Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

August, 2011
Regional Report

Destroy Squash Vine Borers

Borers often plague squash vines. Regularly look for amber-colored eggs along the stems or on leaves, including the undersides. Squash any eggs you find. If you spot brownish residue exuding from the vine, split it open lengthwise and kill the squash vine borer larva inside.

Water Citrus Regularly

Citrus trees are highly dependent on regular deep irrigations throughout the year, especially during the hot drying winds of summer. Without adequate water, rinds will crack later in the season because there is insufficient moisture to accommodate growth as they expand. As a general guideline in summer, water trees that have been planted one year or less every 5 to 7 days; trees that have been planted one to two years, every 7 to 10 days; and trees three years or older, every 10 to 14 days. Apply water at the dripline where feeder roots are located. Water should soak 3 feet deep with each irrigation to leach salts beyond the root zone.

Check Irrigation Timers After Storms

Make sure the irrigation timer is functioning as they sometimes go out after thunderstorms and need to be reset. Replace the back-up battery as needed.

Organize Vegetable Seeds

If you did not save seeds last season, start buying or ordering vegetable seeds for the upcoming cool planting season. As a handy guide to remembering what to plant, cool-season veggies are those in which we eat the roots (beets, carrots, radishes, turnips) stems and leaves (chard, lettuce, spinach), and cruciferous, cabbage-family (bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower). Peas do not fall into these categories, but they are also cool-season veggies.

Keep Birds Safe

Change the water daily in birdbaths during summer, when harmful bacteria can grow and spread quickly in warm water. Scrub the containers with a brush and 10 percent bleach solution and let dry in the sunshine before refilling.


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