Year round lawn care in Arizona can be a hassle, and fertilizers or equipment can end up costing you thousands. In some areas, it’s unavoidable, as Phoenix has plenty of nutrients deficient and highly salted soils. But with these six spring lawn care tips, you’ll be able to save yourself the time, money and frustration you would’ve spent otherwise.
1. Water Efficiently
Ground soils around Phoenix do contain some nutrients. However, water drains through the ground faster than plants can absorb it properly. This requires more watering than average soils around the country. But don’t try watering when the hot sun is out; too much of the water can evaporate and be lost from this. The best time to water your lawn is about two hours before sunrise. Setting your sprinkler timing just right can help keep your lawn healthy and beautiful without extra time consuming watering you’d normally be doing.
2. Use the Right Fertilizer
The Casa Grande Soil found around Phoenix is an alkaline soil, or a saltier soil, that is high in clay content and has a high pH. Working with this soil can be too hard for most homeowners. Plants, including grasses, can become yellow from iron deficiency when growing in an alkaline soil. In order to balance the amount of salts in the soil and bring its pH down, try using a sulfur fertilizer, or organic manure to make the soil more plant-friendly.
3. Watch the Color of your Lawn
A common problem with foliage in Arizona comes from iron-deficiency. A common signs of iron deficiency is the yellowing of the plant or grass’ leaves. Easily avoid this issue by using a chelated-iron fertilizer used sparingly. This fertilizer will help revitalize your grasses, avoiding their eventual iron deficiency caused withering.
4. Filter Your Water
Be careful of your sprinkler’s water source supply! Most waters from community supplies contain chlorine, which can be harmful to plants. If you do not have another water source available to draw from, try using filtered water to help keep your grass healthy.
5. Mow Properly
Different grasses may need to be cut to certain lengths in order to avoid lawn scalping or overgrowth. Certain grasses die much easier when exposed at a certain length, while another species of grass might thrive at that length. For efficient watering and grass growth:
- Bermuda: 1.5 – 2 inches
- Hybrid Bermuda: 0.5 – 1 inch
- Perennial/Annual Rye: 1.5 – 2 inches
6. Know When to Quit
Most soils in Arizona contain caliche about 10 inches beneath the surface. This is a layer that is almost impenetrable to break without heavy equipment. Unfortunately, in some areas around Phoenix, the caliche layer can be as high as only 2 or 3 inches from the surface. If this is the case, you may have to change to the popular raised gardens now found commonly around the state. Using this method would allow you to choose your own fruitful soil to grow your plants in, avoiding the struggles of alkaline soils entirely!
With these six tips, your lawn will be looking great year round! But be patient with your lawn, sometimes soil amendments and fertilizers can take days or weeks to create noticeable differences in growth. But if you stick with these lawn care methods, your lawn will grow to be completely healthy and beautiful.