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desert gardening basics
june 2013 gardening checklist for arizona’s mid and high elevations
June 2013 Gardening Checklist for Arizona’s Mid and High Elevations
June, 2013, Page 120
MID AND HIGH ELEVATIONS
WHAT TO PLANT
—Sow crops that don’t mind summer heat, such as beans (bush, pole and lima), black-eyed peas, corn, cucumbers, melons, okra, pumpkins and squash.
—Transplant broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and kale. Sow beans, beets, cantaloupe, carrots, okra, pumpkins, radishes, salad greens and squash.
(Mid and High Elevations)
Eggplant, peppers and tomatoes
—Set out transplants by the first week in June so that they can establish roots, produce flowers and set fruit before the relatively short growing season ends. Protect plants from late frost. Tomato varieties that have small to medium fruits are a better choice than beefsteak varieties for the Southwest’s arid conditions. Smaller fruit matures more quickly with less chance of cracking. ‘Yellow Pear’ is a prolific bite-sized heirloom that thrives in varied growing regions.
(Mid and High Elevations)
Protect your fruit
—It is uncanny how birds know the exact hour that fruit will be ripe for eating and will quickly start pecking before you have a chance to harvest the fruits of your labors. Cover entire plants with bird netting, checking frequently to make sure birds are not trapped underneath. Wrap individual fruits or bunches (such as grapes) in protective cotton bags or something similar. Various solutions are available to scare birds, but effectiveness varies as birds get used to their presence. Some gardeners report success by suspending shiny objects that swing about in the wind, including children’s pinwheels, Mylar ribbons or even old CDs/DVDs suspended with string or fish line.
—In the heat of summer, up to 40 percent of a home’s water use can go to the landscape. Be sure to adjust timers at least four times annually as seasonal water needs change. Check systems for leaks and clogged emitters or bubblers. Move emitters outward annually to keep pace with the expanding size of trees and large shrubs. As native trees mature and establish, consider taking them off automatic systems and water them with a trickling hose only during times of drought. Cochise County (Arizona) residents can schedule a free onsite visit from University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Water Wise personnel, who will offer help with existing irrigation system efficiency or provide information on designing and installing a new system. Learn more at waterwise.arizona.edu.
Cathy Cromell is a Master Gardener and co-author of Earth-Friendly Desert Gardening (Arizona Master Gardener Press).
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