It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That is, winter in the desert. It’s the best time for enjoying your beautiful backyard patio in the company of friends and family. Here are our top five tips on how to care for your desert landscaping in the winter months.
#1 Winter Watering
During the winter months, it’s crucial to water your trees and plants deeply, but infrequently. Desert-adapted trees and plants don’t thrive with excessive watering. A basic guideline we like to go by is: water trees to a depth of 3 feet, shrubs to a depth of 2 feet, and ground cover to 1 foot. You can measure the depth by inserting a soil probe or a sharpened dowel rod into the ground until you encounter resistance. Or, you can contact us! Our experts are happy to assist and we’d be more than happy to get you on a scheduled maintenance plan catered to your yard’s needs.
#2 Irrigation System Check-Up
Take advantage of the ideal weather for outdoor tasks by activating your irrigation system and inspecting your yard for any leaks. Additionally, its recommended to run your irrigation system for a few minutes at least once a month to maintain the good condition of its mechanical components.
#3 Frost Protection
Now’s the moment to monitor nighttime temperatures and prepare your first cloth or sheets to shield your plants. Avoid wrapping a tree or shrub trunk with a sheet or frost cloth. Instead, cover the plant with a cloth large enough to touch the ground. This method traps the radiant heat retained in the ground from the day’s sunlight, forming a warm air pocket. Ideally, remove the sheets during the day so the sun can reheat the ground.
For potted plants, relocate them to the patio, under an eave, or inside the garage to protect them from the cold. Feel free to give us a call if you have any frost questions, or would like help.
#4 Pruning Precautions
Chilly nights and frost can cause certain sections of trees, shrubs, and groundcover to turn brown. Although it might be tempting, avoid pruning off the dead portions right away. These dead parts act as a protective shield, safeguarding the plant’s delicate interior from additional harm. Wait until late February or early March when the threat of frost has subsided to trim the damaged areas. This highlights the importance of keeping frost-sensitive plants in the backyard, preserving your curb appeal.
#5 Hold the Fertilizer
The winter season isn’t ideal for fertilizing, whether it’s for potted plants, flowering vines, or groundcover. It’s wise to hold off until winter has passed. Fertilizing now might spur new growth that could be easily damaged during cold nights. To care for your plants effectively, consider applying mulch instead. Mulch helps retain moisture and prevents weed growth, ensuring your plants have ample water and nutrients without the risk of new growth being harmed.
If you follow these five steps, your plants are assured protection throughout winter. Feel free to contact us with any questions or if you’d like to schedule routine yard maintenance.