Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

September, 2005
Regional Report

Plant a Row for the Hungry

Cool-season veggies are easy to grow and prolific. Plant some extra crops to donate to a food bank or shelter.

Reduce Watering

Cut back on watering as temperatures cool. Change timers on automatic irrigation systems. Water should continue to soak the appropriate depth with each application. What changes is the number of days between irrigations. Remember the 1-2-3 Rule: Water should soak 1 foot for annuals, perennials, cacti, and succulents; 2 feet for shrubs; and 3 feet for trees.

Clean up Warm-Season Beds

As warm-season annuals finish their life cycle, clean out their beds. Put plant material in the compost bin if it had no insect or disease problems. Rake beds smooth and layer on 4 to 6 inches of organic matter.

Prepare Bermuda for Overseeding

If you are going to overseed with winter rye, stop fertilizing four to six weeks in advance. Continue watering normally. Water should soak 8 to 10 inches deep. Mow Bermuda progressively lower until reaching 1/2 inch. If you prefer not to overseed, continue normal maintenance routine.

Plan for New Trees and Shrubs

Decide what gaps you want to fill in your landscape, and what plants will work there, before heading to the nursery or plant sale. Review reference books or Web sites for the mature size of plants to make sure they won't outgrow the space.


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