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You know, every month seems to fly by before I think about what I should be doing in the garden.  Is it that way for you too?

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am busy writing garden articles that will be published in November.  So my brain is thinking of all the things to do in the garden….in 3 months.  So, the fact that I have August tasks that need to be done in my garden is somehow forgotten.

So, if you have been wondering what to do in your garden this month, here it is.  Better late then never, I say 😉

If you have citrus trees, they should receive their third application of fertilizer towards the end of this month (or the beginning of September).  Established citrus trees should be fertilized three times a year – in March, May and August/September.  You can read more about citrus fertilization here.

I used to have citrus trees in my previous home, but do not in my current one.  However, my mother shares her bounty of lemons and grapefruit with us every year 🙂


The orange tree, below, belongs to my father-in-law and he loves to share the oranges with the grandkids.

Some vegetables can be planted now as well, including cucumbers, sweet corn, carrots, lettuce, green onions and squash can be planted from seed.  It is still a bit early to set out transplants.
If you are a fan of palm trees, this is a great time to plant one.  Palms should be planted during the summer and not during the winter if at all possible since they actively grow when it is warm.  
Don’t add any amendments to the soil.  If additional drainage is needed, you can add some sand to the hole. 
You can also fertilize your palm trees this month as well, using a fertilizer specially formulated for palm trees.  Palm fertilizer contains certain micro-nutrients that palms require and are often missing in more conventional fertilizers.  Palm trees should be fertilized during the warm season only since palm trees will not take up fertilizer during the cooler months.
You know what?  I must admit that I have been putting off getting out into the garden.  Mostly because by the time August rolls around, I am a bit tired of the summer heat.
So, I think that I will end my “August To Do List” at this point.  
Of course, if you want more to do, you can always lightly prune back your overgrown shrubs or perennials – but only by 1/4 – 1/3.

I am looking forward to September, when the weather begins to cool a little bit and I find that I am re-energized and ready to ‘play’ outside again 🙂

Okay, I know that I have been hinting at my big announcement for quite a while now.  But, I am so thrilled that I can finally reveal what I have been working on.

 Some of you may already know that I write the Southwest Regional Report for Birds &  Blooms magazine.  Well, the editors decided a while ago to create a blog that is broken up by geographical regions.  They asked me to write their Southwest blog, which premieres today!
 I am so excited about this new adventure since the topics will cover gardening as well as birds.  I will also highlight local events as well.  The Southwest blog will cover Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.  

So, in many ways, this new blog will expand on the primarily gardening topics that I cover in my personal azplantlady blog.

Even if you do not live in the Southwest, I do hope that you will stop by the blog for a visit.  The editors would like for this new blog to be interactive and I would appreciate it so much if you would read a few of my posts and leave a comment.  My hope is however, that you will want to stop by and visit much more often.

Of course, azplantlady (Ramblings From a Desert Garden) is not going away and I will continue to write as long as you are kind enough to read it 🙂

I will have a link to my Birds & Blooms blog on azplantlady, in order to make it easier to read both blogs.

I appreciate the time that you take out of your day to read ‘Ramblings From a Desert Garden’ and hope that you will also enjoy my Birds & Blooms blog as well 🙂

 

That was my first thought when I came out to Arizona as a young bride over 23 years ago.  Brown mountains, strangely shaped cactus and words like ‘javelina’, ‘dust devil’, ‘haboob’ and ‘gila monster’ that meant nothing to me were soon to become part of my new world.

I grew up in Southern California.  I loved the beaches, the beautiful tall mountains, the rolling hills and the trees.  I had spent two years attending college in California and my dorm room had a view of the ocean and I could see the Channel Islands on a clear day.  My entire family lived in California and I was sure that I would never leave.  But, then fate intervened….I fell in love with an Arizonan.

Before I knew it, I was married and driving across the desert to Arizona.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I thought Arizona was pretty in kind of a stark, prickly way.  I mean, who doesn’t like how cool Saguaro cacti look?  But, I was homesick for the bright and dark green colors that had been a part of the landscape I had grown up in.  

There were trees, but not as many as I was used to.  Areas of grass 
were more limited and were bordered by concrete curbing.  The rest of the ground was covered by small rocks, called gravel which came in different kinds of colors.  And people placed large boulders in the landscape on purpose.
Once my eyes had adjusted, I realized that the desert was quite green.  But the green colors were much more subtle with hues of gray and blue mixed in.  Coming from an area with dark green plants had made me temporarily blind to the green beauty of the desert.

My oldest daughter in our backyard – 1992
I had dabbled a bit in gardening in California while growing up, but nothing serious.  What made me a gardener was the purchase of our first house in Phoenix.  We bought a home with a large yard which included 3 mature citrus trees, 3 roses and 10 California Fan Palms and I had no idea what I was doing.
My second oldest daughter and friend playing in the irrigation water as DH watches.
Berms along the edges keep the water from running out into the street. 

Even more interesting and this is an Arizona thing – our front and backyard was irrigated by flood irrigation.  We would open a valve in the backyard and water would fill the backyard to a depth of about 4″ high and then flow into the front yard.  My children loved playing in the water, especially in the summer.  I loved the price – only $56 for an entire year back in the 90’s.
My neighbor’s garden.

With my newly inherited garden, I wanted to learn all I could and bought gardening books only to learn that they really did not apply to gardens in the desert.  For example, just because a book, (written and published on the east coast), says that a particular plant can be grown in zone 9, does not mean it can survive the heat of our summers.  I learned the hard way.  So, I decided to go to our local library and read all I could on desert gardening.  After that, I was hooked.  I took out some grass and planted a perennial garden in the front and also planted 40 roses as well. 

My thirst for knowledge did not end and I was at a crossroads in terms of deciding what I wanted to do in terms of a career.  I had two years of college under my belt, but needed to figure out what to major in.  It was then that I decided to get my degree in Horticulture.  I have never looked back and absolutely love what I get to do.  And the rest they say is history…. 
Hiking through the desert with my four youngest children.
They love the desert as much as I do.