Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

February, 2005
Regional Report

Plant Cool-Season Vegetables

Transplant globe and Jerusalem artichokes, and cole crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, and cauliflower. Sow seeds for root crops including beets, carrots, leeks, onions, radishes, rutabagas, and turnips.

Caring for Succulents

With the consistent winter rains the Southwest has been receiving, it usually isn't necessary to water cacti and other succulents. Too much water, and their root systems will rot. In addition, excessive water stored in their tissues can freeze and destroy plant cells.

Transplant Annual Flowers

Cool-season splashes of color available for transplant right now include calendulas, pansies, poppies, primroses, and stocks. Transplant into improved garden soil in a spot that gets six to eight hours of sun daily.

Don\'t Prune Frost Damage

Although blackened foliage looks ugly, it actually serves a purpose. It will protect still healthy foliage from future frosts. Also, what looks dead may revive in spring, so you don\'t want to cut off more plant material than necessary. Wait to prune until all danger of frost is past, usually mid-March in the low desert.

Rotate Houseplants

Turn houseplants a quarter turn at least once a week so they grow evenly towards the light. Leach accumulated salts by allowing water to soak through the soil and run out the drainage holes. Gently wipe larger leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust. Set plants up on pebbles in a saucer of water to increase humidity.


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