It’s one of the hottest months! Here are some gardening tips for this blazing time of the year:

• Keep your water bill under control. Check your irrigation system for leaks!

• Keep your beauty growing! Be sure your tender annuals are getting enough water. (Yes, this advice seems like common sense, but it’s amazing how many plants don’t get the well-timed water they need. See below for rose-specific advice.)

• Do not assume: In the somewhat unlikely event of rain, remember that we’d need a half-inch to be safe in turning off the irrigation for any length of time.

• All plants, just like all of us, would love to be in afternoon shade.

Show Roses Special TLC

Here’s some additional information on roses in the desert from the Mesa East Valley Rose Society:

• Considering this almost-unprecedented heat, be careful to keep roses watered adequately. Water more frequently, and increase the quantity to compensate for the extremely high temperatures.

• Water the night before—or even one or two days before really high temperatures are forecast—so there is available soil moisture.

• After a day of extreme temperatures, water your roses in the evening. Make sure the surface soil is moist—and make sure the deeper soil in the root zone is moist as well. This will help cool the soil and assist the roses to recover. Roses with readily available soil moisture stand a better chance of surviving—and are better prepared for the next day’s high-stress temperatures.

• Be proactive and water ahead of roses showing stress. When we see roses stress from inadequate water, it is too late … some or all of the bush will likely die.

Marylee is the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Email her with comments and questions at