Keeping your yard healthy and beautiful in our dry, desert climate can be a challenge whether you’re creating a new landscape or maintaining an existing one.
Properly designed irrigation systems allow plants to thrive, reduce maintenance requirements and conserve water. Efficient irrigation systems water plants at their root zones and minimize over spray in lawns.
The first step to having an efficient irrigation system is having an efficient landscape design.
- Spray nozzles should be arranged to provide head-to-head coverage
- Avoid over spray on sidewalks, driveways or planters
- Use the same type of spray head on each zone for uniformity
- Consider hiring a qualified professional or consult a local irrigation supply company if installing a new system.
Timers are convenient for automating the irrigation process. Adjust the time for seasonal changes or weather conditions as recommended in our watering guide.
Group Plants with similar water needs on the same irrigation zone to avoid over or under watering plants. Ideally, trees should be on a different zone than shrubs since trees require deeper, less frequent watering.
In most cases, drip irrigation is best for watering trees and shrubs because drip emitters can easily be situated around each plant. Converting existing spray irrigation to drip is easier than one may think.
Drip tubing with in-line emitters is ideal for trees. Create concentric rings around the tree to encourage even root growth. Add additional rings as the tree grows and the root zone expands.
All landscapes require some maintenance, but there are significantly varying levels depending on the design, vegetation, climate and season.
During growing seasons, grass in southern Utah typically needs to be mowed weekly while desert landscapes need to be pruned and shaped one or twice a year. Simple, regular maintenance will help avoid challenges resulting from neglect and will keep the landscape beautiful and healthy.
Following are a few landscape maintenance tips:
- Pull weeds when they’re small and manageable. Weeds make a landscape look messy and compete with plants for water and other soil nutrients.
- Keep mulch thick and evenly applied to discourage weed establishment. Consider applying pre-emergent herbicides in the early spring if the landscape is prone to produce weeds.
- Understand nutrient requirements for plants. Most desert plants need little if any fertilizer. Over-fertilizing increases plant growth, thus increasing pruning and maintenance.
- Learn proper pruning techniques to keep trees and shrubs looking and growing healthy.
- Slow growing plants will need less frequent pruning. Shrubs and grasses will require less attention than small perennials and annuals.