Magazine article Sunset

Your CHECKLIST

Magazine article Sunset

Your CHECKLIST

Article excerpt

SOUTHWEST

PLANT

Sow seeds of beets, carrots, lettuces, radishes, and spinach directly in the ground.

Start pepper and tomato seeds in a bright indoor location.

In low-desert areas, sow seeds of cool-season herbs such as cilantro, dill, and parsley.

Plant asparagus crowns. In a spot that gets full sun, double-dig by removing a spade's depth of soil, then loosening the soil a foot or so below that with a garden fork. Set crowns 18 inches apart.

Put bare-root grapes into the ground. Give them a spot that gets full sun along southern or western exposures, and amend soil with compost. Good lowdesert table varieties include 'Flame', 'Muscat', and 'Thompson Seedless'.

Grow blackberries from bareroot or cuttings. For low-desert home gardens, try 'Brison', 'Rosborough', or 'Womack'.

MAINTAIN

When hard freezes are in the forecast, place large foam cups over the growing tips of cold-sensitive columnar cactus, including Mexican fencepost, organ pipe, and totem pole.

In low-desert areas, prune roses while they're leafless and dormant, removing all but five or six of the sturdiest canes; cut those back by a third to a half of last year's growth.

Relocate perennial wildflower seedlings such as desert marigold, globe mallow, and salvia that have come up where you don't want them. …

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