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Master Gardener Journal  


T H I N G S   T O   E X P E C T   &   T H I N G S   T O   D O



by Terry H. Mikel,
Extension Agent, Commercial Horticulture


CITRUS FRUIT DROP will occur. The shed of newly set fruit is a natural thinning, worsened by hot weather and dry winds. Water moderately during this season and fertilize after this seasonal drop.

POWDERY MILDEW on roses, euonymus, cucurbits and grapes can occur. Spring temperatures are ideal for infection. Preventive treatments are much better than corrective ones.

SEASONAL LEAF DROP on carob, African sumac, pine, and other trees will occur as weather warms.

FALSE CHINCH BUGS migrate to greener pastures as the desert dries in the heat. They usually only attack plants that have foliage on the ground.

METALLIC FLEA BEETLES make their annual presence known. They're especially fond of Mexican primrose, and often provide a much-needed pruning to this plant.

IRONWOODS BEGIN TO BLOOM in early summer. It's something to see and enjoy their bloom, especially up close.

LAWNS will begin to show stressed areas if the sprinklers are not putting out water uniformly over the area. Check out “Landscape Watering by the Numbers” for the best ways to audit your sprinkler systems.

FERTILIZE BERMUDA GRASS LAWNS during late April or early May. Hold off on dethatching until May or June for best results.

TERMINAL DIEBACK IN PINES is usually a physiological response we call pine blight. It's been most noticeable this year due to the extreme heat and lack of rain in 2002. Check the soil near the trunk. Trees with circling roots express the worst symptoms.

MULCH GROUND SURFACES under roses and other heat-sensitive plants.

APPLY IRON to bottlebrush, pyracantha, silk oak, and other plants with iron deficiency symptoms. Chelated iron works faster. Reducing watering frequency often helps.

THINK HOUSEPLANTS for deeply shaded, outside areas. Green spiders, philodendrons, dracaena, crinums, scheffleras, and tupidanthus do wonderfully.

DON'T DETHATCH BERMUDA GRASS or hybrid Bermuda grass lawns until May.

WILDFLOWERS - harvest seeds from your beds for next season. A simple way is to put a brown paper bag over the whole plant and pull it up. This lets the seeds stay in the bag. Label the bag!

IRON DEFICIENCIES are best treated with chelated forms of iron.

TRANSPLANT OR PLANT PALMS in the summer. Warm soils are needed for the roots to start growing.

PROVIDE A LIGHT SHADE (less than 50 percent) over tomatoes. This helps the plant, and discourages the sun-loving insect that carries curly top virus from visiting.

PRUNE DESERT TREES like mesquites, palo verdes, and acacias now if necessary. This seems to heal the pruning wounds faster.



Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer Information
Last Updated April 29, 2003
Author: Lucy K. Bradley, Extension Agent Urban Horticulture, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County
© 1997 The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County
Comments to Maricopa-hort@ag.arizona.edu 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040,
Voice: (602) 470-8086 ext. 301, Fax (602) 470-8092