Garden Calendar

Salvia

 Herperaloe


 Chuparosa

Penstamon

February
A quiet time for Tucson gardens.

Photography by Amy Haskell

PLANTING
Sow seeds of beets, bok choy, carrots, lettuce, radishes, spinach and Swiss chard. Start seeds of peppers, eggplant and tomatoes indoors.

FERTILIZING
Fertilize bearded iris toward the end of the month, then water thoroughly. Fertilize citrus in January or February. Use one-third of the total nitrogen requirement. Scatter granular fertilizer along the canopy and water deeply. Fertilize winter lawns and water in the morning, not at night. Do not feed dormant Bermuda grass.

TRANSPLANTING
Set out transplants of sweet alyssum, candy tuft, baby’s breath, daisy, bacopa, bachelor’s button, pansy, calendula, snapdragon, wallflower, nasturtium, ornamental kale, Iceland poppy and stock. Set out winter vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, Chinese cabbage and cauliflower.

WATERING
If winter rains are sparse, water trees and shrubs every two or three weeks. Do not water succulents if forecast calls for a freeze. Water fall-planted wildflower seeds if there is little rainfall. Annual flowers prefer irrigation from flood or drip rather than overhead sprinklers.

FERTILIZING
Fertilize bearded iris toward the end of the month, then water thoroughly. Fertilize citrus in January or February. Use one-third of the total nitrogen requirement. Scatter granular fertilizer along the canopy and water deeply. Fertilize winter lawns and water in the morning, not at night. Do not feed dormant Bermuda grass.

HARVESTING
Continue citrus harvest of grapefruits, mandarins, tangelos, lemons, kumquats, limequats, navels and blood oranges.

PRUNING
Prune roses by removing dead and crossing canes. Leave five or six canes, cutting them to 18 inches. Dab ends with wood glue to discourage insects. Trim non-native deciduous shade trees. Wait to prune native trees and shrubs after they bloom.  Prune citrus only to remove dead wood, crossed branches, suckers rising from below the graft point and vertical sprouts from the top of the tree.

TIP OF THE MONTH
Got rocks? Yes, rocks are an integral part of a xeriscape design. Large boulders can create a background for shrubs, agaves and larger cacti. Medium-sized rocks often are used effectively as part of a swale — a trench that gathers rainwater for adjacent plants. Small rocks, gravel or decomposed granite aid in water retention. Choose plants such as hesperaloe, penstemon, salvia and chuparosa for bright color. Small cacti, such as hedgehog, mammillaria and rainbow, can fill in small rock niches. HG