1. Reset sprinkler clocks to increase watering length due to increased temperatures. The best time to water is between the hours of 3 and 6 AM. Check with any Star Nursery for a copy of the Southern Nevada Water Authority Watering Guide or Drought Watering Restrictions Guide. Inspect your irrigation system for correct water delivery to all plants.
2. Control wild unwanted Bermuda by fertilizing and watering it until it is lush (this will make the plant more vulnerable), then treat with a non-selective grass killer like Remuda® or Round-up®. Several treatments may be necessary for effective control. An alternative is to cultivate Bermuda. It makes a dense, water efficient turf when properly contained and cared for. Treated areas can be replanted or re-seeded after dead turf is removed. These herbicides are also effective in treating tree wells and shrub beds without harm to desirable plants. Remember – keep herbicide off of desirable plant foliage!
3. Aggressively manage insect pests with insecticides or organic controls. Paint fruit tree trunks with white, water-base paint or use tree wrap to protect from sunburn and help prevent borer infestation.
4. Refresh potted plants by adding new potting soil or shifting overgrown house and patio plants into larger containers with fresh soil. Use a long slow outdoor watering to leach buildup of fertilizer and water-soluble salts. Apply a mild fertilizer like Dr. Q’s® Gold Dust (5-10-5) or Dr. Q’s Houseplant Tonic (5-3-1). Use cache-pots to surround patio plants and keep them from overheating. Increase watering frequency as needed.
5. Prune desert plants. Now is a good time to do light pruning on low-water-use plants and reduce stress from overgrown foliage and seedpods. Be careful not to expose tender trunks to full sun if they’ve been well shaded previously.
6. Be picky about fertilizer. Most ornamentals will benefit from a mild feeding of a complete, packaged fertilizer like Dr. Q’s® Tree, Shrub & Vine Food (16-8-4). Fertilize lawns before the end of the month to get them through the first heat wave. Renew mulches as necessary.
7. Plant heat-loving flowers like Texas Bluebells, Star Flowers, Vinca, Marigold, Moss Rose, and Zinnias. Amend soil thoroughly and use surface mulches to make them more water efficient. Continue to plant summer flowers like Dahlias and Cannas.
For more information on what to do in the garden throughout the year, check out Star Note #100.