How to maintain your well-landscaped yard

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You’ve put a lot of work into creating a yard that is lushly landscaped, serenely beautiful and the closest thing to a tropical lagoon you are going to find in Arizona and now comes the hard part…maintaining your patch of paradise.  The more care and time you put into your lawn, the more enjoyment you will get out of it, but don’t think you have to spend all your spare time coddling your property…just follow these few simple tips and stay consistent in your upkeep.

Lawn

We live in the desert, but a large portion of desert inhabitants still try to keep a yard full of lush green grass, the most common type being Common Bermuda.  Making sure your grass gets enough water is the most important key to a beautiful lawn.  If you don’t water it enough, your grass will turn a bluish-grey (brown if you’re not watering it at all!)And get crunchy, the soil will be too hard and stay warm long after the sun sets.  If you water it too much you will find puddles, notice a musty smell and may even find mushrooms growing in it.  Water during the cool part of the day, fertilize once a month and mow frequently.  When weeding, make sure you get the root of the weed or it will soon grow back.  Aerate your soil in May to help with root growth…you can rent a mechanical aerator if you have an especially large yard.

Plants and Flowers

Nothing helps add beauty to your yard more than beautiful plants and flowers.  Follow instructions that are provided with your new plants and only plant in areas recommended.  Shade plants obviously do best in the shade and because the desert sun is so very hot and bright, if planting sunny plants, only plant ones that can survive a desert environment.  Now that you are at the maintenance stage, water levels are very important…watering too much can be just as bad as not watering enough.     A Plant that is wilting but has wet soil or one that has leaves that turn brown and then wilt or even one with yellow leaves that end up falling off the plant can all be signs of overwatering.  Blooming plants stay healthier if you deadhead them and younger plants can benefit from the added support of twigs or other props to keep them from falling over in the windy or extremely rainy conditions.  (Yes…we DO have rain in the desert!)

A landscape is more than plants and grass

It’s also involves the structures you have built for the added beauty of your property.  Stain your wood pergolas frequently to keep them from getting dry and brittle.  Have your home painted every 5 to 10 years (better paint will stay fresher looking longer) and be vigilant about water damage.  Repair and replace and rotting or damaged boards in the eaves of your home as soon as you spot the problem…water can be extremely harmful to wood.  If your patio furniture is out in the bright sunlight, consider putting cushions away in storage containers to keep their colors bright and hose your patio and your furniture down frequently to maintain a clean and dust free environment.  Keeping things neat and tidy contributes to the beauty of a well-landscaped yard and will bring you much happiness throughout your life.

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