The desert climate of Arizona can pose challenges for lawn care. Knowing about common soils and grasses, as well as how to plan for each season, can help you to have a lush, healthy lawn.
Arizona’s soil has three layers
The first two layers of soil — surface and subsurface — are coarsest and contain organic matter to hold water and nutrients. The third layer, called subsoil, is finer and contains less organic matter. The soil contains clay, which is very alkaline, and often also includes salt, which means you will most likely need to irrigate for several months before planting. To improve the soil for growing, add nutrients such as organic humus and manure, and use an aerator during periods that the grass grows fastest or after irrigation or rain.
Arizona lawns typically have three types of grasses
There are essentially three types of grasses in Arizona, and the type of grass determines the trimming length when mowing:
- Bermuda—1.5 inches to 2 inches.
- Hybrid—0.5 inches to 1 inch.
- Perennial or annual rye—1.5 inches to 2 inches.
Each season of the year brings challenges and opportunities
The extreme dry heat of summer can damage the lawn unless you water. Watering is best done about two hours before sunrise. To determine how much to water, insert a screwdriver or soil probe about 10 inches into the ground an hour after watering. If it goes into the ground easily, you’ve watered the correct amount. If insertion is difficult, more watering is needed.
Fall typically means less watering. Fall also is a good time to plant many annuals so that they will flower in the spring.
In winter, bermuda grass turns brown, so overseed with a winter grass to keep the lawn green. Overseeding is harsh, however, so give the lawn a break for overseeding every three years. Some flowers also are best planted in winter.
Spring is a good time to fertilize and apply weed control as well as to plant many varieties of annuals and perennials.
We know lawn care in Arizona can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. At Green Keeper Weed Control, we are here to help keep your yard weed-free and your grass green all year long. Want to learn more? Give us a call at 480-895-5561.