This can be a tricky time to garden. One day it will be warm and sunny and the next can be cold and blustery. Here are a few tips for keeping your garden in top condition.

Be prepared for frost: Frost can hit the Phoenix area as early as mid-November, and you don’t want your plants to be damaged. You can use burlap, old sheets or a product called N-Sulate to cover your plants in the early evening. Please don’t use plastic because it will burn plant material that it touches. Drape the cloth over the plat so that it touches the ground. Remember to take off the covering in the morning.

Lawn care: Winter rye grass lawns need monthly fertilizing this time of year. Amendments that are high in nitrogen are best. Please remember that your winter lawn does not need daily watering, once it is established. In fact, over watering will cause a host of problems. There is a great grass watering guide in “Landscape Watering by the Numbers,” a FREE publication published by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association. Come by the shop, we have stacks of them to give away. Again, they are free and will save you water and money.

If you don’t have a winter lawn, remember that dormant Bermuda lawns will still need monthly watering  if we don’t get good winter rains.

Remember to Fertilize – Your fall/winter veggies will continue to grow, but you should be applying a mild fertilizer to them about every two to three weeks for maximum growth and production. We like Big Bloom or the Tomato & Vegetable fertilizer from Fox Farm.

Plant Wildflowers: You’ve still got time to scatter wildflower seeds for a beautiful spring show.  Try Mexican Poppies, Firewheel,  Desert Bluebells, Owl’s Clover, Parry’s Penstemon or any of the mixes we have in stock from Wild Seed. Keep soil/seeds moist until germination and then water once every two weeks if our winter rains don’t arrive.

Plant Citrus: You can plant new citrus trees now. Just remember to protect them from frost.

You can still plant seeds

Herbs and vegetables – Beets, Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers, Jicama, Melons, Okra, Radishes, Summer Squash, Basil, Catnip, Chamomille, Chives, Fennel, Feverfew, Tarragon, Lemon Balm, Lemon Grass, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory, Scented Geraniums, Thyme, Yarrow.

Flowers – Bee Balm, Butterfly Weed, Black-eyed Susan, Celosia, Coleus (an excellent plant for shade), Cosmos, Desert Marigold, Four O’Clock, Gallardia, Globe Amaranth, Hollyhock, Impatiens, Marigolds, Mexican Sunflower, Portulaca, Sunflowers, Sweet Alyssum, Yarrow.