A quiet time for Tucson gardens.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Ponds and water gardens enhance your landscape by adding the sound of water and the sight of an array of lush plants.
Place your garden where it will receive at least five hours of sunlight daily. Shading the water itself is important to provide relief for fish and inhibit algae growth. Plants in water gardens thrive despite our summers as their roots are in water.
Floating plants are essential and should cover 60 percent of the water surface. They take up nutrients from the water and provide shade. They can be very prolific, and even invasive. For example, Arizona has labeled water hyacinths as an invasive species.
Oxygenator plants add oxygen to the water and take up nutrients. They should be planted in containers at the bottom of the pond. Water should be circulated once per hour. Water lilies provide color (in a wide variety of shades) and spread out on the surface.
Marginal plants also take up nutrients and add visual impact. Plant in containers along the shallow edges of the bog area. They purify the water by removing heavy metals, and benefit the environment by attracting bees, butterflies and dragonflies. HG
Sow seeds for cool-season vegetables, such as beets, carrots, radishes, dill, chives, turnips, spinach, lettuce, kale, mustard greens, bok choy and Swiss chard.
Plant bare-root roses and deciduous fruit trees. Choose varieties proven to do well in the desert.
Sow seeds of beets, bok choy, carrots, lettuce, radishes, spinach and Swiss chard.
Start seeds of peppers, eggplant and tomatoes indoors.
Cover frost-tender plants with burlap, sheets or frost cloth.
Continue to harvest winter vegetables such as radishes, snow peas, spinach, arugula and leaf lettuce. Thin vegetable seedlings and enjoy in salads.
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.
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.
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
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. Do not feed dormant Bermuda grass.
Continue citrus harvest of grapefruits, mandarins, tangelos, lemons, kumquats, navels and blood oranges.