Landscape and Lawn Maintenance

Wood chips - an aesthetic addition that can make any Phoenix landscape just that much better.

Lawn and landscape maintenance in Phoenix can be a difficult task, especially considering the sweltering heat. Here are a few guidelines to keep to when maintaining the beauty and health of your landscape/lawn design:

Irrigation:

Some plants in your Phoenix landscape design, like small flowers, grass and vegetables, require regular watering as soon as their soil begins to dry out, especially in sandy soils and dry weather. To conserve water and avoid fungal problems, water at the base of plants during the morning. Newly planted trees and shrubs generally require irrigation during their first year, even if they will have deep enough roots to survive without irrigation later.

Soil Care:

Soil testing helps gardeners maintain the correct amount of nutrients and correct pH levels for a Phoenix landscape. Labs and universities often offer soil nutrient testing. Compost or peat moss generally helps all soils; some soils need specific additives, depending on nutrient test results, to add nutrients or change the pH. Aerating lawns and mulched garden areas helps the landscape use less water.

 Mulching:

A layer of mulch around the base of plants helps the soil retain moisture, prevents weeds and provides nutrients for the plants as the mulch breaks down. Apply a thin layer of mulch, rather than a thick mound. Replace the mulch when it decays, approximately once a year.

Research:

Research specific plants in the landscape and learn their needs. Different plants require pruning at different times of the year, varying amounts of sunlight and different soil pH levels. The best landscape maintenance in Phoenix requires careful attention to detail!

Tree and Plant Recovery from Frost and Freeze FAQ’s:

What’s the first step I should take?

We recommend immediately applying Super Thrive to all trees and plants whether they’re showing major or minor damage as frost damage is not always visible. Super Thrive accelerates the recovery process by increase the uptake and retention of moisture and nutrients. It also helps stimulate the growth of root hairs, new stems, and foliage. If you already have some, be sure to begin applying it; if not, Super Thrive can be found online or at Home Depot, Lowes, or any local nursery.

Pruning & Trimming Frost Damaged Plants

When do I prune?

It’s best to avoid any pruning until the last chance for freezing conditions has past, which is usually around mid-February to early March (meaning we’re out of the potential times of the year for freezing).

What happens if I already have/do prune now?
If you prune now, the healthy part of the plant can be exposed to the frost, and will, with future frost exposure suffer enough damage that it may not recover. Also the damaged foliage acts as a protectant from the sun while the plant/tree is recovering.

How much do I prune when I can?

You should prune dead material only, so whatever is grey/brown in color (branches/wood) should be cut. Any leaves that are black, purple or otherwise strongly discolored should be removed

What do I do about wilted leaves/branches?

If a leaf is strongly wilted now, it will turn color in a few days to a week, and you should still wait until March before trimming. Plants will drop old, dead growth to push new, fresh growth.

How do I know if it’s dead?

Tell-tale signs of a dead tree or plant are:No visible green in any trunk or branch.No sign of any new growth in the coming weeks (the plant maintains or degrades in shape/color). The tree or plant in question has a pumpkin-like or rotten fruit odor. Keep an eye on  your tree in the coming days and weeks. If wilted leaves do not begin to drop on their own, that’s a sign that the tree will not push new growth, and will need to be replaced.

Replacing or Recovering Frost Damaged Trees and Plants

When can I plant new trees?

Trees & shrubs that are considered frost hardy can be planted now. Frost-tender trees & shrubs should be planted no earlier than mid-February when we’ve been subjected to the kind of frost we’ve just been through. Bedding flowers can be planted now and we’re bringing fresh shipments in weekly.

If I decide to replace my plants, what are the best choices that don’t freeze?

The answer to this question varies heavily on what part of town you live in, so it’s best to check with your local nursery, as our certified nursery professionals are familiar with the different microclimates across the valley and what traditionally does where. They’ll help you make choices based on the size, function, and style you’re looking for, and will be able to recommend cold-hardy varieties that will suit your specific needs.

Lawns, Citrus, Frost Supplies & Other Helpful Tips

What do I do with my frost cloth?

Do NOT throw it away. Frost cloth can and should be reused for many years when stored properly. Let it air-dry, then roll it into a tight roll or fold into a neat square and place it in a cool, dry environment. Avoid putting it in hot places during the summer (like garages or attics) to avoid it from drying out. Properly storing frost cloth will usually let you reuse it for years to come.

What should I do about my lawn?

The answer to this question depends on the type of grass that makes up your lawn. If you are using: Bermuda Grass – do nothing, it should come back on its own. Rye Grass or Overseeded Rye Grass – Fertilize with Turf Royale now and water to a depth of 3-4 inches. Do NOT use weed & feed type products – these will put considerable amounts of stress on the lawn and prevent it from regrowing.

How do I know if my Citrus/Fruit is OK?

The fruit is OK if it’s not mushy or split, if the fruit looks fine it should be perfectly safe for consumption. 

Note: Before a freeze forecast, pick the fruit off of your tree. This will not only keep the fruit safe, but help the tree conserve the energy it uses holding on to the fruit for surviving the freezing temperatures, thus increasing the likelihood for survival.

Can I spray a fruit inhibitor on Olive Trees (or any other ornamental fruiting trees)?

Do not use any fruit inhibiting sprays as it can interfere with new growth of trees and plants. Freeze damage often limits fruit growth anyway, so there won’t really be a need for such products.