Garden planting calendar for Tucson - The Explorer: Fall Home & Garden

Garden planting calendar for Tucson

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Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 4:00 am

Arizona is not like most states. The seasons are not on schedule. Arizona barely has a fall, winter is mild, and spring is short-lived. That means planting can be tough for most gardeners.

The desert presents a challenge for newcomers to this state, and sometimes a guide as to what should be planted each month is an important tool to gardening success.

To prepare for the Arizona seasons, Rain Water Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond has provided the annual guide.

January

Sow beets, lettuce, carrots, parsley, peas, radishes, spinach, turnips, onions, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, Chinese cabbage, Chinese celery, cilantro, collards, leeks, mustard greens, Swiss chard.

Plant bare-root plants.

 

February

Plant beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, Chinese celery, cilantro, collard, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard green, onion sets, peas, radish, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip, Jerusalem artichoke.

Plant bush beans, cucumbers, squash, dill, chard, and sweet corn late in the month.

Mulch potatoes and onion.

 

March

March 15 is traditionally the last day of frost. If the native velvet mesquite trees are leafing out, that. too, is a good sign that Tucson will now be frost free until fall.

Last sowing of carrots, beets, and heat tolerant leaf lettuce.

Set out transplants of tomatoes and peppers.

Plant basil, squash, sweet corn, Lima beans, snap beans, cantaloupes, watermelon.

After danger of frost you can plant Lima beans, black-eyed peas, cane sorghum, chilies, chiltepines, cotton, gourds, indigo, panic grass, teosinte, tobacco, tomatillos.

Mulch trees, shrubs, and vegetables (will retain moisture and lessen stress on plants as temperatures warm up.

Plant such annuals as marigolds to add color and deter pests from garden.

You may want to sow tall plants such as sunflowers and amaranth on the west side of your plot to screen other plants from the hot afternoon sun.

If planting corn consider the traditional “three sisters” arrangement of corn, beans, and squash or melons together. The corn creates a trellis and shade. The beans fix nitrogen in the soil and grow up the corn. The squash or melons take advantage of the shade and nitrogen while creating a living-mulch over the ground to protect the soil.

 

April

Plant okra, asparagus, beans, cherry tomatoes, sunflowers, amaranth, cucumber, eggplant, melons, Lima beans, black-eyed peas, cane sorghum, chilies, chiltepines, cotton, gourds, indigo, panic grass, teosinte, tobacco, tomatillos, muskmelon

It’s still not too late to plant pumpkins, cantelopes and squash.

Plant summer bulbs – caladium, anna, dahlia, glads, iris.

Plant warm-to-hot-season greens such as amaranth, purslane, lambsquarters, Malabar spinach, and Yakina Savoy lettuce can be sown now and grown through summer — all will appreciate afternoon shade from a tall trellis, native mesquite tree, or sunflowers to the west.

 

May

Plant heat tolerant veggies: Lima beans, eggplants, peanuts, peppers, sweet potatoes.

June

Cover tomatoes with shade cloth or perhaps you have grown some shade.

Sow fall tomatoes indoors.

Make sure to cover the soil with mulch to retain moisture and reduce plant stress.

July

With the monsoon rains plant tepary beans, devil’s claw, corn.

Start tomatoes, peppers, eggplants inside.

If you want, some folks now prune their tomato plants by 2/3.

Hand pollinate squash and melon flowers in the early morning or increase pollinator habitat and they’ll do the work.

August

You can sow sweet corn again.

Set out tomato, pepper plants mid month.

Direct seed cucumbers and bush beans late in the month

Set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

September

Plant most greens such as spinach, lettuce, chard, collards, kale, mustard greens, etc.

Plant garlic, carrots, onions, parsley, peas, cilantro, radishes, sweet peas, beets, broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage and celery, turnips, garbanzos, lentils, desert chia, rutabaga, artichoke, and nasturtiums.

Start thinking about neighborhood street and shade tree planting programs. Contact Trees for Tucson 791-3109 and see www.DesertHarvesters.org for tree lists and tree order forms.

October

Plant carrots, beets, broccoli, spinach, garbanzos, lentils, desert chia, cilantro, peas, parsnip, salsify

Sow native wildflowers.

 

November

Plant peas, fava beans, beets, carrots, lettuce, spinach, mustard, turnips, chard, horseradish, rhubarb.

Set out seedlings of celery, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts.

Plant hardy herbs like cilantro.

Plant hollyhocks, calendula, alyssum, bachelor buttons, freesias.

 

December

Late in month, start tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants indoors.

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