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February a month of plantings, activities
• Quartermaster Depot — Sunrise Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. every Sunday through February, on the grounds of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, 201 N. 4th Ave.; 782-0063 or www.yumafarmersmarket.com
• Historic Downtown Yuma — Every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through March, except holidays; 343-1243
• Yuma Palms Regional Center — Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through March, except holidays; 343-1243
• Field to Feast Tours — For times and dates: 783-0071, www.visityuma.com or 1-800-293-0071
• Farmer to Farmer — Technical ag tour for those with a background in farming, Feb. 19 only; 783-0071, www.visityuma.com or 1-800-293-0071
• Savor Yuma Culinary Quest Tours — Feb. 5, 21; 783-0071, www.visityuma.com or 1-800-293-0071
February gardening tips:
Annuals: Plant transplants for petunias, hollyhocks, snapdragons, calendulas, alyssum, pansies. Sow seeds for African daisy, alyssum, bachelor button, calendula, California poppy, clarkia, lupine, delphinium, baby's breath, hollyhock, larkspur, sweet pea. Sow wildflower seeds.
Perennials: Plant brittlebush, penstemon, bee balm, desert marigold, carnation, English daisy, globe mallow, yarrow, gazania, Shasta daisy, geranium, gazania, daylilies, and agapanthus. Prune or divide established perennials if they are overgrowing their locations.
Vegetables: Sow seeds for beets, beans, bok choy, cucumbers, peas, collard greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard, green onions, carrots, radishes, turnips, spinach, turnips and watermelons. Sow seeds of spring vegetables indoors: cucumber, muskmelon and summer squash.
Set out transplants for asparagus, globe artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, head lettuce, tomatoes and peppers. Plant short-day varieties of corn (less than 70 days). Plant tomatoes and peppers but cover them if frost is in the forecast (try “Punta Banda” heirloom tomato available from nativeseeds.org for a heat-resistant variety).
Herbs: Plant thyme, mint, basil, parsley and lavender throughout your garden to help repel unwanted insects. Plant borage, caraway, chervil, cilantro, dill, fennel, lemon balm.
Bulbs: Plant spring-flowering bulbs: anemone, daffodil, narcissus, gladiolus, crinum, canna and ranunculus.
Citrus: Plant citrus trees. Fertilize established citrus with ammonium sulfate fertilizer, 2½ pounds for grapefruit, 4 pounds for oranges and tangerines, and 5 pounds for lemons. Taste fruit and pick when flavor is good.
Grapes: Plant grapevines and prune established vines back to original 2-4 canes. Prune original canes back to about 8 feet in length.
Hummingbird plants: Plant aloe, chuparosa, desert willow tree, fairy duster, flame honeysuckle, orange bells, yellow bells, penstemon and red yucca.
Trees/shrubs: Plant deciduous fruit trees with less than 400 chilling hours required (apple: Anna and Dorset Gold, apricot: Gold Kist and Katy, peach: Babcock, Bonanza Miniature, Desert Gold, and Tropic Beauty, plum: Santa Rosa, Satsuma, Gulf Gold, Gulf Ruby, and Beauty). Plant nut trees (Western Schley and Wichita pecans). Plant grapes (Thompson Seedless, Flame Seedless). Plant shrubs (acacias, desert spoon, fairy duster, mesquite, oleander, palo verde, desert senna, emu bush, Texas ranger).
Fertilize the outer two-thirds of ground under established deciduous fruit and nut trees with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Fertilize pecans and grapes with a zinc-rich fertilizer to help them produce well. Plant pines: Aleppo, Afghan, Italian stone, Mondell and Arizona cypress. Plant other deciduous trees after last frost. Plant desert barberry or myrtle for an evergreen shrub. Prune deciduous trees and grape vines if not leafed out. Prune ornamental shrubs in need of shaping.
Roses: Plant container roses and bare-root roses where they will receive 6 hours sunshine. Prune roses by middle of February. Remove 1/2 to 2/3 the length of all canes, remove dead wood and crossed canes. Prune canes above a five-leaflet leaf facing the way you wish the new cane to grow. Apply systemic fertilizer and continue fertilizing every 6 weeks to prepare for April blooms.
Vines: Plant Black-Eyed Susan, Passion vine, Snail vine, Queen's Wreath, Yellow Orchid vine or Arabian Jasmine.
Yuma has four great garden clubs. You can join one or all, depending upon your time and interests.
Go to fgcyuma.org and click on a garden club's name at the top of the page to learn more about the club and its activities.
• Yuma Orchid and African Violet Society meets the second Thursday of each month (Feb. 14) at 1 p.m., Foothills Branch, Yuma County Library. The meeting is a “movie day” presenting of “Adaptation,” based upon a 1998 non-fiction book about a person who tries to clone the rare ghost orchid. Members will bring snacks to share.
• MGM Garden Club meets every Tuesday morning at the Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden, 2200 W. 28th St. off of Avenue B. The club maintains the garden. “A Timeline History of the Moody Garden,” written by Ellen Gardner, will be on sale for $35. Photos and text describe the entire history of creating the Moody Garden. Funds from sales help maintain the garden.
• Pecan Grove Garden Club meets the third Tuesday of each month (Feb. 19), 6:30 p.m., Main Library, Room A, 2951 S. 21st Drive off of Avenue B. Program is “Fresh Produce Safety for Home Gardens and Small Acreages” presented by Dr. Kurt Nolte, UA Extension agent. Rustic birdhouses for sale, $25. Call Sharon Jessup, 782-1650. Funds go toward community service projects.
• Yuma Garden Club meets the second Monday of each month (Feb. 11), 1 p.m., Main Library, Rooms B, C, 2951 21st Drive off of Avenue B. Program is “Vegetable Production” presented by Dr. Kurt Nolte, UA Extension agent, and Gary Stowe, master gardener and Yuma Garden Club member. “Desert Jewels,” a member-created cookbook with a planting schedule for Yuma, will be on sale for $15.
• Feb. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Yuma Crossing Day and Redondo Fiesta Day, Sanguinetti House Museum, 240 Madison Ave. Pecan Grove will be sponsoring old-fashioned games played by children 100 years ago when Arizona first became a state. Children and their parents are invited to join in the fun. YMCA youth will be assisting with the games. Other activities at the event will be tortilla, tamale and piñata making, adobe brick making, mariachis, folklorico dancers and people dressed in historic costumes portraying important figures from Yuma's past. Maria Ortiz, world-famous potter, will be making and selling her black pottery. Antique vehicles will line Madison Avenue, and a fundraising dinner and auction will be held that evening.
• Feb. 12, 4-5:30 p.m., Yuma County Main Library — Desert Gardening Library Series, “Citrus Care and Culture,” presented by Cynthia Peck, Master Gardener.
• Feb. 16 — Yuma Orchid and African Violet Society's annual fundraising yard sale at 13687 S. Selina Drive (off Avenue 14½ in the Foothills). Donation of items for the yard sale are welcome and are tax deductible.
• Feb. 23, beginning at 8 a.m. — Yuma Tree and Landscape Expo, Yuma Readiness and Community Center, 6550 E. 24th St., Yuma, Arizona. This event features a tradeshow, all new informational workshops, door prizes and a Tree Kids Program for youngsters ages 6-12. Children MUST pre-register for the Tree Kids Program by calling Yuma Parks and Recreation at 373-5243. A tri-tip lunch is available for purchase.
Pecan Grove Garden Club will sell its “dump” birdhouses and tickets to their annual Welcome to My Garden tour ($10). Yuma Garden Club will be selling plants and dish gardens. MGM will sell plants, its book “Timeline History of the Robert J. Moody Garden” and garden blocks that can be purchased to honor special events or people and placed along the garden's walkways.
Karen Bowen is a master gardener and member of Yuma Garden Club. This column is sponsored by the Federated Garden Clubs of Yuma.