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Q. When is the best time to fertilize citrus trees?
Three times a year feeding cycle: Feb./ Mar., May/June,
Sept./Oct., or early spring, early summer, and early fall. For best results use a citrus fertilizer formulated for Arizona
high in sulfur and iron with a ratio of 16-8-2.
Q. What should I feed my lawn with and when?
It is recommended to use a 3-1-2 ratio, 21-7-14 lawn fertilizer.
Begin fertilizing after the spring transition when the Bermuda
comes out of dormancy. Continue every 4-6 weeks throughout
Q. When is the best time prune trees and shrubs?
A. Early spring and early fall prior to the growing season.
Deciduous trees and shrubs, plants that go dormant and drop
all their foliage, prefer pruning after the plant has defoliated.
Q. How often do I water my lawn and what time of day?
A. If you use a sprinkler system, the recommended watering
in summer is for the lawn to receive 1 inch of water, 2 to
3 times per week with the water penetrating 8 to 10 inches.
Using tuna cans you can determine if 1 inch of water was used
and for how long. Check depth by using a screwdriver. Early
morning is the best time to water.
Q. Why is my plant turning yellow?
Yellow leaves can indicate a number of things. In many
cases it may be iron deficient. Iron chlorosis is when there
is a lack of iron in the soil causing the leaves to turn yellow
having green veins. Some plants need more iron in their diet
than others, such as citrus or hibiscus just to name a few.
Supplement regular fertilizing with chelated iron 4 to 6 times
Q. Why are the leaves of my citrus tree deformed and fruit is scarred?
Throughout the growing seasons there is an insect called
a thrip. They feed on the new growth of young citrus leaves
and stems. By the time the leaf has matured the damage is
done and the thrip is gone. Only aesthetic, cosmetic damage
is caused and generally does not effect fruit-production.
There are different controls used for thrips. Speak with your
neighborhood Nursery Professional for the best recommendations.
Q. I've been noticing perfectly round circles or half moons
taken out of my bougainvillea and rose leaves. What is causing
Believe it or not, this is caused by a beneficial insect
called a Leafcutter Bee. Used for nesting, the Leafcutter
is only attracted to certain foliage and in the blink of an
eye they remove a small section of the leaf. It only causes
aesthetic, cosmetic damage. No management is recommended.
Q. What can I do about poor drainage?
A. Checking for drainage may be one of the most important
steps prior to planting. Fill your hole with water. If there
is standing water throughout the day or until tomorrow, which
is common, than you have an issue. It is recommended to dig
deeper to break through the crust of clay or caliche below
the surface of the soil. Repeat the water treatment to see
if there is improvement in drainage. When planting, use Gypsum
to help reduce salt and caliche. By adding Gypsum throughout
the year will encourage better drainage.
Q. What time of day should I water?
A. It is recommended to water in the early morning. By watering
deeply in the morning allows the plants to stay hydrated throughout
the day or days until the next scheduled watering time. It
is not recommended to water during the heat of the day because
you can lose 20-30% of the water due to evaporation.
Q. Do I need to prepare the soil for Bermuda seed or sod?
Yes. By not preparing the ground properly the result is
usually poor drainage and an unhealthy lawn. By taking the
time to prepare the soil will provide easier maintenance,
better root development and growth, and more receptive fertilization.
Till or cultivate the soil 10 to 12 inches, adding composted
mulch and gypsum. Quantities will differ based the size of
the space. For more information, speak with your local Nursery
Q. Does Bermuda grass grow in the shade?
A. Not very well. Bermuda grass tends to be thin and sparse in those areas where shade is introduced. Options are limited. Either change the design of the grass, meeting the requirements of the sun, or try planting shade tolerant fescue or dichondra.
Q. Why is my queen palm yellow?
Queen palms have specific nutrient requirements. For best
results follow a consistent, feeding schedule using a Palm
Tree Fertilizer formulating for Arizona with a ratio of 10-5-10.
For greener, healthier palms provide regular supplements of
Q. What can I use to control weeds?
A. Weeds can be difficult to control. There are a number of
factors involved to consider: watering practices, drip vs.
flood irrigation, rain, wind, animals and birds. An efficient
way to control weeds is to use a pre-emergent 2 to 3 times
a year. A pre-emergent stops any weed seeds from germinating
thus eliminating a high percentage of weeds.
Q. The crown of my queen palm is weak, could this be fungus?
A. Queen palms can get crown rot. This generally occurs during
the humid, monsoon months, also brought on by over-watering.
Symptoms such as a weak, collapsing crown, or rotting odor
from the crown can be controlled using Copper Bordeaux. Always
follow instructions for product use.
Q. There is a perfectly round hole in my citrus fruit.
What causes that, a worm?
A. That hole is created by birds. They make a small entrance
hole to suck out the sweet juice of the citrus fruit. Difficult
to control. Try bird netting or hang bird scarce tape.
Q. What is that white cotton fungus looking stuff on my
prickly pear cactus?
A. That is not a fungus at all, it's an insect called Cochineal
Scale. The white cotton is a protective coating on top of
the scale. To control, jet spray with water to clean off the
pads of the cactus. For stronger control, speak with a Nursery
Q. What are those green, small insects on my roses?
A. Found in the warmer spring and fall months, aphids are
small insects that cluster on the stems and buds of roses
and other plants. There are a number of aphid species and
colors. They leave a sticky, shiny residue on the plant and
can cause severe damage in some cases. It can be challenging
to control the vast amounts of aphids during these months.
Beneficial biological controls such as Ladybugs or Praying
Mantis is a popular choice.
Q. My leaves on my grapes are being eaten and look like a
skeleton. What is this?
A. This is called Grape Leaf Skelotonizers. In spring, a moth
lays eggs on the leaves. The eggs hatch, become larvae, and
eventually caterpillars. If left untreated all the foliage
could be devoured. Spray with Bacillus thuringiensus (Bt).