Pinal Master Gardeners
What do I do with my tender outdoor plants when a freeze is forecast?
You should move any containers with delicate plants to a warm location – either indoors or under a patio or other shelter. Place frost cloth over any plants that cannot be moved. Frost cloth is available at most garden centers or box stores. Do not use plastic as this can harm the plants when very cold air hits. Anchor the cloth so it does not blow away. Remove the cloth as soon as the temps moderate.
I have lots of full shade around my house. What type of flowers can I plant that do NOT require sun?
A few common plants that like shade are plumbago, alyssum, petunia, golden columbine, and heavenly bamboo. The website listed below has a more complete list as well as descriptions of the different types of shade.
When planting native or desert adapted plants what amendments should be made to the soil?
Do not add organic amendments, such as manure, compost, or wood chips, to the soil when planting native plants.
When is the best time to fertilize citrus?
For oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit, apply 1⁄3 of the total in January-February, 1⁄3 in March-April and 1⁄3 in May-June. For lemons and limes, apply 1⁄3 of the total in January-February, 1⁄3 in March-April and 1⁄3 in August-September.
Does one need to change their watering schedule for shrubs and trees during the winter months?
Yes, the quantity of water does not change but the frequency of how often does. Plants use 3 to 5 times as much water during the hot, dry, windy seasons as they do during the winter. Adjust your watering schedule with the season and when there are significant changes in the weather.
Are there plants that javelinas will not disturb or eat?
Javelinas are omnivores and eat the roots of plants. They have poor eyesight and a keen sense of smell. Sometimes javelina will disturb a plant that they will not eat. In some cases, they are seeking the moisture found in the plant or the soil around it. Keep plants away from a path that javelina will travel. The only foolproof way to keep them away from eating your plants is to keep them out with a fence or wall.
When is the best time to prune shrubs in the landscape?
The general rule is to prune shrubs after they have bloomed. An early spring bloomer, like rosemary, should be pruned in the late spring. Shrubs that bloom in the late summer or early fall, like Texas Ranger, should be pruned in the late fall or before the new growth resumes in spring.
What are the holes inside my rose canes?
Cane Boers are bugs that drill holes in the canes to lay their eggs. They can do damage far down into the cane. Prune the brown part off and seal the cane with carpenter's or Elmer's glue to prevent their return.
When should I prune my roses?
Most roses can be pruned in the fall and the winter in the high desert. The September pruning is light, only removing the top 1/3 of the plant and all dead canes. This will produce a spectacular bloom in November. The mid to late January pruning is a heavy pruning, removing about 1/2 to 2/3 of the rose bush plus all the dead and cross over canes. Strip all leaves from the canes. You will have a flush of blooms around the first of April.
What is IPM?
Integrated Pest Management a science-based approach to managing pests using a variety of safe, sustainable and effective tactics against common garden pests, which may include insects, weeds, diseases, birds and rodents. Using IPM, you must specifically define the problem (what weed, which insect…) and then start by using the least harmful method to remove the problem.
Amount of watering
A general rule for watering, is that trees and large shrubs should be watering to a depth of 3 feet, medium shrubs should be watered to a depth of 2 feet, and small plants should be watered to a depth of 1 foot. You can use a soil probe to test the depth of the wet soil to determine how long your irrigation system must run. Always water the same amount of time, but less frequently in the cool months.