prepare garden soil for Spring planting.

    Plant Seeds

      Beets, Bok Choy, Carrots, Chard, Collard Greens, Corn, Cucumbers, Leaf Lettuce, Melons (Cantaloupe, Muskmelon, Watermelon), Mustard, Green Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Spinach, Summer Squash, Sunflowers, Turnips

    Plant Transplants

      Artichokes (Globe & Jerusalem), Asparagus, Chard, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Onion Sets, Peppers, Tomatoes


    Finish pruning roses by the middle of the month.

    Transplant bare root roses

    Begin fertilizing established roses with granular fertilizers about the middle of the month. Remember to water the day before application and the day after.

Fruit and Nut Trees

Landscape Plants

    Protect plants from frost damage if the temperature is projected to drop down in to the 20's for more than an hour.

    Finish pruning nonnative deciduous shade trees, and grapes by the middle of the month.

    Transplant bare root plants

    Water at least once a month unless rains provide adequate moisture.

    Control weeds while they are young, tender, and their roots are manageable, or before they sprout. Be sure to remove before they set seed. Remove London Rocket and other weeds in the mustard family now to prevent large populations of False Chinch bugs in April.

    Winter watering schedules should be adjusted to about 1/3 of the summer frequency for deciduous and dormant plants, but water deeply each time. Growing flowers may require once to twice per week watering depending on the weather.

    Prune frost sensitive plants like bougainvillea after they begin to leaf out with new spring growth.

    Make plans for Arbor Day, April 25.

Don't List . . .

    DO NOT prune frost sensitive plants, especially if they have been damaged by frost.

    DO NOT fertilize frost sensitive plants.

    DO NOT over water or over fertilize winter lawns as this will encourage rapid succulent growth which is vulnerable to fungal diseases.

    DO NOT water turf at night. Moisture and cool temperatures invite fungal diseases.

    DO NOT mow when turf is wet. By wounding the plant (mowing) while it is wet you increase the likelihood of fungal infection. In addition, you increase the likelihood of spreading the fungus on the tires of the mower and on your shoes

Frequently Asked Questions
Damage is Noticed on the Fruit

Damage is Noticed on the Leaves Damage is Noticed on the Stem or Trunk Damage is Noticed on the Roots Cultural \ Environmental Questions Insect/Pest Questions Disease Questions

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