National gardening calendars are general calendars which cover the average climates in the United States. In Phoenix we have more heat, and longer growing seasons so these calendars are not adequate to help Southern Arizona Gardeners. We will start with January and work through each month to show how local gardeners can get the most out of their gardens.
Phoenix winters are short and usually only last for the month of January. There are various activities that should be done in January depending on your garden and your landscape. It is a good time to get your bulbs in the ground, take care of spraying dormant shrubs, and prune your deciduous fruit trees and rosebushes. It’s also time to prune other bushes and trees, and is your last opportunity to get your bare root shrubs or trees in the ground. It is also the time of year where frost is most common, so keeping an eye on weather reports and taking steps to protect plants is to your advantage.
January is a good time to get your carrots, cabbage, lettuce, radishes and potatoes in the ground. In addition any bare root plants like strawberries or asparagus should be planted in January.
It is also time to get a lot of your flowers in the ground. Things like your Daises, Poppies, Petunias, Snapdragons, Sweet peas should go in the ground in January in the Phoenix area.
While frost is still a concern till about mid February you want to get your plants in the ground as soon as it is reasonably safe. The spring growing cycle is short and needs to have time to mature before the punishing heats of summer. It’s critical to give your trees and plants time to become established before the daytime temperatures go above, and stay above 100 degrees for weeks on end.
It is also the time to finish any pruning you need to do on your deciduous trees and rose bushes. It is a good time to take steps to control weeds with herbicides that control the growth of weeds before they even begin to develop.
This is the month to do your spring planting in southern Arizona. Frosts usually end around the 15th of February and it is a good time to get your frost sensitive plants into the ground to get the most out of the initial growing season. It is still possible to drop your annuals and perennials in the ground to get that beautiful floral effect in your Arizona garden. This is also the time of year to start fertilizing your trees and plants, and start keeping track of what is getting which fertilizer, when, and how much.
Veggies to get in the ground in February include beets, beans, carrots, corn, eggplant, lettuce, peppers, summer squash and tomatoes. You still have time to get your radishes, potatoes in the ground. This is also the time to get your watermelon and cantaloupe melons in the ground.
March is a good time to start ensuring your watering system is ready for summer. It is still cool enough to do some work if you need to work on some pipes, sprinkler heads, or drip lines. It is time to test your timers and make sure that everything is working so you are not panicking and having to use hose watering during the hotter part of the year. In addition it is important to control any weeds that might have been missed by your February herbicide treatments, get them while they are small. March overlaps the spring and summer planting season.
Many flowers call to be planted in March that includes Marigolds, Petunias, Sunflowers and more.
March is still a good month to get your vegetable garden going and includes all of the same veggies that were suggested in the February. In addition March is a good time to plant winter squash and beets.
Stay tuned for more information on monthly gardening projects and what to plant.