Happy holidays from DLC Resources!
It’s a great time to be outside and we have been preparing your common areas for cool-weather enjoyment. Your winter Ryegrass in the turf we overseeded has come in and is ready for use. We are adding mulch, seed and fertilizer wherever necessary as well as to help it recover after heavy wear and tear. We have also been adjusting your irrigation system to coincide with the lower temperatures, which will help save you money in your water budget.
We recently completed a planting project in The ‘Mark, filling in the flowerbeds with fall annuals. We are also installing several new trees in your streetscapes to replace damaged ones.
Seasonal pruning, the process in which we trim shrubs to about half their full-grown size or smaller, began last month and is ongoing throughout December. This project promotes healthy, manageable shrubs during their blooming season.
We are also moving through cycle work, trimming back overgrown plants and trees and removing weeds and debris along your roads and walkways.
We are taking measures to protect trees that are installed in turf areas from accidental contact with mowers by creating buffer rings around the tree trunks, which will create separation between tree and turf.
Our Spray Department will be applying pre-emergent herbicide to select areas this month, which will help prevent weed growth. They will follow up with applications of post-emergent herbicide as needed. They are also addressing weed growth in decomposed granite areas as necessary.
Arizona is known for warm temperatures and open clear skies all year-round. However, the desert Southwest is not exempt from winter weather, including freezing conditions. Here are some tips to help get your landscape ready for the colder temperatures.
To protect your frost-susceptible plants, cover them with cloth towels, blankets, sheets or paper/cardboard boxes to insulate them. (Plastic is not recommended for plant cover.) Drape the paper or cloth all the way to the ground to help trap heat radiating from the ground. Be sure to remove the cover after the sunrise each morning or when the temperature reaches 35 degrees.
Plants that are not native to the Southwest are most at risk for frost damage. These plants include Bougainvillea, Lantana, winter annuals and others. For cacti such as Mexican Fencepost, covering the tops of the posts with an old t-shirt, foam cup or wash cloth can help prevent frost damage.
When temperatures dip below 32 degrees, your backflow is at risk for damage from freezing water that sits in the unit. Usually, the easiest way to protect your backflow preventer is to cover it with a towel or blanket on the nights that temperatures are projected to drop below freezing. You can also choose to drain the water from your backflow if you are concerned about prolonged freezing temperatures or plan to be gone for several nights.
Cooler weather and shorter days provide an opportunity to reduce your water usage and save money on your water bill. You can use the interactive tools at wateruseitwisely.com to determine how often and how long the stations on your irrigation controller should run. If you have a desert-adapted landscape with established plants, you can usually turn off your irrigation system from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day.
If frost impacts your plant material, it is optimal to wait until the threat of frost has subsided to prune frost-damaged plants. Pruning away frost damage too early can result in additional damage to the plant if it is hit by frost again. New and un-established shrubs or ground cover plants are more susceptible to permanent damage and could be lost due to cold weather. Established plants with a sustainable root system can handle minimal pruning for aesthetic reasons throughout frost season.
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