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       Head
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       in the Sonoran
   Stir-Frying Ironwood
       Seeds
   Soil Basics
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   Worming Your Way to
       Fertile Ground
   Happy Birthday
       Mr. Baker

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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


CICADAS EMERGE and the males buzz to attract a female. Little damage is caused beyond the pricked bark on twigs, and no practical control is available.

ANTS AND TERMITES become more active and swarm during Arizona's summer storm season. Until you've seen a mating swarm you haven't lived.

ROOT ROTS are often the result of overly wet soils brought about by summer rains, coupled with over-watering. Let the soil breathe by drying out between long, deep soakings.

LAWN FUNGUS DISEASES INCREASE in warm, wet grass. Thick thatches and night watering increase fungus disease potential. Lawns stressed by too little water are prime candidates.

IRON CHLOROSIS can be induced with wet soils, keeping the oxygen levels low. Also, the wet conditions place the iron in a chemical that is less available for non-adapted plants. If the symptoms occur, and controlling water to dry the soil is difficult (e.g. lawns), use a chelated iron on plants (lawns also) with symptoms.

TOADSTOOLS AND SLIME FUNGI increase around the landscape with the warm wetness of the season. Though some may be edible, don't chance it.

PALO VERDE BEETLES will continue to emerge from the ground under infested trees. Extra TLC remains the best treatment. Remember, Palo Verde Borers have been found on many other types of trees; especially (but not necessarily) ones with tap roots.

WATER CAREFULLY for better plant growth and to save water. The watering needs of plants increase with hot, dry weather. Be attentive to wilt symptoms. Water deeply, but only as often as necessary to maintain good growth. Remember the 1 - 2 - 3 rule.

FERTILIZE CITRUS in late August or early September to ensure good fruit sizing that will occur soon after. Tangelos are especially sensitive and respond best to this fall application.

MULCH SOIL SURFACES of trees (4 inches plus), shrubs (2-4 inches), and flower beds (1-2 inches) to keep root zones cooler and to minimize evaporation loss of water.

WATER, MOW AND FERTILIZE LAWNS ATTENTIVELY. Stress can quickly become a severe problem now. Late season blooming is common and increases with stress.

REPLENISH DEPLETED SOIL FERTILITY with a fertilizer application in August. Watering and rains leach away much of the soil's nutrients, and they will be needed for the second flush of growth in late September.

TO DISTINGUISH ANTS FROM TERMITES, there are two things to look for: 1) ants have a tight constriction between the head/thorax and the abdomen, and 2) ant antennae bend to nearly 90 degrees about halfway out.

TRANSPLANT PALMS in the heat of summer for best results.


Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer Information
Last Updated July 28, 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