Southwest Herb Gardening: What To Plant In June, and Watering In June

We recommend most plants be planted in the fall or spring. However, if you must plant during the summer months watering may need to be more frequent and you must be diligent about observing your newly planted plants for signs of water stress. Follow the guidelines in the Watering section.

Many cacti and warm-season succulents can still be planted in the summer. When transplanting cacti and succulents, mark either the south or west side and plant facing the orientation you marked to avoid the burning of tender tissues. Most nurseries will mark the side of the container to help you determine proper planting orientation. However, if the original orientation is not known, newly planted cacti and succulents need to be covered with shade cloth if the plant surface appears to yellow or pale suddenly. Use a shade cloth rated between 30-60% as anything higher will block most of the sunlight and will not be suitable for your cacti and succulents. You may need to keep the shade cloth on the plant for the duration of the summer.

PLANT CACTI AND WARM-SEASON SUCCULENTS INCLUDING:
• Prickly-pears (Opuntia spp.)
• Barrel cacti (Ferocactus spp.)
• Hedgehogs (Echinocereus spp.)
• Easter Lilies (Echinopsis hybrids)
• Pincushions (Mammillaria spp.)
• Chollas (Cylindropuntia spp.)
• Golden Barrel (Echinocactus grusonii)
• Senita (Pachycereus schottii)
• Organ Pipe (Stenocereus thurberi)
• Mexican Fence Post (Pachycereus marginatus)
• Queen of the Night (Peniocereus greggii)
• Old Man of the Andes (Oreocereus celsianus)
• Agaves (Agave spp.)
• Aloes (Aloe spp.)
• Red-yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)
• Giant Hesperaloe (Hesperaloe funifera)
• Burseras, Elephant Trees (Bursera spp.)
• Carrion Flowers (Stapelia spp.)
• Slipper Plant (Pedilanthus macrocarpus)
• Madagascar-palm (Pachypodium lamerei)
• Elephant Food (Portulacaria afra)
• Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

 

Desert-adapted trees can be planted during the summer months if you follow the guidelines in the Watering section. When planting native and desert-adapted plants, it is usually unnecessary to back-fill with soil amendments and vitamins or to add rooting hormones.

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TREES TO BE PLANTED INCLUDE:
• Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)
• Mesquites (Prosopis spp.)
• Palo Verdes (Parkinsonia spp.)
• Texas-olive (Cordia boissieri)
• Anacacho Orchid-tree (Bauhinia lunarioides)
• Texas Ebony (Ebenopsis ebano)
• Palo Blanco (Mariosousa willardiana syn. Acacia willardiana)
• Golden Leadball Tree (Leucaena retusa)
• Kidneywood (Eysenhardtia orthocarpa)
• Feather Tree (Lysiloma watsonii)
• Ironwood Tree (Olneya tesota)
• Catclaw Acacia (Senegalia greggii syn. Acacia greggii)
• Palo Brasil (Haematoxylon brasiletto)
• Mexican Ebony (Havardia mexicana)
• Kidneywood (Eysenhardtia orthocarpa)
• Desert Fern (Lysiloma watsonii)

 

Shrubs should be planted in fall or spring.

Herbaceous perennials and groundcovers should be planted in fall or spring. However, many warm-season vines can be planted during the summer months. Water immediately after planting and monitor the moisture for the next few days to keep the root ball from drying out. Water newly planted native and desert-adapted vines twice to three times weekly to a depth of at least a foot. Gradually extend the time between watering and monitor plants regularly for signs of water stress.

 

VINES TO BE PLANTED INCLUDE:  
• Yellow Orchid-vine (Callaeum macropterum)
• Queen’s Wreath (Antigonon leptopus)
• Arizona Grape-ivy (Cissus trifoliata)
• Old Man’s Beard (Clematis drummondii)
• Purple Bushbean (Macroptilium atropurpureum)
• Yellow Morning Glory-vine, Yuca (Merremia aurea)
• Passionflowers (Passiflora spp.)
• Arizona Canyon Grape (Vitis arizonica)

 

Continue to plant cacti seed.  Seed can be soaked overnight in water to help begin the germination process. Place seed in a well-draining soil mix (½ quality potting soil and ½ perlite or pumice) and lightly cover with potting mix or gently press the seed into the soil. Keep soil moist until germination occurs.

 

 

VEGETABLE SEEDS TO SOW INCLUDE:
• Armenian cucumber
• black-eyed peas
• cantaloupe
• okra
• muskmelons
• yardlong beans
• tepary beans (early month)
VEGETABLE TO TRANSPLANT INCLUDE:  
• sweet potatoes (early in the month)

 

Many vegetables including some varieties of tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers reduce their production of flowering due to the intense summer heat and those that do flower may not produce fruits because the pollen is damaged with temperatures over 90 degrees causing flowers to eventually drop off. Shade these vegetables using at least 30%-50% shade cloth. Apply a layer of mulch around vegetables to help cool the soil and to retain moisture requiring less frequent watering. Depending on the type of tomato plant and if they survive over the summer, they should begin to produce fruit again in the fall. Some smaller tomato fruiting varieties will still continue to produce fruit through the summer months.

Wait until fall or spring to plant most herbs.

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Watering Plants In June

Proper irrigation to your plants during the summer months is crucial. As the temperatures rise, plant watering needs will also increase. Now is the time to adjust your watering schedule for the summer.

Observe plants regularly for signs of water stress. Some signs to look for include: wilting, curling leaves, yellowing or falling of older leaves, and dead stems or branches. Some plants with larger leaves like Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii) and Queen’s Wreath (Antigonon leptopus) will often wilt during the hottest part of the day, but by next morning, they usually recover. However, if they do not recover by the following morning, it is a good indication they need to be watered.

The amount of water and watering frequency depends on many factors. These include soil type, weather (temperature, humidity, rainfall, etc.), microclimates, cultural practices, plant size and species, and whether newly planted or established in the landscape (two years or more). Below are general guidelines to help you determine how much and how often to water your landscape and container plantings to keep them healthy when rainfall is lacking.

Established native or desert-adapted trees should be watered at least once a month. If the temperature is over 108 degrees, water your native or desert-adapted trees at least twice during the month. Always allow the soil to dry out between each irrigation cycle. Water at least 3 feet deep for your trees.

Established native or desert-adapted shrubs should be watered every two to three weeks. Always allow the soil to dry out between each irrigation cycle. Water at least 2 feet deep for your shrubs.

Natural rainfall may be adequate for most well-established cacti and succulents. However, if rainfall is insufficient, water may be needed at least once for cactus and twice for succulents during the month of June. Always allow the soil to dry out between each irrigation cycle. Water your cacti and succulents to a depth of at least 8-12 inches.

Established native or desert-adapted herbaceous perennials, groundcovers and vines should be watered every 2 weeks and at least to a depth of 1 foot. Always allow the soil to dry out between each irrigation cycle.

During the summer native and desert-adapted trees can be planted. After planting your trees, they should be watered immediately and the moisture monitored for the next few days to keep the root ball from drying out. Newly planted native and desert-adapted trees may need to be watered more frequently until established. It can take up to 3-5 years for trees to become established in the landscape

Recently planted native or desert-adapted trees should be watered once a week if temperatures are over 100 degrees. If temperatures are over 108 degrees water every 2-3 days. Unestablished trees that have been in the ground for 2 to 5 years water every 10 days.

Shrubs should be watered once a week if temperatures are over 100 degrees during their first year in the ground; over 108 degrees water every other day. Water your shrubs during the second year every 10 days if temperatures are over 100 degrees; every 3 days if over 108 degrees. Water your shrubs to a depth of at least 2 feet.

During the summer cacti and other succulents can continue to be planted. When planting cacti and succulents, it is imperative to wait a week before watering to minimize the chance of rot. After the initial irrigation of your succulents, allow the soil to dry out and water every 10-14 days. Cacti need to be watered once more after initial watering during the month but allow the soil to dry out between watering.

Unestablished native or desert-adapted herbaceous perennials, groundcovers and vines should be watered once to twice weekly if temperatures are over 100 degrees; if over 108 degrees water every other day and water to a depth of at least 1 foot.

Herbs may need to be watered twice weekly and vegetables may need to be watered every 2-3 days. Provide shade to your herbs and vegetables if needed.

Agaves and other succulents (Aloe spp., Madagascar Palm [Pachypodium lamerei], Ponytail Palm [Beaucarnea recurvata], Slipper Plant [Pedilanthus macrocarpus], Euphorbia spp., Haworthia spp.) in large containers should be watered at least once to twice this month. Cacti in containers should be watered at least once this month. However, cacti and succulents in smaller containers may need to be watered more often especially cacti and succulent seedlings.

succulent geraniumMany winter-growing succulents including Succulent Geraniums (Pelargonium spp.), Ice plants (Malephora spp., Drosanthemum spp.,Cephalophyllum spp.), Living Stones (Lithops spp.) and crassulaceous plants (Kalanchoe spp., Cotyledon spp., Echeveria spp, Dudleya spp.) have become inactive. These summer-dormant succulents need to be watered less during the summer months. Water carefully and allow the soil to dry out between watering.

Keep an eye on your warm-season annuals and herbaceous perennials in containers. Water them at least two to three times weekly particularly if they are planted in smaller containers.

If you use pop-up sprinklers to irrigate your landscape, water early in the morning to prevent water loss through evaporation.

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