Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January Planting Guide - AZ

January is the month to plant trees. Lower temperatures give roots time to establish before the unforgiving late-spring and summer heat. Consider planting a citrus tree. Equate the size of the potted tree to the size of hole you'll have to dig. Transplant bare-root deciduous fruit trees. Select varieties that require fewer than 400 chill hours.

Prepare garden soil for spring planting. You can start seeds of tomatoes, peppers and basil in small containers so they're ready to plant in the ground by Valentine's Day. Seeds may be sown of lettuce, spinach, carrots, green onions, peas, and radishes.

Strawberries, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, artichokes, and chard will grow from transplants, and you may plant bare root Asparagus as well.

When to pick Citrus? Give citrus the taste test. If fruit is not sweet enough, leave remaining fruit on the tree for several more weeks. Peel color is not an indicator of maturity or taste in citrus.

Maintenance - To keep winter lawns green and healthy, fertilize every three weeks with ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate or calcium nitrate. Follow application rates and directions on the container's label. Cover frost-tender plants, such as bougainvillea, celosia, ficus, hibiscus, Mexican fan palm, red bird of paradise and sweet acacia when night temperatures drop below 35 degrees. Bring container plants closer to the house for protection or cover with a sheet or frost cloth. Cover lemon, lime and young citrus trees sensitive to lower temperatures, overnight with a sheet or blanket that reaches to the ground. Uncover after sunrise. Use cardboard boxes, foam or plastic cups to protect the tips of columnar cactus or bloom stalks on agaves and aloes.

Do not prune the damaged areas until the plant begins spring growth. Pruning may stimulate new frost-sensitive growth.

Watering - Adjust your watering schedule. Shrubs, trees and flower beds need water less frequently during shorter, cooler days. Flowers may require watering once or twice per week, depending on the weather.

Flowers - You can sow African Daisies, Alyssum, Bachelor Buttons, Calendula, California Poppies, Candytuft, Carnation, Hollyhocks, Larkspur, Lupines, Pansies, Petunias, Shasta Daisies, Sweet Peas, Snapdragons, and Violets.

Bare-root roses are available at nurseries. Prune roses by removing all of the dead leaves and canes and the spindly canes that are smaller than the diameter of a pencil. This coaxes the best out of roses for spring bloom around April.

*Hint - To save herbs, such as basil, cilantro, thyme, oregano, etc., harvest the leaves fresh, rinse them off, chop them up finely, put them in ice trays, add water and slip them into the freezer. Later, when you need to add flavor to a soup or cooked dish, add a few herb cubes.

1 witty remarks:

Tiffany Hatch said...

You have no idea how much I appreciate this! I was just wandering what I could plant got bored and read your blog and found out what to plant any ways. Thank you!