January landscape update from DLC

Happy New Year from DLC Resources! Now that we are squarely in the coldest part of the year, we are moving forward with winter maintenance.

In December, we completed a fall planting project. We added 91 trees throughout the community, including Red Push, Southern Live Oak, Palo Blanco and Chinese Elm.

We also removed unnecessary stakes from trees areas east of Bullard Avenue. Tree stakes can be taken down after about a year. Removing stakes promptly is important because if stakes and wires are left on, it will eventually harm the trunk and weaken the tree. Learn more about staking and young tree care at the DLC Learning Center.

We are adjusting your irrigation according to your landscape’s needs in the cooler temperatures. We have recently reduced your regular watering schedule. Due to recent winter rains, we have been able to skip a few cycles of watering which will translate to money savings for your community.

Our crews are continuing to maintain your winter Ryegrass. Last month, we applied fertilizer to keep Ryegrass looking lush and green.

Crews are also continuing to seasonal prune, the process in which we trim shrubs back to about half their size to keep them at a manageable size and promote a natural look. We are working from the east side of the community, moving west.

We are also spot-treating weeds as they pop up. You may be noticing more weed growth due to the rain. Read below to learn more about winter weed control in your own yard.

It’s frost season

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, covering the tops of the posts with an old t-shirt, foam cup or wash cloth can help prevent frost damage.

For more frost prevention tips, visit the DLC Learning Center.

Weed control

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.