Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

January, 2008
Regional Report

Pull Weeds ASAP

Winter weeds germinate readily after rains, but they are easy to pull out when root systems are small and soil is moist. Yank them before they go to seed.

Plant Bare-Root Fruit and Nut Trees

Apple, apricot, peach, and pecan perform in the low desert. At low elevations, choose varieties that require less than 400 hours of chilling; between 2,500 and 4,000 feet, choose those that need 400 to 700 chilling hours.

Plant Bare-Root Roses

All types of modern roses can be planted, including hybrid tea, hybrid perpetual, grandiflora, polyantha, floribunda, miniature, shrub, and climbers. Heritage roses also do very well in the desert.

Sow Tomatoes

Sow seeds indoors to be ready for transplant outdoors as soon as all danger of frost is past. Choose tomatoes with small, fast-maturing fruits, which will perform better in the low desert than big, beefsteaks (which crack before reaching maturity). Tried-and-true varieties include 'Early Girl', 'Celebrity', and 'Yellow Pear'.

Fertilize Citrus

Feed in January or February with one-third of the tree's total annual nitrogen requirement. Water deeply after application.


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