By Pam Albo
Tatum Highlands Communications Chair
Summer in the low desert begins in May.
Feed roses and blooming plants.
Remember to remove dead blossoms after each bloom.
Feed established citrus and don’t be alarmed if fruits drop. It is normal this month.
Keep an eye on potted plants as they may need increased watering.
Adjust irrigation systems in preparation for summer watering needs.
Replace bedding plants, such as petunias that won’t take the heat.
Finish up any pruning of frost damage.
June and July are the hottest months. Concentrate on helping your plants survive the heat.
Check all your plants on a regular basis to make sure they’re getting enough water. It’s time to add a layer of mulch around the base of your plants to save water and keep your plants’ roots cool.
Cut back on fertilizing roses.
Deadhead flowering plants to encourage continued blooming by removing spent flowers before they go to seed.
Water citrus deeply once a week or more.
The monsoon season traditionally starts around the 4th of July with humidity arriving from the Gulf of California.
Summer rains will bring another crop of weeds. Get them while they are still small.
July is a good time to fertilize palm trees since palm specific fertilizers need to be watered in.
Place shade cloth over tomatoes and peppers.
Beware of Palo Verde Beetles that emerge from the ground and make holes around Palo Verde trees, and swarms of flying termites that come out of holes in the ground to start new colonies.
Watch for worms and beetles. Invest in organic insecticides.