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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


To-Do List: Desert Southwest

R. L. Rhodes
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Gardens in Low Desert areas, High Desert areas, and higher elevations each require different care during the month of June.

Low Deserts (up to 3,000 ft)

  • Check to make sure your plants are receiving enough water. The hottest and driest month of the year isn’t only tough on you, but it is also difficult for your plants. You can help your plants by watering them in the early morning, which helps them prepare for the hot day to come.
  • Limit the amount of fertilizer for your roses. Roses in the Low Desert tend to shut down during the difficult summer months. Avoid pruning your roses during this time and make sure that they have plenty of mulch covering their roots. Water them well throughout the summer.
  • This is a great time to plant palm trees. Did you know that palm trees do best when planted during the hot months of summer? It’s true. To keep your palm trees healthy, apply a fertilizer specially formulated for palm trees.

High Deserts (3,000 – 6,000 ft)

    • Deadhead flowering perennials in order to promote more bloom. Perennials will grow more flowers in order to replace those that you have pruned. Keep your perennials from becoming leggy by pinching back the tall growth to promote a compact and full shape.
    • Mow your lawn often. Mowing frequently creates a dense lawn that helps to prevent weeds from taking root. A good guideline is to prune 1/3 of the total height of your grass each time.
  • Look for signs of iron or nitrogen deficiency. Newer leaves that are light-green to yellow with green veins are signs of iron deficiency. Older light-green or yellow leaves without green veins indicate nitrogen deficiency. Treat these problems using either a nitrogen fertilizer or a chelated iron fertilizer, both of which are available at The Home Depot®.
  • Plant tomato transplants. There is nothing quite like a freshly grown tomato from your own garden. Enrich your soil with bagged compost or aged steer manure. Add a slow-release fertilizer, then plant and water well.

Higher Elevations (above 6,000 ft)

  • Fertilize trees and shrubs. Apply an all-purpose plant fertilizer, making sure to water in well. Fertilize in the early summer to allow time for your trees and shrubs to harden off before the cool weather of fall arrives.
  • Plant evergreen trees and shrubs now for winter color. June is a great time to visit The Home Depot® and select juniper shrubs, pine and spruce trees that will provide year round green color for your garden.
  • Fertilize your roses using a liquid fertilizer. In addition to granular fertilizer, roses enjoy the extra boost that they receive from monthly feedings using a liquid fertilizer such as Miracle Gro®. Deadhead spent roses by pruning just above the first set of 5 leaves.
  • Plant warm-season vegetable transplants. It’s time to plant cantaloupe, peppers, winter squash, pumpkins, tomatoes and watermelon. Be sure to add mulch to your vegetable to garden to prevent weeds.

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