If you are experiencing an Arizona winter for the first time, we at New Image Landscape and Pools would like to welcome you to the desert! Arizona winters in the Valley of the Sun are a reward for surviving the scorching desert heat, making the season one of our favorites. But humans are not the only life form that thrive during the winter. Much to the delight of gardeners all over the Phoenix Metropolitan area, many of our plants and flowers happily come into bloom during the winter months, giving yards a lush and verdant beauty not always apparent the rest of the year. If you were born with a green thumb, you have come to the right place, and this guide to plants that thrive in an Arizona winter will give you the garden of your dreams!
Unlike the rest of the nation, winter is when our yards come to life, due to the beauty of hardy plants like the common geranium. Coming in a variety of colors (red geraniums can give your Christmas landscape a boost of holiday color), all they require to be happy is lots of winter sun and moist soil.
Bare Root Trees and Shrubs
Winter ends in March for most of the world, but here in Phoenix, January is generally the last of the cold months, making it the perfect time to plant any bare root trees and shrubs you have been imagining would be perfect for your oasis! For the novice gardener, this includes citrus trees; prevalent in the desert, January and February is also when orange blossoms come into bloom, offering their sweet scent to the entire neighborhood. Bare root pecan trees do well when planted during the cooler months as well.
Veggies in the Arizona Winter
We’ve all learned the importance of eating our vegetables and avoiding preservatives, but it can be difficult to spread the love for veggies to the younger generation—unless you make an adventure out of it with a garden in the backyard! Youngsters love to watch something they have planted from seeds grow into beautiful (and healthy) plants, and winter is the perfect time in Arizona to grow some of your favorites, including cabbage, carrots, lettuce, and potatoes. This is also the perfect time to plant bare root asparagus, needing nothing more than full sun and well-drained soil, making it an easy plant to take care of in busy winter months.
For many Phoenicians, the cheerful sight of African daisies in bloom can bring a smile of pure joy to their faces; it is difficult to stay down and depressed when faced with a beautiful orange flower! Thriving in the wintertime, the daisy can grow up to 10 inches tall and needs very little water. Preferring full sun, their happy faces contrast nicely with a shed in the backyard!
Beets in December
Yes, we discussed winter vegetables, but the beautiful contrast of dark green leaves and brilliant red bulbs makes the common beet an especially desired winter vegetable! Did you know, however, that beets come in multiple colors? Brighten your salad plate with a beautiful and delicious beet salad in shades of purple, pink, gold and pure white. And remember, planting in full sun and covering with a tarp at night ensures your harvest will be a sweet one!
This leggy transplant from our neighbor to the west does well when planted any time from September through February and adds a flash of sophistication to your home oasis. Growing up to 12 inches tall, the blooms will last longer and shine brighter if you keep them well watered. Do not worry about adding fertilizer; too much can prevent blooms, which is a side effect no one wishes to suffer!
Herb Gardens for the Win
The best part of having an herb garden is being able to go out and pinch off a fresh leaf for whatever dish you are preparing, adding flavor to what could have been a bland and tasteless meal. Keep a container herb garden in the window of your kitchen, on your covered patio, or even in a raised bed by the gazebo. For those who love being spicy instead of salty, creating a salsa garden in a terracotta herb jar planter is a fun and easy chore! Find your favorite salsa recipe and plant the ingredients in each open area. If you just want to plant the cilantro and jalapeños and purchase the tomatoes and tomatillos from the grocery store, no one will judge you for taking the easy way out!
Every Day Is Paradise
Winter is our favorite time of year in the Phoenix area, giving us the time and the right temperatures to get out there and plant. Give us a call today and let our helpful and knowledgeable staff at New Image Landscape and Pools help you create the garden of your dreams!