The beginning of each month is a good time to create a checklist for your garden. Here are some priorities to include for May:
- Adjust your irrigation timers for hotter weather. It is best to water in the early morning or late evening. Always water deeply and less frequently to give those roots a nice drink. For a complete watering guide, download this excellent resource: Landscape Watering by the Numbers: http://www.amwua.org/watering.html
|Suspended shade structure over tomatoes last summer|
- Shade your tomatoes and peppers using a 30 or 50% shade cloth. This will prolong their productivity into June-July.
- Add mulch or compost to your vegetable garden to help retain moisture in the soil.
- Move potted plants into partial shade. Full Arizona sun in the summer is stressful on most non desert-adapted plants. As a result, I like to rearrange my pots in May to give them a little protection. Remember, pots also dry out quickly. Group them together if you are hand watering to decrease your watering time.
- Stock up on sunscreen and big hats to protect your skin while gardening in the hot sun. Especially your hands! I was recently reminded by a dermatologist that sun spots often occur on the hands because people forget to apply sunscreen to them.
Edibles: Armenian cucumbers (most tolerant variety for heat), black eyed peas, melons, basil, okra, sweet potatoes and sunflowers