The Potted Desert View

The Potted Desert View
This blog is for you, the native or transplanted desert dweller. Our harsh and varied desert climates continually present a challenge for gardeners. Those of you who have moved from a colder climate such as the mid-west or New England, you have most likely tried to find container gardening information that tells you how to grow the kind of garden like you had 'back home.'

Search here to find answers to your potted garden questions.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Planting winter annuals in Tucson

I was at the NAWBO luncheon yesterday and Colette from Jonathan's Cork and Tucson Originals was lamenting how hot it had been and knew she needed to wait for lower temperatures to plant her winter flowers. I assured those listening that the end was in sight and that we usually have a hot week near the third week of October. Waiting a little longer is a good thing because then the plants don't struggle battling the heat when they are just beginning to grow.

I don't know about your garden but mine is still flush with summer blooms so there is no way I am taking them out. Yes, it is a fine balance in getting them in before it gets too cold and after it is too warm, but November into early December is just fine!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mid-September To do List

It is time, if not past time to fertilize your citrus trees and to cut back your roses by one-third.
If you need any help, we are only a phone call (520.733.3359) or email away!!

If you see any 'ickky' bird droppings on your citrus leaves, these are actually caterpillars that turn into great Swallowtail butterflies! You can pick them off or leave them if you do not have too many. They will chomp on the leaves but again, if not an infestation, I leave them alone. 

Fertilize your citrus this month - newly planted trees do not need fertilizer the first 1-2 years. You can use Ammonium Sulfate, Ammonium Phosphate or Citrus Food fertilizer. The amount of fertilizer need per year depends on the age, the size, and the type of tree. Read the instructions on the package for more information.
As temps cool down, reduce your irrigation

  • Mid-September, remove the top 1/3 of your roses and dead canes and clean up all the dead/fallen leaves and debris.
  • Keep up your watering schedule especially if it stays hot.
  • If the weather continues to be hot, only apply organic fertilizer like Max Magic Mix, Mills Magic Mix. Hickman's compost etc. or a half strength liquid fertilizer.
  • When it starts to cool down at least at night (temps in the 60’s,) apply full strength fertilizer.  At the same time, give your roses their fall dose of Epsom Salts. Use one half cup per standard rose bush and ¼ cup per miniature rose bush.
  • Don't try to jump start your roses by giving them a big boost of fertilizer when it is still over 90 degrees.
  • Water your roses well before and after fertilizing.
  • Unless you have a bad case of bugs or mildew, don't start weekly spraying for pests and mildew until early October. Spider mites are still a possibility, so continue to blast your roses with your water wand two or three times a week.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hang in there while the heat is still on!

I was (as always) watching the local forecast this morning and it looks like there is a chance we will escape the 100's this weekend. That will be a nice relief. I would love to begin to bring down my irrigation times but I know I need to wait still.

Let me know if you have any questions about getting your plants through the summer!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May Garden Checklist

As the season turns, take care of your garden with this May checklist:
  • Be sure you are watering your citrus and roses deeply each time you water
  • It is time to plant your summer annuals, perennials, veggies and herbs.
  • Fertilize your citrus by mid-May
  • Make sure your irrigation system is in working order. Either do it yourself or enlist the aid of a reputable company. This is the best investment you can make to keep your plants healthy and happy during the long hot summer.
    1. Check for leaks
    2. Adjust the watering frequency and timing as needed.
Taking care of many of these issues now will save you work later this year during the scorching Tucson sun and help insure a happy plants as the days become warmer. Happy Gardening.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summer is truly coming!

We have been fooled by the weather during the last few weeks but I think it is safe to say that the possibility of the temperatures in Tucson hitting 90 today means we are on the road to summer. What a beautiful spring we have had! The winter rains sure did help!

I hope you have made your plans on how you are going to enjoy this summer, both here in Tucson and on trips escaping the heat! One of our commitments is that when we dine out that we go locally! Between the Tucson Originals and all the summer specials being offered by our local masters, we have no problem holding to that commitment (although I still have to go to our client Mimi's Cafe - as I love their food and service and think of them as local!)

If you are staying in town, there is no reason not to have a summer garden - flowers, veggies and herbs - it can all be done! Don't be scared of the heat! If this is your first summer in Tucson, let us know as we can help!

Be sure to sign up for our Potted E-News where you will receive tips on your summer garden care.

Have a great day!
The Contained Gardener

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Powdery Mildew on Roses

Powdery Mildew is showing up on Tucson's Roses
•Mildew can be kept in check by using Funginex. It is best to spray Funginex as a preventative for mildew on a weekly basis, rather than waiting for the problem to show up. It's harder to prevent damage once it's started.

Information provided by the Tucson Rose Society

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Care for your roses as the weather heats up!

We have been talking the past few weeks about caring for your roses in April . It is key to continue to water your roses and increase the frequency to three times per week as the temperatures rise, especially as they consistently climb above 85 degrees. In addition, water to 18-24 inches deep. You do not want the soil soggy; however, you do not want the soil to dry before the next watering. To assist in retaining moisture in the soil, apply a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch. If you have any other questions around roses, drop in a comment.

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rose Care for April

Spring is in the air and I receive a lot of questions on rose care. So let’s focus on rose care for April.

Now is the time to begin a proper fertilization schedule, and at each step be sure to water well the night before fertilizing:

  1. For the first week use an organic fertilizer, scratch into the earth and water.
  2. Two weeks later, use a water soluble fertilizer.
  3. Use a fish emulsion once per month to help get microorganisms growing.

And remember, if you have newly planted roses, DO NOT fertilize, until after their first bloom!