Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

November, 2001
Regional Report

Water Citrus

Even though temperatures are cooling, citrus trees still require periodic deep irrigations. Water trees that have been in the ground 1 year or less every 14 days; citrus that has been planted 1 to 2 years, every 14 to 21 days; and citrus that have been in the ground 3 or more years once per month. Water should be applied at and just beyond the dripline.

Trouble-shoot Irrigation Systems

Now is a good time to flush out irrigation systems, check individual emitters to make sure they aren\'t clogged, move emitters out to the dripline of plants and add emitters to growing plants. Never leave emitters next to the trunks of trees and shrubs as they grow because the roots that take up water are growing outwards with the expanding canopy. Water applied next to the trunk is just wasted.

Overseed Bermuda Lawns

You can still overseed summer Bermuda lawns with winter ryegrass in the next couple weeks if night temperatures are under 65 degrees and day temperatures are less than 78 degrees. Water several times per day for 5-10 minutes to keep soil moist until rye germinates. Then reduce watering to 1-2 times per week. You can also choose to let Bermuda go dormant until temperatures warm.

Plant Herbs

Many herbs thrive in the cool-season. They should be planted in full sun in improved garden soil, but it doesn?t have to be as organically rich as vegetable or flower beds. This makes herbs are a good choice for a first garden. Plant chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, garlic, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

Fertilize Roses

Roses are still in their second bloom period of the year in the low desert and can be fertilized one more time before winter. Use a fertilizer formulated for roses or a balanced product such as 10-10 10. Water well before and after applying a granular type to prevent fertilizer burn. Replenish mulch around the base of the shrubs, but don?t pile it next to the stem.


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