Southwest: May Gardening

A May “to-do” list for gardeners in the Southwest United States
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Southwest garden tasks for the month of May:

  • Plant summer annuals to replace winter annuals that are dying in the increasing heat. Try moss rose (Portulaca), zinnias, salvia, verbena, celosia.
  • May is one of the driest months of the year here. Increase watering as needed. Flowers and veggies may need daily watering. Lawns may need water twice weekly. Trees and shrubs, even those adapted to the desert, may need some supplemental water to prevent stress. Consider replacing high-water plants, especially a lawn, with local native plants, which are adapted to the weather.
  • Mulch flower and vegetable beds to conserve water and prevent weeds.
  • Fertilize citrus trees and palm trees, choosing a fertilizer labeled for their use. Follow directions carefully.
  • Plant and transplant cacti and other succulents, as well as palms and other heat-loving plants. They will quickly grow new roots in the warm weather.


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