DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN ANNOUNCES March Gardening Tips to keep your garden healthy Spring is in the air, or is it? It is still possible to have freezing temperatures early in the month, so don’t store your frost protection cloth yet.
BigNews.Biz - Mar 05,2013 - DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN ANNOUNCES March Gardening Tips to keep your garden healthy
Spring is in the air, or is it? It is still possible to have freezing temperatures early in the month, so don’t store your frost protection cloth yet. By mid-March chances of below freezing temperatures have diminished for the low-desert regions and spring gardening tasks can be started.
Now is a good time to divide clump-forming Agave spp., Aloe spp., Manfreda spp., Hesperaloe spp., and Candelilla (Euphorbia antisyphilitica) in the landscape or in containers. Many deciduous trees will start to produce new leaves as the weather becomes warmer including Mesquites (Prosopis spp.), Desert-willow (Chilopsis linearis), Golden Leadball Tree (Leucaena retusa), Feather Tree (Lysiloma watsonii), and Kidneywood (Eysenhardtia orthocarpa).
March in the low desert
Come to the Desert Botanical Garden’s Bi-Annual Plant Sale featuring the largest variety of arid-adapted plants available in one location.
Stem and flower buds are forming on many cacti at this time. Look for these buds on Prickly-pears (Opuntia spp.), Chollas (Cylindropuntia spp.) and Hedgehogs (Echinocereus spp.).
Plant your Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) from March through May as these are the ideal months to achieve greater transplanting success. For more information on planting an Ocotillo see our Desert Gardening Guide.
November through mid-March is the ideal time to plant the Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia). If unable to plant by mid-March, wait until November for increased chance of survival. If planted during the summer months, they are more sensitive during the transplant process either from the ground or a container. They will exhibit more signs of stress and dehydration as well as more prone to rot if over watered.
If rainfall was plentiful during the previous fall-winter months, look for colorful wildflower displays in the desert. For updates on where to find wildflowers in Arizona’s parks and gardens, go to the Wildflower InfoSite.
Pruning should be done to maintain plant health (remove dead, damaged or diseased portions, cross branching, etc.), to highlight the “natural” shape of the plant, to train a young plant, and to eliminate hazards. Excessive or heavy pruning causes significant stress to trees and shrubs. The best practices are to prune the least amount necessary and prune for legitimate reasons. How much to prune depends on the size, species, age, as well as your intentions. A few good principles to remember--a tree or shrub can recover from several small pruning wounds faster than from a single large wound and never remove more than 25% of the canopy in a year. For more information register for a Garden class offered on pruning that will teach you the proper pruning techniques for trees and shrubs or visit www.treesaregood.org for information on proper pruning of young and mature trees.
By mid-month frost damaged plants can be safely pruned. Prune evergreen trees and shrubs.
Pruning newly planted trees and shrubs is not recommended and in fact can be detrimental. However, corrective pruning off broken or torn branches and/or limbs can be done at planting time. Save other