June Gardening for Tucson

Diposting oleh alexandria joseph | 02.00

We've reached the hot and dry month of June.  It's fire season here with 100 degree plus temps and little chance for rain.  Random lightening strikes fire up our skies before monsoon rains descend upon us.  Very little transplanting should be done during this time of year as plants have a hard time establishing themselves while brutal temperatures test their limits.  However, palms can be put into the ground now as well as several native cacti.  If it's one word, we should all think about...it's "mulch".  There are lots of types of mulch like rocks and bark to consider.  The word "mulch" may confuse you as it did me when I first started gardening.  To put it simply, mulch helps keep moisture in around the base of plants and eliminates evaporation....thus conserving water and the need to water the plant constantly. It also protects the roots of newly placed plants from the scorching sun.   Be careful not to have the mulch up against the trunk of a tree as it could encourage rot. Add a 3 inch layer of organic mulch(compost, dried leaves, grass clippings, wood chips) to the soil around plants to prevent weeds, maintain moisture and slightly lower soil temperature.  As the mulch decomposes, it adds nutrients to the soil.   If anything, think about mulching areas to conserve water and keeping weeds OUT!  Think about your warm-season vegetables.  Transplant sweet potatoes. Sow cantaloupe, Armenian cucumber and okra seeds.  Continue monitoring your herb garden.  Pinch out ends of basil for a bushier plant.  Sunflowers love this heat and do very well. But mostly, monitor the watering of plants and enjoy the green outside from inside your cool home. If you need to hand water anything, do it in the morning or early part of the evening when temps are more comfortable.  This may sound ridiculous, but sometimes I'm working out in the garden at around 11 PM with a flashlight because the daytime temps are too hot! Stay cool gardening friends.  Until tomorrow......

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