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Winterizing Your Landscape in Arizona

Have you ever heard the expression, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Well, the same concept holds true when it comes to winterizing your landscape. Although the winters in Arizona aren’t as harsh as other areas, you still need to take care of one of your home’s most valuable assets—especially in the winter months ahead.

Winter poses a number of obstacles to homeowners, including water damage (too much or too little), cold damage, temperature fluctuations, high winds, and intense sun. The cold, dry air of Arizona in the winter can cause more damage to your trees, shrubs and plants than you realize.

This is especially true of evergreens, because the needles allow water to evaporate—especially in high winds—and the roots cannot draw water from frozen ground.

To help you get past some of the main obstacles of winter, there are a few proven gardening techniques to try. For example, the best way to keep from drying out your plants and tress during the winter, is to quit watering trees in the late summer and early fall.

Instead, you can wait until trees drop their leaves in the late fall, and before the ground freezes, giving your trees and shrubs and deep watering. This technique will help them survive in the winter. In addition, you can apply the water under the entire canopy to ensure that you soak everything thoroughly.

When the temperatures plummet to 32 degrees or lower, the water gets inside of plant cells and expands when it freezes, causing the cells to burst, and as such, you should avoid fertilizing and pruning your plants in the late summer months. If you prune your plants during this time, the new shoots and leaves simply won’t grow as they should. Keep in mind that row covers and hoop houses placed over vegetables can often prevent your crops from freezing. As it turns out, crops like carrots can still grow in cold weather.

If you practice a few of these preventative techniques in your yard, you can ensure that your valuable crops, trees, and shrubs will survive the cool winter months of Arizona, and at the same time, you’ll feel rest assured that your green landscape will flourish for years to come.