As winter slowly folds over into Spring and temperatures start to rise, homeowners can start planning and rejuvenating their yards. With the unique climate of Arizona where one day can be in the 90’s and the next in the 60’s or even 50’s during the spring, strategic planning is necessary to get the most out of your plants and lawn. Here are four ways to prepare your yard for spring and make sure your desert landscaping plans will be prosperous and look amazing for the months to come.

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Preparation and planning

As spring starts homeowners prepping their yards should start by looking over their areas and cleaning up any issues around the property. Walk around your yard and take note of any debris or damage from winter storms. Remove the debris such as branches, dead leaves, fallen cacti arms, or dead flowers to create a clean area. By clearing away old materials you will create a blank space and enhance the appeal of the yard. Clearing old dead plants and debris will also help promote healthy growth for new plants you may decide to plant.

Check your irrigation

Irrigation is critical in Arizona’s desert climate to help keep your plants growing and staying healthy. When preparing your yard, inspect the irrigation system and ensure it is working properly. Check for any leaks in the system or clogs that may prevent it from providing water to where it needs to go. Also set your irrigation system’s timer. The best time to water your plants is early morning. Never water your plants in the evening as the sun goes down as it will promote mold and fungus growth in your yard. Watering during the day in Arizona is a fruitless effort as the high heat will quickly make the water evaporate before it can seep into the soil. Additionally, check the weather forecast as monsoon season begins. You may not need to run your irrigation system if a storm is about to set in which will save you money on your water bill.

Soil prep and fertilizing

Having healthy soil for your plants is key so they get the nutrients they need to grow strong. Buy a soil testing kit from your local hardware store to test the pH levels of the soil. Doing this will help you know if you need to buy topsoil to add into your plant beds for healthy growth of your plants. Arizona is known to have nutrient deficient soils so checking your yard for nutrient levels is key to creating beautiful plants, grass, trees, shrubs, and vegetable gardens.

Incorporate fertilizer as needed, but make sure you do not overuse it as it can change the composition of the soil which will not be suitable for some plants due to nutrient imbalances. Consider stopping by a local plant nursery to speak with an expert before applying any fertilizer to your yard.

Choosing the right plants

Spring is a great time to plant new vegetation such as flowers or even a small garden in your yard. Choose native plants that are suited to the Arizona climate for best results. When planting, consider the type of soil you have in your yard, exposure to the sun and how large the plants will get when they reach maturity. You don’t want to plant something and then in six months realize it is taking over your entire yard. Spring is also a great time to plant trees and bushes. The soft soil of spring allows the roots to take hold before the high heat of summer comes around. Place mulch around new plants to help conserve moisture, get rid of weeds and help regulate the temperature of the dirt the plants are growing in to create the best environment for your newly planted flowers or bushes.

Following these few tips will help you prepare your yard for the warming months of spring and help create a landscape that will be beautiful for months to come. By carefully planning out your yard rejuvenation plans and paying close attention to the details necessary, you can create an outdoor area that will make your yard the envy of the neighborhood.

Author: Tom Smith is the owner of Desert Designer Landscape & Development in Tempe. Desert Designer Landscape & Development specializes in individualized desert landscaping designs throughout the Valley.