Spend Labor Day Weekend Next to Your New Arizona Pool

As summer arrives in the valley, the hot days stretch out long and seemingly unending before you. You try to fill the hours with trips up to the cool country, afternoons at the movies, or visits to the ice cream parlors in town, but by the time July rolls around, you shut the curtains, turn down the AC, and hunker down until cooler temperatures arrive! But summer in Arizona doesn’t always have to be that way; if you start now, it’s entirely possible you could be swimming in your new built-in Arizona pool by Labor Day Weekend!

So Soon?

A basic pool with nothing extra added can actually be completed in approximately 45 days (sometimes longer), but don’t let that force you into accepting something less than what you want. This is an investment into your future comfort, and a more complex pool can take up to 60 days, which depending on how soon you start, will still allow you to be swimming by Labor Day! If you want something really elaborate, there’s still a couple of months of swimming weather after Labor Day, so planning a fall party is always an option as well!

Planning a Labor Day Arizona Pool Party

However long it takes to get that pool in your backyard, there’s one more very important step to consider: planning the “opening day” pool party! Labor Day Weekend is a long one, so planning your pool party for Sunday would be the best choice; it gives your guests time to recuperate before going back to work on Tuesday! We’ll leave the food and drink menu to you, but we will guide you through the necessities of a pool party. From basketball hoops to floating drink holders and beach towels to shade spots, there are lots of accessories you may need to consider purchasing to make this party the talk of the block! Oh, and if you really want to be helpful, purchasing sunscreen from Costco will help keep your guests from burning as they swim and frolic in your new pool; the host with the most thinks of everything!

We May Be Getting Ahead of Ourselves

You haven’t even started the permit process and we’re already planning your Labor Day pool party, but we can’t help it; we get so excited helping our customers start on their way to nighttime swims and pool parties! Give us a call today and let’s change the view from your back windows with a cool and therapeutic Arizona pool!

Shade Structures to Consider for Your Yard

If you have spent more than five minutes outside during the summer in the valley, you understand exactly how important shade is to your health and wellbeing! That sun is bright, hot, and relentless, and although the shade may only lower the temps a few degrees, it makes a huge difference. If you want to spend any time at all in your own backyard, we advise building shade structures to help create a space that is both beautiful and cool. This guide to shade structures should give you some ideas as to what you want!

Shade Sails

Very little to no construction is needed for this simple and inexpensive way to create shade in your backyard. Consisting of sun resistant canvas style fabric that is generally shaped like the sail of a boat, it has ropes on each end that can be tied to roofs, eye hooks installed in the eaves of your home, or—and this is the only case where any construction might be needed—attached to a tall wooden pole that has been cemented firmly into the ground. Inexpensive and effective, it’s a great option for smaller yards or patios that are uncovered.

Pavilion or Canopy

Although the pavilion, also known as a canopy in some states, is more expensive, the costs can be dialed up or down a little depending on how elaborate you choose to make it. Built of aluminum, tin, or some other kinds of metal or wood, and open on all four sides, the roof generally consists of some sort of fabric. For a romantic and breezy look, white fabric can be used as curtains tied to the legs of the metal structure, but we suggest using a heavier, sun-resistant fabric for the roof.

Gazebo

A gazebo can be as elaborate as you wish and generally consists of an octagon-shaped shingled roof and wood posts. Half wooden fencing can be placed between each post, or it can be left open, much as a pavilion. Offering the perfect spot for a patio table for al fresco dining, the shade provided by a gazebo is much desired and the design adds a touch of charm to a bare backyard.

Find Shade Structures That You Love?

Give us a call today and set up an appointment; it’s the first step in creating a backyard sanctuary that is both cool and beautiful!

How to Keep Your Pool Chemicals Balanced

Whether you have just purchased a home with a pre-existing pool or you have just completed the building process of your brand new one, the number one fear most pool owners have is how to keep the pool looking clear, blue, and clean without having to do a lot of work! We understand completely. A pool with unbalanced chemicals is more than just an unsightly mess; it can bring along a host of problems that include odors, insects, and sickness. But if you follow these special tips our wonderful staff at New Image Landscape and Pools have provided for your convenience, you’ll soon discover pool ownership is even better than you dreamed it could be with the proper pool maintenance!

Start with a Clean Base

Maintaining a chemically balanced pool can be difficult if the water is old. There are different schools of thought as to how often a pool should be drained, but we think it should be drained at a minimum once every other year. Starting with a clean base allows the chemicals to do their job, which makes your job easier!

Frequent Testing

Department stores, grocery stores, and pool stores all sell testing kits that make it easy to determine if your chemicals are balanced. Simply dip the tester in the water and add the drops that come with the kit and compare the color of the water against the chart provided. Also have your water tested for total dissolved solids; without testing and treatment, the water soon becomes unmanageable! Checking your levels frequently allows you to keep ahead of any problems instead of trying to play catch-up with a green pool.

Keep the Pump Well Maintained and Running Enough Hours

Keeping the pump well maintained and running is as important as using the correct chemicals. Remember: The number of hours you run your pump will change with the seasons! In the summer when the temperatures are high and your family is spending a lot more time enjoying the benefits of its cooling waters, the pump should be run more frequently—approximately one hour per 10 degrees of ambient temperature during the heat of the day to keep algae from flourishing. In the winter months, running just a few hours a day is all that will be needed to keep your pool balanced and clean.

Contact a Professional 

When all else fails, contact a professional! We at New Image Landscape and Pools want our customers to be happy with their new pools, and if we built yours, we will be happy to guide you through the process! Give us a call today and let’s figure out together what we can do to help with your pool maintenance to keep your pool balanced and your family happy.

Decorative Accent Lighting Tips for Your Home

During the winter, the shorter days darker may make your house look drab. This is especially important to address if you are trying to sell your home, as buyers will often come by in the evenings. One way to boost your curb appeal at night is by adding decorative accent lighting. If you’re trying to sell your house, or just want it to look alive at night, a little accent lighting will really make it stand out!

Choosing the Proper Decorative Accent Lighting

One way to figure out what type of lighting you may need is to look at your home at night. Figure out which areas are the darkest and where you may want to add light. Path lighting and motion detectors are a great way to light up your yard. In addition to lighting up your home, decorative accent lighting can also highlight your landscaping. If you have a favorite element of your landscaping, think about how you can draw attention to it with some creative lighting. Some ways you could do so are by putting string lights on the branches of a tree or using spotlights to silhouette a bush or shrub.

Another easy trick to adding curb appeal to your home is to light up the walkway leading to your front door. Visitors, potential homebuyers, and even you and your family will find the walk safer and much more enjoyable if there is lighting along the path. Low voltage path lights will add a gentle glow and add to your home’s curb appeal.

You can also ask your friends where they think lighting might be helpful. You look at your yard every day, multiple times a day, so getting a fresh perspective can be very helpful in deciding which areas of your yard could use more lighting.

If your house has an outdoor seating area, make sure this area is well lit. String lights are a great way to light outdoor living areas because they are cheerful and help buyers thinks of all the fun they can have on the patio.

Highlighting the architectural features of your home can also help boost the curb appeal. Uplights are a great way to highlight your home’s best features, and you can use them to highlight features such as rocks and columns.

Let the Experts at New Image Help

If you would like help with lighting your yard and creating more curb appeal, we offer landscape services that include modeling, design, and maintenance. We have been in the landscaping business in Arizona for more than 30 years and can help you with all your landscaping needs. For more information on our services, please contact us. Be sure to check our landscaping tips too!

Gardening in Arizona Frequently Asked Questions

When people first move here from eastern states, they frequently get excited about the entire Southwest lifestyle. They eat tacos on Mondays (not just Tuesdays!), buy stucco homes and decorate the inside and outside with statues of howling coyotes, and cover the ground with tiny sand colored rocks and plant only cacti. This all or nothing approach to gardening, however, can soon become sterile and hostile feeling, and they begin to miss the welcoming warmth of their hometown gardens they left behind. If this describes you, or you are just new to the gardening world, these FAQs about gardening in Arizona will help clear the way to creating an inviting garden in the desert that can be enjoyed by all!

Is It Possible to Have a Colorful Flower Garden That is Still Drought Tolerant?

Water is a precious resource in the desert, and it is important to consider the impact of your garden’s watering system. Fortunately, it is totally possible to have beautiful flowers and reduce your water usage at the same time. Sage bushes—which come with a variety of colored flowers—firecracker penstemon, and the Angelita daisy are just a few of our beautiful, colorful, and drought resistant flowers.

Are There Other Trees That Survive as Well as Mesquite or Palm Trees?

The evergreen elm, a deciduous tree, does well in the Arizona heat, doesn’t require a lot of watering, AND becomes a beautiful shade of brilliant gold in the late fall. Olive trees, Australian bottle trees, and live oaks are just a sample of some of the trees you can add to your yard to create a lush and green landscape.

How Do I Avoid Spending All My Time Watering while Gardening in Arizona?

In the summer it’s too hot to spend a lot of time outdoors outside of your pool, and the rest of the year, you’re too busy. That’s ok, you can still have a vibrant garden filled with colorful flowers just by installing a drip system that connects to your already existing sprinkler system.

How Can I Maintain an Outdoor Garden When I Can’t Keep My Indoor Plants Alive?

This is an easy one: Consider hiring New Image Landscape and Pools for your lawn maintenance and floriculture needs! We can create a warm and welcoming landscape and garden (with your input, of course!), and do the maintenance as well, to ensure your gardening in Arizona lives long and prospers! Give us a call today and let’s start the process of creating an exterior landscape that is as inviting as your interior!

Tips for a Healthy Lawn

Every year when the mercury rises, you feel the call: burgers sizzling on the grill, the sound of kids playing in the pool, the cracking of another cold one being opened up. You just need to get outside and enjoy yourself! But if there’s one thing that can ruin your outdoor events (even more than overcooked burgers), it’s a backyard full of dead, brown, unsightly patches of grass covering your backyard! A healthy lawn will help turn your backyard into a party paradise in the summer months. Here are a couple of healthy lawn tips to help make sure your lawn is looking as green as it can be, no matter how hot it gets.

Feed Regularly

Just like any plant, grass has to eat! It’s simply not enough to place lawn feed down when you first plant your grass and expect it to stay healthy for very long. Within a few weeks of your first feeding, the microbes in the soil have more than likely processed and absorbed all of the nutrients they can, and so you need to make sure you feed it again so that grass can keep growing!

Make Sure to Water, But Not Too Much!

One of the biggest myths that many people have when taking care of their lawns is that they have to water it every single day or it’ll die; this is not the case at all! A good summer lawn care tip is this: If you frequently water your grass with only small amounts at a time, you’re actually encouraging your grass to grow short roots, which during droughts, can cause them to stress out and die. Instead, opt for more infrequent waterings that are deeper (an inch of water a week for example), and you’ll notice a big difference in no time.

Don’t Cut It Too Short

Staying on the topic of root lengths in our list of summer lawn care tip , you really want your grass roots to grow as long as possible, so they are healthier and get more nutrients. Besides watering, one of the ways that you can encourage this is to mow your grass high. Longer grass equals longer roots, and longer roots can reach deeper into the earth to find moisture on even the most scorching days. It’s a small adjustment that can pay huge dividends!

These are just a few of the top healthy lawn tips that you can use to ensure that your lawn is as healthy as possible. Remember: don’t ruin a great outdoor party by having an unsightly lawn. Take care of your lawn, and it’ll take care of you!

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Landscape and Pool

If you want to set a goal for this year, maybe you should set a goal for your Arizona yard. It’s a lot of space; you should use it to its full potential. Make one of these resolutions and you’ll be able to brag about them all year—once you follow through, of course!

Get Rid of Dead Space

You might have a little, you might have a lot, but odds are you have some spot in your yard that is nothing special—just dirt. Find out what you can do to make this Arizona landscaping more appealing, from rock features that complement the yard to small plants that lend some life to the picture.

Use the Patio Table

Like fire extinguishers, patio tables are way more common than their usage frequency might suggest. And since patio tables aren’t potentially life-saving, why have them? This year, go out and enjoy your patio table more! And if necessary, incentivize this by installing a pagoda, then hook up some fans, misters, and/or a TV. Before you know it, your friends will want to use your patio table, too.

Remove the Ugly Plants

Have you been leaving an ugly plant in your Arizona yard just because you don’t want to get rid of it? Be honest: Is that plant probably or certainly dead? This year, finally get rid of it—and discover what an opportunity you’ve been missing out on. With that space open, new ideas will flood to your mind—and if not to yours, ask us! We can even give you ideas on what that space could be before we take the old wood out.

Spice Up the Pool

In Arizona, you can use your pool six months a year or more. It’s good for relaxation, it’s good for exercise, it’s good for social occasions… it just isn’t always good to look at, and sometimes you look at it and just see a hole in the ground. This year, make your pool stand out. Install misting systems, jet fountains, or spillover spas to turn your aquatic playground into a work of art.

Cut Down Your Costs

You may find your backyard Arizona landscaping isn’t worth what it’s costing you. If that’s the case, pitch the current design or modify it to lower costs, including energy and, especially, water—landscaping is probably the most water-thirsty thing your house does. So, call up New Image Landscape and Pools and see why we’re one of the best Arizona landscapers.

New Year, New Image

If these resolutions sound good to you, contact New Image Landscape and Pools at 480-654-4422. We’ll help anyone in the East Valley improve their yard and their year with our fabulously-reviewed services. Find out why we’re one of the best landscapers in AZ!

5 Ways to Get your Landscape Ready for the Season

As the weather gets dreary and the nights get cold, taking care of your yard is never more important. You need to think of winter as your off-season in your annual landscaping game plan. With the right game plan, you can prepare your landscaping for the upcoming cold weather months to ensure that you are set up for the beautiful arrival of spring!

Aerate your lawn now

One major winter lawn care tip is this: Your lawn will fare winter’s weather best and come back with more vitality in the spring if you aerate while it is still green. Give your lawn some breathing room as it transitions into the cold season. Fall aeration breaks up the dry, compacted soil, allowing water and nutrients to reach the roots. Watering your lawn by hand during the dry winter months can help it green-up faster in spring.

Seed your lawn during Fall

A proper lawn care formula for success: fall aeration and overseeding helps to fill in bare spots to provide a thick green lawn. It also helps make your lawn less susceptible to disease by introducing a variety of hardy grass types.

Condition the soil beneath your lawn

Proper lawn care means caring for the soil beneath it as well. Soil conditioner will green up your lawn and help eliminate brown spots.

Fertilize your trees

As soils cool down and become more uniformly moist, tree and shrub growth resumes in the fall, making it the perfect time to fertilize trees. Fall fertilization increases the productivity of soil, both in increasing nutrient availability and encourages root growth. Trees and shrubs with a healthy productive root system are far more likely to overwinter with fewer dead branches and increased spring growth.

Cut down the stems of your perennials

Once temperatures hit the freezing mark and plants die back, cut back the stems of your perennials to within an inch or two of the ground. Later in the fall, consider adding light mulch such as hay, straw or pine needles. Renew the top few inches of mulch in your flowerbeds to protect perennials from the hard freezes. Keep mulch around trees looking more like a doughnut and less like a volcano. This will discourage critters from digging in and feasting on the tree.

These are just some of the basics from New Image Landscape and Pools to help you get started on your winter lawn care tip game plan!

5 Lawn Care Tips You Should Not Forget During the Winter Season

When winter comes, Arizona homeowners are often unwilling to let lawncare season end. This is the time when we are able to spend a lot of time outside, enjoying cooler days and a sun that is far less fierce than its summer counterpart. And although the weather is too cold for the Bermuda grass that we tend so carefully the rest of the year, it’s the perfect time for winter rye. Soft, emerald green, and thicker than Bermuda, this grass ensures our lawn stays beautiful year-round; here’s some tips to help you maintain that winter beauty.

Don’t Plant It Too Soon

If you want to make sure your winter rye survives, be sure not to plant it too soon. This grass thrives when the night time temperatures are at 60 degrees. Although you may be tempted to try and plant it in September, you should probably wait until the middle of October; summer likes to make a surprise reappearance after the calendar indicates it is fall.

Cut Your Bermuda Low

You don’t want to cut it all the way out, but winter rye does best when the Bermuda is cut down to about half an inch high. Cut the watering of your Bermuda in half to make it easier to “scalp” the grass, and rake and bag the cuttings for optimum rye growth.

Bring on the Stink

The best way to get your winter rye grass to grow is to start it with a layer of manure—the stinkier the better! You can also use the grass clippings you bagged after mowing your Bermuda, or purchase forest mulch, but we find manure is the most efficient choice; just hold your nose when walking by!

Water It Less Frequently Than Your Summer Grass

Watering every 3 to 10 days should be more than enough to keep it green and lush, as a softer sun and cooler temperatures lessens evaporation. A standard rule of thumb is to water less when the weather is cooler and more when it’s warmer, and to only water for about 15 minutes each session.

Hire New Image Landscape and Pools to Lessen Your Burden

Winter is busy for most of us, and even though we want the pretty lawn, we’re often too busy to give it the care it needs. This is where New Image Landscape and Pools comes into the picture. Schedule an appointment with us today and let us do the work for you this winter!

Top Benefits of a Salt Water Pool System

Many people enjoy having a pool in their backyard, but if you have ever owned one, you know how much work goes into it. Most residential pools are maintained through a mixture of harsh chemicals like chlorine, but if you want the beauty of a pool without adding harsh chemicals, you should try a salt water pool. Here are just some of the benefits that come with salt water pool systems.

Gentle on Eyes and Skin

One of the main benefits of a salt water system is a drastically lower amount of chemicals required to maintain it. Chlorine levels are generally lower with a salt generator. People who are sensitive to chlorine often report fewer irritations when using a salt water system. Say goodbye to green hair, dried out skin, and eye irritation.

Safer Than Chlorine

In tablet or liquid form, chlorine can be dangerous to store and transport. Studies have shown that chlorinated water may also pose a long-term health risk, which may not apply to salt water systems to the same extent. Based on the lower amount of harsh chemicals, there is a lower risk of long term health problems from a salt water pool as opposed to a chlorinated one.

The Water Feels Softer

If you have a water softener in your home, you know that the addition of salt makes water feel smooth and silky to the touch, much like rain water. Most people prefer this to the sometimes-abrasive feel of chlorinated water. The salt added to the water literally makes the water softer, providing you with a less harsh and more relaxing feel. This softer water leaves you feeling more hydrated and has you worrying less about the hard-chemical abrasion.

Less Maintenance

The best benefit of all! Pool maintenance is more “hands-off” with a salt water system, as the salt cell simply produces chlorine as needed. That said, you still have to monitor chlorine levels periodically to make sure everything is working okay, but most of the heavy lifting is done through the pool system. The system uses a process called electrolysis to create minimal amounts of chlorine that allow your system to stay fresh and clean, but won’t provide nearly as much chemical impact on your experience. You check the levels and pretty much forget about all the maintenance, cleaning, and monitoring required by standard chlorine systems.