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Desert Garden Maintenance Ideas

Seasonal advice for desert gardeners. Click the button for the most current advice, or scroll down to look for other times of year.

Desert gardening by the month

January is one of the slow months in our desert gardens. The days are pleasant but there is a possibility of frost at night. Winter Solstice was in December and the days are short so plants are growing slowly or are in dormancy.

We are finally coming out of the dark days of winter with the days becoming noticeably longer and the temperature generally mild.


Wildflowers are starting to bloom and plants are coming out of dormancy. Now through March, you will see a significant difference in your garden. If you are going to do any planting or pruning projects, now is the time so the plants can acclimatize and recover before the summer.

3 / March

March is one of the most beautiful times in our desert. This is the time to go on hikes or leisurely drives. Look around and see how nature designs her landscapes. Recreate this in your own gardens!

Every year my senses are overwhelmed with the sounds, colors, and fragrance of spring as our desert reaches its fullest potential! As we are starting to wind down our garden tasks for the slower pace of summer, it is important that before the heat or you leave for the season, you complete some basic maintenance checks on your yard and irrigation.

May is a stunning time of year in our desert gardens! Native plants in our landscapes are flourishing! The weather is warm, but we usually haven't reached the consistently scorching temperatures yet. While we're no longer in our planting season, there's still an opportunity to tackle minor yard projects before the full force of summer heat arrives. Additionally, this is an ideal time to venture into the higher elevations and foothills. The foothills tend to be a bit cooler, prolonging their blooms, while the higher elevations are beginning their summer bloom.

6 / June

June marks the beginning of summer and the end of most of our gardening chores for this season. The next three months it's time to relax and enjoy our gardens while floating in the pool. Dream of the projects you want to tackle and plants you want to plant in the fall!

7 / July

July summer is in full swing. Temperatures can be anywhere from 105 to 120. We may be dry or have monsoonal humidity. Gardening tasks should be done in the early morning. This is the time to really begin planning anything you want to accomplish in the fall.

8 / August

Summer is almost over! The planting season starts September 15th! This is not the month to tackle any big garden tasks. Let your garden rest and take care of itself. Except for irrigation, pay attention to your irrigation. By mid-September there will be a noticeable difference in the length of the days. Even though it will still be hot, it won't be hot for as long. We just need patience now.

For many garden enthusiasts like me, September holds a special significance. It heralds the start of what feels more like a new year than January ever does. The relentless summer heat begins to wane, and the days offer warmth while the nights bring a refreshing coolness. 

As I prepare to plant my vegetable garden, I also find myself reassessing my entire yard, contemplating new additions, and planning changes. It's a time of renewal and rejuvenation, where creativity and nature's beauty intertwine.

September also serves as our final respite before the gardening whirlwind of October, the most pivotal time of the year for our desert gardens.

So, let's savor this moment, relish the anticipation, and prepare to dig in. September is here, and it's time to embrace the new beginnings it brings to our gardens.

Desert gardeners, rejoice! October has arrived, bringing with it the perfect amalgamation of favorable conditions. The days are warm, the nights are refreshingly cool, and we find ourselves nestled between the summer and winter solstices, blessed with ideal daylight hours.

In nurseries, new plants call our names, promising the potential for vibrant transformations. After spending the summer contemplating and dreaming about our gardens, this is the moment to breathe life into those visions.

As we find ourselves fully immersed in fall, our gardens are undergoing a subtle yet remarkable transformation. While the days might still carry the warmth of summer, the nights and mornings are quite chilly! As the days grow shorter, this is the last month before our plants really slow down in December. 

Have you been contemplating moving a plant to a new spot? Or perhaps you're itching to introduce a new plant to your outdoor sanctuary? Now's the time! The soil is still warm enough to encourage root growth, helping your plants settle into their new homes comfortably.

By the end of the month, some areas in our valley might witness a touch of frost in the early morning hours. Be mindful of your young plants or growth and consider providing them with a little extra protection as the temperatures drop.

Topics covered: Planting, Pruning, Flowering, Vegetables, Irrigation, Pests, Weeds, and Fertilizer

Our gardens in December, like in the heat of the summer, really only ask us to enjoy them and make sure there are no problems. While there are no major tasks to perform, we should always be looking at our gardens and assessing them. How do they look each season? Is it making me and the local wildlife happy? Are there any projects that I would like to complete while it's cooler outside? What about replacing annuals, with native perennials? Instead of floating in the pool, I'm sitting by the firepit asking myself these questions.

Topics covered: Planting, Pruning, Flowering, Vegetables, Irrigation, Pests, Weeds, and Fertilizer


The rest of the year

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