This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

January 16, 2014

Watering plants in the winter in the desert

It's January 16th here in Glendale, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) and I am doing a little bit of watering, but not much.

The automatic watering system has been shut off since early December, and will not be turned back on until February. That's because, even though the days are warm (up into the high 60s/ low 70s), the soil is cold. And having most of the plants that live here in The Tropical Paradise stand with "their feet cold and wet" is bad for them. In fact, it can kill the cycads. But certain plants do need additional water, such as the annuals, and the bulbs.

The solution is a simple plastic watering can. I got this one at Home Depot. No, don't get a decorative metal one - they're heavy and they leak. I have this plastic one. It lives under the sink in my kitchen. I put in a few scoops of Miracle Grow and fill it three-quarters full. Then I go outside and selectively water the plants that need water.

Every once in a while (and I mean very rarely), I go get the hose and give everything a good spray. It cleans the bird poop off of the plants and the patio furniture, so I still have to do it. But mostly I use the plastic watering can. It just takes a few minutes, and it's very selective.

By the way, the "grass" that you see is artificial turf. Still looks great after seven years, and still doesn't need mowing!
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