January landscape update from DLC

Related Categories: Verrado Residents | Victory Residents

Happy new year from DLC Resources!

Now that we’re squarely in the coldest part of the year, we’re moving forward with several mid-winter projects.

Your winter Ryegrass continues looking strong and we’re applying fertilizer as needed to help it withstand the wear and tear of winter activity.

We continue with seasonal pruning, the process in which we trim shrubs to about half their size or smaller. While this may make shrubs look drastically different immediately after pruning, this is the healthiest and most sustainable way to trim your shrubs in the long run, as it promotes vibrant and manageable plants during their blooming season.

It also saves money in your water budget. You can look forward to some community water savings as we have shut off irrigation in dormant plant and turf areas.

Our Spray Department is applying post-emergent herbicide to help prevent weed growth as needed.

This winter has been unusually warm and dry so far so some plants are not looking as bright and colorful as they normally would this time of year. Once we receive those long-awaited measurable rains however, look for plants such as bursage and brittlebush to green and bloom!

As night temperatures continue to drop, we are looking out for any frost damage on plants.

Continue reading for tips on how you can prevent frost damage and weed growth, both common winter problems, in your own yard.

Protecting frost-susceptible plants

While this winter has been relatively warm, the danger of frost is still here in the Valley. To protect your frost susceptible plants, cover them with cloth towels, blankets, sheets or paper/cardboard boxes to insulate them. Plastic is not recommended for plant cover. Drape the paper or cloth all the way to the ground to help trap heat radiating from the ground. Be sure to remove the cover after the sunrise each morning or when the temperature reaches 35 degrees.

Plants that are not native to the Southwest are most at risk for frost damage. These plants include Bougainvillea, Lantana, winter annuals and others. For cacti such as Mexican Fencepost, cover the tops of the posts with an old t-shirt, foam cup or wash cloth.

For more frost prevention tips, visit the Verrado landscape page or the DLC Learning Center.

How to control weeds

Soaking rains bring much needed water to our desert environment. While the rain is a positive thing for our plants and water bills, it also helps weeds grow.

For weed control in your yard, manual removal is the easiest way to get rid of a small number of weeds. But in order to control weeds over a large area, herbicides are the most efficient tools available.

Post-emergent for winter weeds

Post-emergent herbicides kill weeds that have germinated and are visible in the landscape. To kill weeds in winter months, you need to use a herbicide containing diquat. Spectracide products, which contain diquat, are available for personal use at most home improvement stores or nurseries.

Pre-emergent herbicides

Pre-emergent herbicides are designed to prevent seeds from germinating in the soil. When choosing a pre-emergent, find a product that contains Trifluralin or Oryzalin. Do note that these products are most effective when applied during the rainy season. In Arizona, that means either before the summer monsoon in June and July or before winter rains comes in October through January.

A timely application of pre-emergent can greatly reduce the number of weeds that germinate since it inhibits the weeds’ roots and does not allow them to grow.

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