Is An Automatic Watering System Right For Your Yard?

Whether this is your first house and your first backyard or you have been around the block a few times and this is just the latest in a series of homes you have owned, there is always something new to learn! Sometimes your new knowledge is something simple, such as those nozzle looking things stapled into the eaves of your patio cover are actually a working misting system that keeps homeowners cool on warmer days. Sometimes it can be the realization that the weed you almost pulled is a beautiful sunflower growing with its face towards the sun. And sometimes, you learn from your friendly pool and landscape guys (that would be us, New Image Landscape and Pools, of course!) that an automatic watering system may be the ideal thing to add to your private oasis! This guide to the pros and cons of an automatic watering system is designed to take your homeowner knowledge to the next level!

What is an Automatic Watering System?

This system is exactly what the name would apply; a system that waters bushes, gardens, and grass with the use of an automatic timer, ensuring that homeowners don’t have to worry about remembering to do it themselves! Coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, this type of system is particularly handy in the desert as it also monitors the amount of water your landscape receives, preserving our most precious resource. Use drip lines around your trees, bubblers for your plants and flowers, and of course, sprinklers for your yard, all of which can be tied into a timer that regulates how long the watering cycle should last and how often your plants, grass, and trees should be watered. The automatic systems also differ in terms of technology from the very basic to super connected models with all the bells and whistles that can even be controlled by an app on your phone.

All the Pros

There are so many reasons an automated watering system would benefit your landscape and so few reasons as to why it wouldn’t. (We will get into those reasons later on down the page.) Novice gardeners and landscapers often overestimate on how much water their yard needs either through lack of knowledge or by pure accident. How many times have you forgot to turn the sprinkler attached to your hose off at night before going to bed, waking to the sound of water running and a yard that is squishy and possibly even growing mushrooms? An automatic system allows owners to program when to start and when to stop, ensuring your lawn gets exactly the right amount of water it needs. (Helpful hint: for those with Bermuda grass, if the color is a blueish-gray and you can’t easily push a screwdriver into the soil, you need to up the watering time.) For those who desire a colorful garden filled with their favorite flowers, it can be a relief not to have to remember to get out there and water, especially when your schedule is already tight to begin with! Run a drip line behind the flowers and schedule when you want that to come on as well, and your garden problems are virtually solved. Many of today’s systems even offer sensors that can determine if it has rained enough to keep the sprinklers from coming on, conserving even more water!

Why Wouldn’t the System be Right for your Yard?

After reading all that the systems can do for homeowners, you may be wondering why there is even a question as to whether it is right for your yard. It does seem to be a bit of a miracle worker, and at the end of the day, everyone wants a beautiful landscape, but there are some reasons why a system would not be necessary for your yard. For example, perhaps the expanse of your back yard is taken up by a built in pool and hot tub and there are no plants, grass, or flowers to keep watered. Townhomes and condos are known for their postage stamp lots on which a concrete pad holds nothing more than a barbecue grill and/or patio table and chairs. If you rent your property, you will be at the mercy of the homeowner who may very well decide they don’t want to spend any more money on their investment. And finally, perhaps you find joy in doing things all by yourself. There can be Zen achieved in the time spent in a garden, watering can in hand, floppy hat on head, and with the sun shining down from above and if that brings you pleasure, well, it is very reasonable to decide that an automatic watering system would not be right for you!

Give Us a Call Today

If you do decide that an automatic watering system is the miracle you have been waiting for, give us a call today and let New Image Landscape and Pools help that magic along!

Best Things To Plant In Your Yard This Spring

Always looming in the back of our minds is the thought that another summer is about to descend on us but even knowing the scorching days that are fast approaching cannot dim our delight over the mildly beautiful days of spring! These are the days we find ourselves getting out of bed extra early, enjoying quiet moments on our back porch, sipping coffee, and watching the sun rise over our backyard oasis. Lunch breaks are often enjoyed sitting on a bench at the park down the street, laughing at the antics of dogs scampering and young toddlers toddling on the green grass that cushions every fall for human or canines! And Saturdays, always our favorite days of the week, offer extra special moments as we grab our gardening gear and hats to shade the back of our necks and spend long hours on our knees reveling in the feel of fertile soil beneath our fingers as we work to make our oasis become even more of a retreat during every season! New Image Landscape and Pools has created this guide to the best things you should be planting in your backyard this Arizona spring, allowing you to skip the hard thinking and planning parts and go straight to the dirt!

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Healthy and Tasty

Not all that goes in your garden is purely decorative; spring time is the perfect time to plant some of your favorite vegetables and each month has a different list of colorful treats to bury in the soil! In the early days of the season, salad lovers will find their bliss as they plant spinach, radishes, carrots, beets, and beans. Cilantro and Dill thrive in the month of March and watermelons and other melons need to go into the ground now to enjoy by summer! When April rolls around, savvy gardeners leave their taxes to the pasty accountants who spend most of their days inside crunching numbers, knowing that in just a short time they will be crunching on these delicious fruits and vegetables. If you were a little tardy in planting the veggies and herbs we listed for March, it’s ok; they can still be planted in April as well! In addition to that list, this month is the perfect month for cantaloupe, peanuts, summer squash, scallions, peas, and everyone’s favorite Southern vegetable, okra! (Don’t judge if you haven’t tried it before; okra is especially good deep fried and dipped in ranch dressing!) Finally, as the calendar flips to another month and the mercury begins to rapidly creep up, we still have some last days to get out there and dig in the dirt, planting corn, gourds, cucumbers, and peas, in addition to some of the other fruits and vegetables we mentioned above.

Check out Water Saving Tips for Your Garden Here!

Now for the Fun Stuff This Arizona Spring

Being able to enjoy farm to table fruits and vegetables that you grew yourself is a perk of your springtime planting but admit it; you want to add to the beauty of your backyard with flowers and plants that soften the harsh edges and add a lovely scent to the area. Before we get into the flowers you can plant, however, we must draw your attention to the wildflowers that begin to bloom each spring. Dryer winters mean less flowers, but after a wetter winter, the landscape can be blanketed with their colorful beauty, creating a scene you will never forget. Remember to plant your seeds in the fall and come spring you can be harvesting red and orange poppies and a variety of other wildflowers in the spring, setting them about your house in all those vases you have tucked away under that China cabinet in your dining room! When it comes time to plant, however, its best to do so in the month of March; if you wait much later, your beautiful flowers may not survive the heat. Cosmos, dahlias, and marigolds are our favorite flowers to plant in the spring, adding a kaleidoscope of color to your landscape. Birds of Paradise will add a dramatic beauty to your “acreage” and Arabian Jasmine will fill the night air with a rich floral scent that will bring peace to the dreams you have each night, especially when you sleep with the windows open. Do you have a corner of your yard that looks especially bare and could do with some more shade in the summer months? Although fall is the optimum time to plant trees, spring runs a close second, so go ahead and plant that Desert Willow you have been thinking about or, if you really want good shade and have plenty of patience, a Southern Live Oak offers a surprisingly good option!

Learn How Mulch Can Help Your Plants!

Let us Help

Your day to day life is busy and you may not be able to spend as much time working in your yard as you used to, but that doesn’t mean you have to forego a lush landscape. Simply give New Image Landscape and Pools a call and let us help you create an oasis of peace and beauty!

When to Start Planting for Next Season

When you live in the desert you take your outdoors time very seriously. The summer months are long and brutal, and except for walking to and from the cars to the house or office and hanging out in the pool during the early months (August is even too hot to swim some years!) we mostly stay inside the air-conditioned coolness of our homes. But when the days shorten and the nights grow cold, we all take as much time as we possibly can to get outside and enjoy the beauty of an Arizona winter! We play, we sit and watch the sun set over the mountains, and perhaps most importantly, we turn our attentions towards the backyard gardens that bring us so much pleasure every day of the year. Now is the time to start planting so your Arizona spring is colorful, serene, and especially flavorful as this season is when you can start planting vegetables to be enjoyed at the dinner table in the spring!

Learn About Saving Water for Next Season!

Your Bountiful Vegetable Garden

There is nothing we take more pleasure from than a vegetable that we have planted, nurtured, and harvested with our own hands, and January is the perfect time to start planting your future dinners! There is still a possibility of frost, so the vegetables you plant now must be hearty ones, including broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, onions, and potatoes. If the thought of a salsa garden interests you, January is also a great time to plant jalapeños, but you will need to wait until at least mid-February to plant tomatoes and tomatillos. Cilantros best planting times are from October through January, so you may have to supplement with store-bought veggies for the tomatoes and tomatillos, but we can promise that the freshness of the jalapeños will make this batch of salsa the best you have ever tasted! Peas, radishes, spinach, and turnips can also weather the frost well, making eating healthy in the spring easier than it ever has been before.

Arizona Spring Flowers

Colorful gardens bring a happy cheerfulness to our landscape and if you want your garden to pop with color, now is the perfect time to plant some of our desert faves! The happy gold petals of the desert marigold, the serene beauty of the California poppies, and the vibrant drama that comes from the scarlet flax—all of these flowers do well in the desert and add a brilliance to your home garden. You just missed the prime time for planting wildflower seeds, but their resilience means that maybe some will find their way to your yards or gardens naturally, and next year you will definitely remember that September through December is when you should start thinking about planting the seeds for your spring blooming gardens. In the meantime, a visit to the desert (during the years where the rain falls heavily) will delight you as you look across the landscape that is normally arid and dry and see a field of wildflowers that will bring joy to your heart!

Learn About Fertilizing Your Garden!

What If You Get a Little Planting Happy?

Sometimes even our knowledgeable staff at New Image Landscape and Pools get what we like to call “a little plant happy.” They start out by planting the vegetables and flowers we have mentioned here, and before long they are planting trees, bushes, and all sorts of flora of the region when it may be too soon or too late to do so! If this has happened to you, the good news is the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a warm and dry winter for our area, (even as the rest of the world is going to be cold and wet!) so chances are you will be ok. If you got carried away in the excitement of making your yard pretty, and ended up planting a mesquite tree in January, just watch the weather. If frost is in the forecast, you can head to your favorite home supply store and pick up a few extra bags to place around the base of the tree, helping to keep the soil warmer and letting the roots continue their important job of establishing themselves, creating a strong tree that will add beauty and strength to your home for years to come. Wrapping burlap around the trunk and limbs will help protect it as well. And even if you haven’t planted too early, on the off chance a frost does try to wreak havoc with your veggies, flowers, and plants, the tried and true method of covering your plants with sheets, towels, or even drop cloths will protect your delicate blooms.

Learn About Irrigating Your New Plants!

Making Your World Beautiful

The garden should be a happy place that brings beauty and cheer to your world, but if gardening isn’t your thing or you just don’t have the time to try it, we at New Image Landscape and Pools will be delighted to do it for you. Give us a call today!

Groundcover Plants for Your Backyard

Desert landscapes tend to be a bit different than the ones many remember from their youth in the Midwest, as we try not to squander one of our most precious resources, water. Although you will find lawns and yards covered in water-sucking grass, many of us try to do our part for desert life, turning to rocky landscapes filled with drought-tolerant plants, trees, and groundcover. Because we at New Image Landscape and Pools care about the environment and try to do our part to save water, we have spent many a minute discussing the various Arizona plants and trees that will add beauty, charm, and environmentally sound style to your yards, and today it is time to discuss ground cover! Bringing the cheerful color of flowers to your private oasis without wasting water, these varieties of groundcover promise to be the happiest and lowest maintenance part of your landscape.

Foxtail Fern

If you have a garden bed that you want to fill with beautiful plants that don’t require a lot of work, the foxtail fern is the perfect plant for you. Requiring partial shade and a medium amount of water, it isn’t the most desert friendly plant on our list, but it is guaranteed to be an impressive addition to your yard, staying a soft green year-round and producing red fruits quite frequently.

Lantana (Gold)

Lantana offers a variety of cheerfully colored mini blooms, including pink and purple, but the gold version makes us the happiest! The tiny blooms cluster together in bunches, creating a dramatic beauty, and the nectar they produce make them attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Flowering all year and requiring a moderate amount of water, everyone will be charmed by the colorful butterflies and hummingbirds that flock to your yard, and the peace you will feel as you watch the insects and birds delicately flit from bloom to bloom is yet another benefit you will receive from planting lantana!

Morning Glory Bush

This elegant and cheerful groundcover bush may be the plant you have been waiting for all your life. Preferring full sun and low water, we really can’t think of a better desert-friendly plant, and its white blooms blossom fully in the spring. Strategically place a few different plants in your yard and sit back and watch as they come together to create a dark green and white landscape you will never tire of viewing.

Verbena

Another popular desert plant, the verbena is often used in skin care products. (Be careful if you experiment with your own, though, as it can cause an allergic reaction in many people!) Requiring a little more water in the summer, it is overall a drought-tolerant plant that prefers full sun and attracts butterflies as well. Offering tiny blooms in shades of pink, white, lavender, lilac blue, and purple, its blooming season lasts from spring through fall, and its cheerful flowers offer yet another happy note to your yard.

Lily Turf

Still wishing you could have grass in your yard? Lily Turf is a dark green grass-like ground cover that offers spiky purple blooms that resemble hyacinth and will satisfy your craving for turf! This plant is one that prefers the shade, so planting under a tree is a good idea, ensuring your plants will live a long and happy life. This plant requires more water than most we have been discussing and blooms in the spring only.

Ice Plant

The name of this striking groundcover makes it a perfect addition to your Phoenix yard, conjuring up chill and cold on the hottest days of summer. (It doesn’t actually make your environment cooler, though!) This light green plant features almost succulent style leaves and offers icy yellow, magenta pink, and purple blooms that do well in full sun, except in the summer. Hailing from the desert’s favorite fishing village of Rocky Point, evening shade is recommended during the hottest months of the year. Late winter and spring are the blooming months, and this charming bit of flora requires very little water.

Ruellia Katie

As we come to the end of our list of groundcover, the Katie Ruellia is a plant with which you could end up having a love/hate relationship. Offering dark green leaves and beautiful purple, pink, or white flowers, (purple is the most well-known choice) this plant thrives in the desert heat and can run wild in your yard, making it difficult to eradicate if you decide to go in a different direction somewhere down the line. Requiring a moderate amount of water and preferring full sun, the blooming season lasts the entire year, which makes it a favorite of flower lovers!

Not a Complete List of Arizona Plants

There are far too many groundcover plants for us to be able to list in just one article, so give us a call today and we can start working on creating a yard you will never want to leave!

Heat-Resistant Plants to Add Green to Your Yard

There are a few things you have to be prepared for when you move to the desert: one, it gets HOT in the summer; two, the sun is far brighter than it was in your midwestern home town; and three, plants will die if you do not choose the right ones. Nothing is worse than purchasing a bunch of plants in the spring, only to watch them die slow and painful deaths as the summer months progress, and we at New Image Landscape and Pools want to save your plants! This guide to heat-resistant plants that will add color to your yard while giving the environment an extra helping of oxygen will ensure that you will make it to fall with a yard that is green, healthy, and the envy of your neighborhood!

Natal Plum

This rich green evergreen plant is surprisingly hearty due to its South African roots and adds a touch of elegance to your desert landscape. Offering cheerful white blooms in the spring through the fall, it can grow up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, creating a beautiful contrast to your stuccoed home when planted in the bare space beneath your windows. These Arizona plants need to be watered at least once a week, and during the summer months should be watered deeper. When watered correctly, it will do wonderful in full sun.

New Gold Lantana

Environmentalists have been warning us for years about the importance of butterflies and honey bees and how their demise is causing the Earth to meet an untimely end, so having this cheerful golden plant in your yard is a great way to help! Attracting butterflies, the bright gold flowers offer a happy contrast to its dark green leaves, and its fast rate of growth allows homeowners to enjoy a verdant landscape within a short time. Doing well in full sun and needing very little water, this plant is often used as ground cover but can be used as low shrubs as well. The new gold lantana plant blooms in the spring and summer and adapts wonderfully to a desert landscape!

Bougainvillea

If you have lived in the valley for more than a few minutes, chances are you have seen (and felt!) this hearty South American plant more than a few times. Offering dark green leaves, bright fuchsia blooms, and long thorns that offer quite a bite when you accidentally back into them, the bougainvillea offers a dramatic beauty that stands up well to the desert heat and actually blooms more when it receives LESS water. Watering it deeply every three to four weeks will help it live a long and healthy life, and although it is quite common in desert yards, if you have a pool, you might want to avoid this plant, as the delicate blooms can clog up the filters!

Ficus Trees

This next plant is actually a tree that thrives in the desert heat as it provides a thick shade that is definitely enjoyed on summer days. The Ficus tree does not lose its leaves, and because their root systems go straight down instead of spreading out and up, they are often planted near pools. The only downside to this heat loving greenery is that it does not do as well in the cold and can suffer damage during frost seasons, so plant in protected areas if possible.

Jojoba

This plant is a popular one, growing wild easily in the desert; you have probably seen it planted in your neighbor’s yard without knowing what it was! The seeds and oil of the jojoba plant was often prized for their medicinal value in the past, and their ease of care makes them prized by today’s homeowners as well. Needing no fertilizer and very little water, they self-pollenate and can survive for over 100 years, doing best when planted in full sun!

Texas Ranger (Sage)

The Texas Ranger is known for its slightly fuzzy silvery green leaves, its bright purple blooms, and its hardiness that allows it to thrive in triple digit temperatures. If you walk by this fragrant bush when it is full bloom, you may also notice it buzzes, but that isn’t due to any electronics in the area; the Texas Ranger attracts honey bees, making it yet another environmentally important plant that will add beauty to your yard without needing a lot of water to keep it healthy!

Give Us a Call Today to Learn More About Arizona Plants

Your landscape offers the first and sometimes only impression your home and yard can make. Give us a call today and let us work together creating an environment that appeals to your sense of beauty as much as it endures. Your home deserves to be the showpiece you have always known it could be, and there is no better time than the present to make it so!

Desert Flowers That Bloom in the Spring

To be perfectly honest, the seasons don’t change all that much in the desert, and in many ways the months just past in a blur of summer, early summer, late summer, what in the world were we thinking of moving here summer, and oh my gosh, now I remember why we feel lucky to live here SPRING! Although the season doesn’t quite last the entire three months it is scheduled, these days are our favorite ones, as we go to spring training games, take hikes up Camelback Mountain, and sit out on our porches admiring the spring flowers that miraculously seem to bloom even during the drier years. If you are still working on your landscaping and are feeling the urge to stare at something pretty after a long day on the job, this guide to desert flowers that bloom in the spring will ensure you have time to stop and smell the roses without wasting the deserts most precious resource! These Arizona flowers require little water and are bred to survive the desert’s harsh temperatures.

Something Wild

Spring is when the wildflower seeds you sprinkled in the yard earlier in the season come to bloom, creating a rich and wild landscape that just makes onlookers happy when they see it! The wonderful thing about desert living, however, is that even if you didn’t sprinkle any seeds, you may still wake one day to red or orange California poppies, desert lavender, wild geraniums, or lupines waving happily in the spring breezes. It’s not magic, however, as you can thank the desert winds that blow strong or the birds that carry the seeds from your neighbor’s yard to yards all over the valley! Although the flowers require little to no watering on your part, the wetter the spring, the more they will flourish!

Prickly and Pretty Arizona Flowers

Residents who aren’t native to the desert are surprised the first time they see a beautiful bloom on a prickly cactus, but they soon get used to it and fall in love! April is the blooming time for many spiny cacti, including the prickly pear, whose fruit transforms into a stunning fuchsia colored bloom! The saguaro, Arizona’s state cactus, isn’t just a centuries old symbol of desert life and home to cactus wrens; rainy springs often bring about large white blooms with yellow centers, adding a touch of cheer to the mostly arid landscape! And although the barrel cactus is super prickly and rather plain most of the year, in the spring it flourishes with cheerful yellow and flashy orange blooms that create a colorful display you will love. Chollas, often called jumping cactus, offer orange or yellow blooms as well, but if you have children or pets, this is one cactus you might want to avoid!

Buzzing Bushes

Ok, the bushes themselves aren’t buzzing, but if you have lived here any amount of time, you have probably noticed silvery green bushes featuring yellow or purple blooms buzzing like crazy as you pass by on your spring evening walks. These sage bushes attract bees and butterflies and are a perfect addition to your spring garden, especially if you have a larger section that you want to fill in with something pretty! Another bush plant with incredible red or orange blooms is the Bird of Paradise, which will stay in bloom through the summer if the soil is kept moist and the plant is placed in full sunshine. This hardy desert plant thrives on the sun, and although it does require a little more water than most desert plants, the dramatic beauty it will give your landscape will more than make up for the little extra effort involved with keeping it healthy. This plant will not bloom if it is not mature or if it doesn’t get enough sun, but otherwise it is not temperamental!

Go Big and Stay Home

The benefits of a tree when planted close to your house are innumerable, including saving at least 25% on summer electric bills, but did you know there are also desert trees that bloom? The jacaranda tree is our favorite, presenting beautiful lavender blooms that give your landscape an ethereal feeling that never fails to awe! Blooming in April through early spring, even when the flowers fall to the ground this tree continues to excite as it creates a purple carpet that has to be seen to be believed! The mesquite tree also brightens the landscape with masses of yellow or yellowish green flowers that shine in the spring and early summer and since this tree was born to thrive in arid conditions, it is the perfect addition to your desert landscape, saving you money as it brightens your day!

Be Proud of Your Yard

Our homes are our sanctuaries, and we want to be as proud of the exterior as we are of the interior, so give New Image Landscape and Pools a call today and let’s get started making your yard bloom for spring!

Get Your Grass Yard Ready for Spring

Whether you are ready for it or not, spring is just around the corner, and we desert dwellers tend to have a love/hate relationship with the season. We love the warmer days, but we also know that the heat of summer is not far behind! But this season is still the season of growth and promise, and now is the perfect time to start preparing your grass yard to ensure that by summer’s beginning, it will be green, glossy, and a yard to be envied by all the neighbors. This guide to prepping your yard for spring will help.

Spring Cleaning Is Not Just for the Inside

As the days grow longer and the mercury rises, we often find ourselves cleaning closets and organizing the junk drawers under the guise of spring cleaning, but that habit should not be limited to the inside only. Your landscape has been neglected during the holidays and deserves a pick me up as well! Rake the leaves that may have fallen, pick up the broken branches from that last storm, and take the time to put away toys, bikes, or even gardening tools you absentmindedly set aside the last time you were piddling about. The best way to ensure a healthy summer lawn is to start with a clean slate.

Prepping Your Yard for Spring Is All About the Soil

Most of us don’t think about the dirt that lies underneath our bed of grass—unless the dog or kids track it in on a rainy day—but for healthy grass, the soil is extremely important! Purchase a soil test kit from your favorite home store and take this time to determine if your dirt is nutrient rich; if it’s not, the test will help you determine what is lacking and head back to your home store to find the additives you need. Following the directions on the bags will be easy, but if you are afraid you might mess something up, give us a call and let us help!

Time to Aerate?

Ask 50 landscapers when the perfect time to aerate is and chances are you will get 50 different answers, but our feeling is that there is no better time than in late spring. Of course, if you are new to grass landscape, you may wonder why it is important to put holes in the yard, especially when you spend most of your year trying to keep critters from making their own holes. Your grass, however, is dependent on air, and the holes created during aeration allow air, water, and other nutrients to reach the roots. Healthy roots will show in the rich dark greenness of the grass that has always been the envy of the neighborhood, and an aerator can be purchased rather inexpensively at a home and garden store!

Increase Your Watering Schedule

In the winter months we enjoy a break from crippling utility bills that accompany the summer’s heat, but when spring hits, it is time to start watering the grass once again—especially if the winter has been as dry as this one has! Your yard needs at least 1 to 1 ½ inches per week, and that number increases as the temperatures increase. Recent weeks in particular have already hit new highs, so you may want to increase the water to 2 inches. The best time to water your grass is in the early morning hours, and you do not need to do it every day. Break it down to 2 or 3 times a week and watch the winter brown start to change to a bright green! How do you know if you have watered too much? The first and most obvious sign will be the weeds sprouting up at an alarming pace. Other signs include the appearance of mushrooms, a musty smell in your yard, and a spongy feel when walking on the lawn. Scale back your watering schedule if any of these “events” begin to occur!

Say Goodbye to Winter Rye

That dark green hue of winter rye is a delight to be seen, but when night temperatures stay above 77 degrees, it will be time to say goodbye to the rye! Scalp your lawn as low as you can and start watering heavily (If you can irrigate, this is the perfect time!) and soon you will see your Bermuda grass peeking through the remaining rye. And although you do not want to overwater, in these early weeks of growth it is important that you water a bit more than normal to ensure that your summer lawn makes a strong appearance.

Every Yard Is Different

Your yard may be showing issues that we haven’t listed on here. Don’t be worried, though, just give us a call at New Image Landscape and Pools and we can work together to figure out the issue!

How Much Watering Should You Do in Winter?

In many areas of the country, the winter months offer a respite from the gardening chores that take up so much of our time in summer, spring, and fall, and as the snow falls gently to the ground, blanketing our yards and gardens in white, we watch warm and happy from the window in our living rooms. In Arizona, however, winter is not the break we may think we deserve! Mild temperatures and semi-frequent rainfalls make this season the one where a majority of the work on our gardens is done, but don’t worry; you will still get a break when summer rolls around again and scorching temperatures have you watching the world go by your window as you stay cool, comfortable, and happy inside your home sweet home! This guide to watering in the winter, will help keep your plants, trees, and flowers strong and healthy enough to endure the summer heat that you try to avoid.

We Don’t Water Trees, Do We?

This is a big misconception that many transplants from other states often share, especially if their home state is lush, verdant, and features frequent rainfalls. If you have spent at least one full year here, however, you probably have seen the results of not watering far too often as you drive by neighbors homes that are newly “decorated” with fallen trees and roots that are above the ground instead of under where they belong. It is important to water your trees, and most trees should be watered every two weeks during the drier winters and every four weeks during the wetter ones. Desert trees, such as palo verdes and mesquites, are drought tolerant will thrive with watering every four weeks—possibly five if the season has been especially rainy!

What About the Grass?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to winter grass in Arizona, and the answer on whether to water or not depends on which school you fall under. Those who want the lush and verdant green of winter rye grass will obviously have to water it to keep its rich emerald color; the question they may have is how OFTEN should the grass be watered? The answer changes with the amount of rain we have during the winter. In a rainy year, lawn caretakers can get away with watering every seven days, but if it is dryer than normal, watering every three days is recommended. If you belong to the group that prefers letting their Bermuda grass go dormant during the cooler months, no watering is necessary, as seasonal rain offers enough moisture to keep the grass alive.

Vegetable Gardens Require Less Watering in the Winter

There are a large variety of vegetables that do well in the desert, especially in the winter, including (but not limited to) the ABCs of vegetables—arugula, broccoli, and cauliflower. Watering needs do change when the mercury drops, and we at New Image Landscape and Pools have the info you need to keep your winter vegetable garden alive and thriving. The general rule is that one inch of water per week is the acceptable amount (and this includes when it rains), but if the season is especially dry, you should double the amount of water provided. As the temperatures rise over 60 degrees, consider watering an extra half inch for every 10 degrees of rise in temperature.

And Bushes?

As you may expect, nearly all plants, trees, grass, and yes, bushes, need water in the winter to survive, but for your bushes and hedges, they will need less than what you give them in the summer. As a matter of fact, they may do ok without water if the Phoenix area is experiencing a wetter winter, such as the one we lived through in 2018. There was so much rain that year, it often felt like we were living in the tropics, NOT the desert, and the wildflowers that bloomed that spring were spectacular! But fast forward to the winter of 2020-2021, and except for a few sprinkles interspersed throughout the weeks, it has been extremely dry, making it necessary to water regularly. Once a week should do it, but if the dry trend continues, you may want to up the watering schedule to twice a week.

The Beauty of Wildflowers in the Spring

Yes, wildflowers grow in the spring, and this article is about winter watering, but for dormant seeds to sprout, the more water they get, the better. Of course, if the season is a wet one, you can plan on watering less—about once every three to four weeks. In dry winters, however, the lack of moisture may signify a dull spring, as the wildflowers fail to bloom, but there’s always the hope that next winter will be wetter and your seeds will blossom fully!

Who Knew?

You may be surprised there is so much to think about when it comes to watering your plants, but we’re not! We make our living by ensuring we know all there is to know about landscapes and pools. Give us a call today and let’s get your yard in tip top condition!

Edible Plants That Grow Well in Winter

If you have recently moved here from less hot and dry places, you may be thinking that your gardening days are over—especially if you have only experienced summer in the desert! It can be hard to imagine anything growing in this hot and arid region as the temperatures rise to incineration levels, the blacktop on the streets melts into a sticky mess, and the ground on which you walk becomes harder than the concrete used to form the sidewalks in your neighborhood. Surprisingly, however, many plants, vegetables, and fruits do well in the desert, especially during the winter. As a matter of fact, you will not need to give up your gardening hobby when you move to sunny Arizona; you only need to shift your perspective of the best time to do so, and this guide to edible plants that grow well in the winter in the desert will help you find your green thumb once again!

Citrus Trees

As the days grow shorter and the temperatures begin to drop, you may notice a pleasingly sweet aroma wafting through the air in the early evenings. It is the smell of orange blossoms that flood the desert air, the first on our list of edible fruits that thrive in the winter! And although you may be well aware of the popularity of Florida oranges, Arizona oranges taste as sweet and grow even better than the “other sunshine state!” It is exciting to know how well the sweet orange grows in the desert, and you may be on the verge of rushing out to plant a tree of your own but wait, there’s more. It is not just oranges that do well, it is pretty much all citrus! Lemons, grapefruits, tangelos, and even kumquats (mandarins, pomelos, limes, and blood oranges) love our acidic soil and warm winter weather temperatures, ensuring that your household will have plenty of vitamin C when cold season rolls around once more.

Cauliflower

As dietary studies show us how bad breads, rice, and potatoes are for our health (and our waistlines), the simple pleasures of the cauliflower rise to the top. Did you know that this unassuming vegetable can be made into tasty rice and potato dishes? And did you also know that a pizza crust made from cauliflower is virtually indistinguishable in taste from a flour version? And finally, as we are sure you have suspected by now, we are excited to inform you that this vegetable that is all the rage these days will do exceedingly well in your winter garden, so feel free to plant extra for your neighbors that just do not have the green thumb that is your trademark!

Cilantro

There seem to be two types of people in the world these days: those that actively hate cilantro and those who cannot imagine a life without this green herb gracing their plates! If you are in the latter category, you will be happy to learn that cilantro is on our list of edible plants that do well in the winter. Pick up some fresh tomatoes and jalapeños at the store and blend together with the juice of your limes and the cilantro to create a salsa that will warm you from the inside out. (Yes, we do get cold in the winter, even in the desert!)

Plant a Salad With These Edible Plants that Grow Well in the Winter

Salads aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you love a healthy salad with your dinner or lunch, a garden of salad fixin’s will surely please! Lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots all thrive in the winter, as do onions and radishes. Spinach fans will be excited to learn that winter is the perfect time for this leafy vegetable, and when you are looking for a little extra color, why not add some beets to your salad garden? This super vitamin- and antioxidant-packed vegetable comes in a variety of exciting colors guaranteed to beautify your plate as the benefits of the beet gives you the healthy boost you need!

Potatoes

For many desert dwellers, nothing complements a meal better than the all-American potato, which coincidentally happens to be the next winter vegetable on our list! Versatile and soul warming, every meal can be made better with the addition of potatoes, and your winter garden is where you will find yours. Add a little dill—which does exceedingly well in the winter—a lot of butter, and give your family a taste of comfort in the darkest days of winter! Winter blues can happen in the desert too, and everyone knows that comfort food is the best cure for whatever ails you!

Build the Perfect Garden with New Image

Helping people makes us happy, and we hope this list helped you! Give us a call today if you have any other landscape or pool issues that need to be solved.

Plants That Thrive in an Arizona Winter

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!

Geraniums

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.

African Daisy

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!

California Poppy

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!