An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s exactly what your summer yards and gardens need at this time of year. The old proverb basically says it’s easier to stop something from happening than to have to fix it later, and that’s some pretty heady advice to protect your trees, shrubs and plants from the relentless summer sun.
Did you know the hard clay-like soil in Arizona can hold moisture for a really long time? Over watering is as big a problem for plants as under watering in the Southwest. Many plants have a deep or firm root system and shade or a temporary tarp can be more beneficial to their health than extra water!
Our trees are hardy and also very expensive, so don’t over water! Mesquite, Palo Verde and Acacia trees may only need a deep watering once a month and when the monsoons hit you can often turn off the irrigation during the heaviest rain periods. Plants like oleander can live solo in a lot of areas with only a little assist in the two driest months of the season. However, know your plants because non-desert varieties like ash, ficus, and privet will need a deep watering once each week during the four hottest summer months of the season.
Most Mid-westerners that have relocated to the desert make a serious mistake with pruning. Typically they follow old patterns of pruning in the summer, and that’s a big no-no here in the Southwest. Prune indigenous trees in the month of May and don’t touch them again until fall. For shrubs and bushes it’s best to leave them alone during triple digit temperatures and only prune about 20-25% during the growing season. Plants depend on the protection of leaf canopy and removing growth can result in severe sunscald. If you are going to make the mistake of over watering it would be best to do it with this type of landscape. And words of caution, new plants always need extra water during the dry season!
Do you mow a lawn? If so adjust the blade height on your mower over the summer, you should only be cutting 1/3 of the blade of grass to prevent brown spots and a brittle looking yard. If you fertilize or water, do it early before the sun comes up, to prevent burn.
If you are headed out of town on vacation or live part-time in Arizona it is worth its weight in gold to have a caretaker check your property on a weekly basis!
By following these simple tips your landscape with retain a healthy look and it will save you lots of money, time and water!
Looking for a home? Summer is one of the best months to find a great deal on a home! Contact one of The Matheson Team members for help getting the process rolling.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255