Garden Calendar

Year-Round Garden Calendar




• Vegetable seeds of beets, carrots, chard, endive, kale, leaf lettuce, onion seedlings, peas, spinach and turnips

• Containers — stock, pansies, snaps, petunias, primulas, geraniums, cyclamen, bare-root roses, verbena, viola, calendula, dianthus and sweet alyssum 

• Transplants of parsley, dill, cilantro, fennel, chervil, chamomile and French sorrel 

• Sow seeds of gaillardia and gloriosa daisy in the landscape for a summer display


• Dead, diseased and crossed branches on trees

• Lightly prune deciduous trees, deciduous fruit trees and dormant grapevines


• Where applicable, feed with ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate and water it in


• Supplement winter rains, especially for spring wildflowers; avoid leaving the ground cold and wet

Photo: Lobelia is a brilliant blue annual utilized as a cool season garden plant, most often grown in containers. It is prized for its compact sapphire cascading blooms. 


Desert Marigold


• Herbs such as oregano, rosemary and mint

• Summer vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash)

• Deciduous fruit trees such as peach, apricot and fig

• Perennials such as salvia, desert marigold, evening primrose and penstemon


• Lightly prune pittosporum, Indian hawthorne, photinia and myrtle

• Primrose, jasmine and Lady Banks rose

• Trim Texas ranger, trailing indigo bush, desert honeysuckle, salvias and grasses Fertilize: 

• Shrubs, deciduous fruit trees and citrus (Feb. 14); annual flowers, iris, winter vegetables


• Trees and shrubs deeply every 2-3 weeks

Photo: Desert Marigold is a native with bright daisy-like flowers that develop above clusters of gray-green foliage. It is a fast-growing, drought-tolerant perennial.




• Transplants of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant

• Seeds of summer squash, melons, cucumbers, sweet corn and beans

• Native trees — desert willow, ironwood, velvet mesquite and lysiloma

Prune (After March 15):

• Mature trees lightly

• Shrubs, such as Texas ranger, chuparosa, mountain marigold and red bird of paradise

• Frost damage on bougainvillea, cape honeysuckle, hibiscus, primrose, jasmine, Banksia rose and Texas mountain laurel after the new growth starts

• Woody perennial herbs such as lavender, rosemary and Mexican oregano


• Established hibiscus, jasmine, roses and herbs


• Fruit trees, any young trees and container plants 

• All plants thoroughly after any feeding

Photo: Penstemon blooms in the spring with tall stalks and tubular flowers. Favorite varieties include pink Parry’s and red Firecracker. Prune spent blooms and retain seeds to plant in the fall.



Golden Dyssodia


• Shrubs such as red salvia, chuparosa, penstemon, Mexican bird of paradise, indigo bush, fairy duster, brittlebrush, Dalea greggii, bush morning glory and Angelita daisy

• Wildflowers, desert hibiscus, lupine, penstemon and Mexican poppy

• Cacti such as prickly pear, cholla and saguaro 

• Trees — palo verde, desert willow, velvet mesquite and ironwood


• Young citrus, remove root suckers and other unwanted growth


• New trees, summer vegetables and other plants that might need a little boost, but don’t overfeed (follow label directions)


• On a regular basis (use drip if you have it), and pay extra attention to dry, windy days that can stress out plants

Photo: Golden Dyssodia is a hardy, low-growing native with masses of tiny, daisy-like flowers. It attracts butterflies and reseeds profusely, providing color for rock gardens.



Hesperaloe “Brake Lights”


• Heat-tolerant annuals — gaillardia, periwinkle, portulaca, zinnias, salvia, amaranth, verbena

• Cacti and agaves

• Desert trees (Texas ebony, palo verde, mesquite)

• Shade trees (Chinese pistache, Arizona ash, chaste tree)

• Shrubs (desert honeysuckle, fairy duster, catclaw acacia)


• Citrus and palm trees at the end of May 


• Even native plants will need supplemental water this time of year

• Early in the morning;  instead of more water at once, increase the number of days

• Mulch existing container plantings with compost or shredded bark and in-ground plantings with compost or other organic mulches to cool the soil and help to retain water

Photo: Hesperaloe “Brake Lights” is a hybrid with long-lasting, bright red blooms and a compact size. It adds color to xeriscape gardens and is a good container plant.



Vinca or Madagascar Periwinkle


• Prickly pear, cholla 

• Seeds of heat-loving plants such as okra, squash, black-eyed peas, yard-long beans etc.


• With a light hand on hedges 

• Carefully and slowly on new shade trees from the bottom to encourage canopy growth

• Avoid heavy pruning during hot months, except for safety concerns


• Very sparingly; most plants will not need it during this season

• After conferring with the nursery on any new plants


• After checking the ground with a soil probe

• Watch for wilting that does not recover overnight, which is a sign of water stress

• Deeply to flush out salts

• In the cooler morning so plants can best utilize the moisture

Photo: Vinca or Madagascar Periwinkle is the most heat tolerant of all summer annuals. They are available in an array of brilliant sunset hues. New varieties include short compact and trailing species.





• Gourds, a second crop of cucumbers, melons and squash

• Annual and perennial herbs (all but cilantro, parsley, dill)

• A monsoon garden with seeds from Native Seeds/Search

• Basil, harvest often and prune at least 1/3 of the growth to ensure an early fall harvest


• Mesquite and palo verde trees; these trees heal more quickly during hot weather


• Blooming plants often during wet seasons with a high-phosphorous fertilizer

• Palms in wet soil during summer rains and water the fertilizer in with a hose

• Established roses with a half-strength rose or flower fertilizer. Add epsom salts at half-strength. Deep water every day if rains are scarce. Prune faded blooms


• To supplement monsoons, but don’t overdo it

Photo: Basil is a popular warm-season, culinary herb with a sweet, mild flavor. It is an easy and fast-growing shrubby plant, available in many varieties and leaf colors.



Red Bird of Paradise


• Vegetables for the cooler season, such as snap peas, kale, beets, onions, turnips

• Early in the month, squash and cucumbers


• Back surviving tomato plants 

• By deadheading bedding flowers


• Citrus before the end of the month; avoid fertilizing frost-tender shrubs now as this will encourage new growth that may freeze later


• Deeply and infrequently if the rains have been light 

• Summer-blooming flowers and shrubs

• Large, established cacti and succulents; these will need supplemental watering every 5-6 weeks if summertime rains have been scarce. Small specimens benefit from watering every 3-4 weeks. Cut back on this as temperatures continue to drop

Photo: Red Bird of Paradise is a tall, carefree shrub that produces showy clusters of brilliant red and orange blossoms until frost. The fern-like foliage adds a tropical look in desert gardens.



Pedilanthus or Lady Slipper


• Flowering bulbs, such as amaryllis, narcissus, iris, freesia, ranunculus

• Seeds of broccoli, cauliflower, chard, brussel sprouts and collards indoors

• Carrots, radishes, spinach, lettuces, turnips, green onions by mid-Sept

• Cilantro, chives, parsley, sage, thyme, oregano in well-amended soil 

• Nasturtium and sweet peas

• Desert marigold, chuparosa, Mexican honeysuckle, anisacanthus

• Cacti – saguaro, barrel, prickly pear, hedgehog, pincushion, euphorbia, agave, yucca, hesperaloe


• Trees, shrubs and vines; be careful not to feed anything that should be dormant in the coming months


• On the summer schedule until temperatures drop, but watch for any signs of over-watering (i.e. mushy soil, change of leaf color, etc.)

Photo: Pedilanthus or Lady Slipper is an unusual succulent with tall stalks, tiny leaves and bright orange-red flowers that attract hummingbirds. Clustered stems form vertical garden accents.





• Desert wildflower seeds and annuals, such as petunias, snaps, dianthus, calendula, geranium, impatients, primrose

• Wildflower seeds, including owl clover, desert lupine, Parry penstemon and desert bluebells

• Starts of cyclamen, dianthus, pansy, Iceland poppy, snaps, stock, alyssum, verbena and violas

• Herbs like coriander, dill, fennel, parsley, catnip, lavender, rosemary, sage, lemon balm, mint and chives

• Perennials — ageratum, rudbekia, desert marigold 

• Shrubs of cassia, desert spoon, Salvia greggii, Texas ranger, fairy duster

• Transplants of kohlrabi, lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Swiss chard


• Seeds or seedlings to keep moist until established, as well as citrus trees

Photo: Ruellia is a fast-growing evergreen shrub that brings forth bright purple flowers in spring and fall. It is a low-water use plant that grows to four feet, adding a lush accent to landscapes.



Improved Meyer Lemon


• Foliage, such as Kenilworth ivy, hypoestes (polka dot), helichrysum, heuchera, lysimachia (autumn snow) and Ajuga reptans

• Poinsettias

• Salad green varieties

• Fava beans and peas

• Bare-root plants of roses, fruit trees and asparagus


• Sprouts from citrus trees and spent rose blooms


• Winter vegetables with ammonium nitrate

• Any new plants that the nursery has recommended 

• Do not feed any plants that are becoming dormant


• Citrus, but allow to dry out between waterings

• Look for signs of fungus growth where things may have become too wet

• Fall wildflowers

Photo: Improved Meyer Lemon is an easy-to-grow hybrid citrus appreciated for its thin-skinned fruit. It is very juicy, sweeter than regular lemons and grows well in containers.





• Lettuce mixes

• Cyclamen 

• In containers — snapdragons, bacopa, primula, linaria, pansies, stock, viola, diascia, Iceland poppy, alyssum, million bells, nemesia and godetia

Frost Control:

• Place Styrofoam cups on columnar cacti. Cover small citrus trees (especially limes) on freezing nights 

Pest Control:

• Watch broccoli, cabbage, etc., for aphids and little green worms. Pick off any intruders, spray them away (gently) with a hose, or use all-natural pesticide


• Citrus before freezes only if more than several days of freezing is predicted 


• Grass in the morning, fertilizing it monthly with ammonium nitrate

• Hand-water potted plants; check for disease and insects

Photo: Amaryllis is a bulb plant that produces showy flowers on a tall stalk and now is available in many colors. From bulb to blossom takes about eight weeks. They can bloom again outdoors.

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