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  This Issue:
    2003 Highlights &
          2004 Changes
    Calendar of Events
    Things to Expect & Do
    An Agave Stalk
          Becomes A Nursery
    Pruning My Red Bird
          of Paradise
    Computer Corner
    Coping with those
          Irritating Weeds
    Who Am I?
    Experiencing the
          Wonders of
          Composting
    Going Bananas in the
          Desert
    Banana Recipes
    Small Trees for the
          Arizona Desert
    Spotting Nutrient
          Deficiencies
          in Citrus Leaves
    Word Wise
    Landscape Water Use
         Results are In
    Desert Willow
          Indigenous Imposter
    Book Review
    Master Gardener
          Journal Index
          of 2003


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  Announcements:
Two Citrus Clinics

Master Gardener Journal  


T H I N G S   T O   E X P E C T   A N D   T H I N G S   T O   D O



by Terry H. Mikel,
Extension Agent, Commercial Horticulture


ALTERNARIA ROT may be found in blossom ends of navels and occasionally tangelos. No chemical control is available.

ALEPPO PINE BLIGHT is thought to be induced by day/night temperature extremes on tender, actively growing sections of these trees. Brown needles cling to plump, healthy branches. Sun-exposed sides are most affected. Normal refoliation occurs in the spring.

FREEZING NIGHTS - Cover frost-sensitive plants; always remove covering during the day. Do not use plastic. Most citrus fruit will not freeze unless temperatures drop into the mid-20's or lower for at least a couple of hours. Lemons, limes and other thin-skinned fruit on the upper and outer periphery of trees may receive some injury at about 28°F. If you use lights remember two things: 1. Place or shine the lights on the large limbs or trunk to warm the most mass, and 2. The higher the wattage of the bulb, the more heat is produced.

COLD WEATHER DISCOLORS FOLIAGE. Older leaves of evergreens turn dull green to yellow and even drop. Even some actively growing shoots may appear chlorotic. Some shrubs and trees may develop purplish-green leaves.

CONTROL WEEDS while young and tender or before their seeds sprout.

PREPARE GARDEN SOILS for spring vegetable planting. Early planting means better yields in most spring crops; early means January.

CHECK STAKED TREES. Remedy trunk injury from ties and rubbing by removing stakes or replacing rubber padding on ties.

PRUNE DECIDUOUS FRUIT AND SHADE TREES, ROSES AND GRAPES in January, but first sharpen up your know-how. Prune citrus, bougainvillea and other freeze-tender shrubs and trees after they begin to grow. Take advantage of the many fruit and pruning demonstrations. Landscape trees do well with pruning to remove dead or damaged branches only. Think long and hard before pruning any tree.

PLANT POTATOES as early as possible. Prepare the soil down a foot. Dig a hole or a trench to 8-10 inches and set seed potatoes there. Cover with a couple of inches of soil. As the plant grows keep adding soil until the original grade is met. Using certified "seed potatoes" avoids diseases.

FERTILIZE WINTER LAWNS monthly for good green color. Nitrate fertilizers give quickest response during cool seasons. Fertilizing dormant Bermuda lawns will stimulate weeds.

PREPARE GARDEN SOILS for spring vegetable planting; early planting means better yields in most spring crops.

WATER DORMANT BERMUDA-GRASS LAWNS about monthly if rains are not sufficient.

FERTILIZE fruit, nut and shade trees, shrubs, and vines. Do not fertilize overseeded rye lawns after February. Do not de-thatch common or hybrid Bermuda-grass lawns until early May or later.

SWEET POTATOES are planted later, but started now. Buy the color you like at the store and suspend it half deep in water with toothpicks, making sure the "hook" end is up. Simply buy one with a hook. Change water often to keep it fresh. After shoots appear, plunge the whole thing (shoots half covered) in the water and roots will form.

THIN WILDFLOWERS NOW. They need room to grow because in a month or so they will be in a vigorous growth phase. Thinning also reduces the competition and the ones left flourish even more.


Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer Information
Last Updated January 23, 2004
Author: Lucy K. Bradley, Extension Agent Urban Horticulture, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County
© 1997 The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County
Comments to Maricopa-hort@ag.arizona.edu 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040,
Voice: (602) 470-8086 ext. 301, Fax (602) 470-8092