Garden Calendar April 2017
As the weather warms, we Tucsonans get busy in our gardens.
Plant color annuals such as pansies, petunias, larkspur and primrose.
Plant warm-season flowering bulbs such as canna, dahlia, daylily and gladiolus.
Set out warm-season annuals such as cosmos, four o’clock, globe amaranth, gloriosa daisy, lisianthus, marigold, portulaca, vinca, zinnia, celosia, salvia, sunflower, gaillardia, beans, okra, cucumber, peanut, pumpkin, melon and squash.
Plant seedlings of pepper, tomatoes, squash, eggplant and green onion.
Sow seeds for warm-season flowers such as hollyhock, salvia, sunflowers, tithonia and zinnia in garden beds.
Look for new growth on native and desert-adapted plants.
Prune winter-damaged plant parts.
Allow flower stalks on spring bulbs to brown and die back naturally. When spent, clip off at the base.
Watch for iron deficiency on citrus, pyracantha, gardenia, nandina and bottlebrush. Look for yellow leaves with green veins, which signal gardeners to apply chelated iron according to package directions.
Always water before and after applying any fertilizer.
Feed Bermuda grass with high-nitrogen fertilizer.
Feed roses every two weeks or use a slow-release fertilizer for longer season intervals during spring’s peak bloom.
Reap flower seeds. Allow wildflowers and cool-season annual flowers to dry and scatter seed; or collect dry seed and store to sow next fall.
Adjust drip-irrigation systems to
accommodate new plants and the
Plant red bird of paradise, ageratum, eupatorium, passion vine, desert hackberry and datura to attract butterflies.
Plant container-grown roses.
Plant new citrus and protect trunks from sunburn. Don’t fertilize when
Plant desert landscape shrubs, cacti and succulents so that the roots re-establish before the summer heat.
TIP OF THE MONTH
To encourage beneficial birds and insects to visit your garden, use nectar- and pollen-rich flowers. Plant a succession of blooms using annuals, perennials and shrubs to create a pollinator-friendly garden year round.
Be sure to include native plants. They are best adapted to the local environment. Arrange in groups to encourage multiple visits to your site. Night-blooming flowers will support moth and bat pollinators.
If you want to attract colorful butterflies, choose species that provide food for their caterpillars. Avoid modern hybrid flowers — especially with double flowers — which may have perfect blooms, but lack substantial pollen, nectar and fragrance. Try to go organic and avoid the use of pesticides when possible. HG