May in the Southwest brings hot, dry, and often windy conditions to the garden. Rainfall is typically scarce, which makes watering a key task.
Don't forget to irrigate newly planted drought-tolerant or xeriscape plants. The secret to a long-term, low-water-use disposition is firm establishment, which means watering frequently and deeply the first year after planting.
Water crape myrtles regularly once flower buds form. You will likely need to add a soil-acidifying product with fertilizer this month.
Get mulch in place. Aim for a 2- to 3-inch layer to insulate soil from temperature extremes, slow water loss, and smother weeds.
Test Garden Tip: Inspect irrigation systems. Replace broken heads or lines; readjust sprinkler heads as needed. Double-check hoses and nozzles; replace leaky washers or hose ends.
Continued on page 3: Fertilizing