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  This Issue:
   From Me to You
   Calendar of Events
   Things to Expect & Do
   Zucchini Recipes
   A Color Palette
           for Your
   Computer Corner
   Word Wise
   Inspecting Your
           Irrigation System
   Ocotillo: Fiery Beauty
   How Do I Care For My
   May Monsoon Prep
   National Garden
           Bureau Introduces
           New Flowers &
   Choosing A
           Good Nursery
   Summer Tree Care
   Pine Bark Beetle
            in Arizona
   Bark Beetle FAQs
   Nature's Mimics
   Tubac Secret
           Garden Inn

   Parade of Ponds
Master Gardener Journal  

N E O P H Y T E   N O O K

May Monsoon Prep

by Mike Mekelburg,
Master Gardener

Now is a good time to think about the damage that severe monsoon winds can wreak in your landscape come July and August.

Disproportionately thick tree canopies-typically found on mesquite, ficus, and just about any type of tree that has been improperly pruned over the years-should be thinned out well before monsoon winds start whipping up. You'll need to limit pruning after the hot summer months arrive, since newly exposed bark is susceptible to sunburn.

Widespread anchor roots are also important for tree stability. This is something that cannot be put off until just before monsoon season. Regular watering under the tree's canopy drip line is the best way to promote good anchoring. Instead of placing a hose at the base of the tree's trunk and letting it trickle for an hour or so, move the hose around under the canopy's drip line at the three, six, nine, and twelve o'clock positions, letting it soak two hours in each position. Or build a soil berm at the drip line, so the entire basin under the tree can be flooded for two hours. Underground irrigation systems are also a good bet.

For yards that are in floodplains, it's a good idea to choose larger "curb rock" for the strip between the sidewalk and the curb so water won't wash away so easily.

In other news, citrus are due for their second feeding of the year about mid-month. Nitrogen is the crucial ingredient, with iron, sulfur, and manganese being helpful. Follow label directions for application rates.

Enjoy the May sights of swallowtail butterflies around citrus trees, and the beautiful blooms on saguaro and prickly pear cacti.

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 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040,
Voice: (602) 470-8086 ext. 301, Fax (602) 470-8092