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ARTICLES AND TIPS

Sustainable Landscape ManagementThere is a publication available through the Arizona Landscape Contractors Association (ALCA) that is a good resource for managing and sustaining landscapes in Arizona. "Sustainable Landscape Management" details planting and pruning of trees,shrubs, palms, and cacti and other succulents. It provides scheduling for pruning, fertilizing, and weed abatement. Irrigation, turf management, site drainage, pesticide and herbicide applications are all discussed at length. This would benefit property managers and anyone who maintains their own landscape. To order your copy follow this link: ALCA SLM Pruning Schedule
List of low-water use plants for Arizona deserts
The Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA) provides a listing for low water use shrubs, trees, cacti & other succulents, vines and groundcovers for desert landscaping. It gives detailed information, pictures, descriptions, growth habit, size at maturity, sun requirements, hardiness, etc. This website is also a good resource for discovering how to conserve water throughout your home or office. AMWUA  SHRUBS
Arizona Citrus FAQ
If you are interested in growing citrus in Arizona, here is a helpful overview of facts you will need to know. This is basic information on selecting, buying, planting and maintaining citrus in your landscape. It also provides other links that may further increase your knowledge on the subject. Arizona Citrus
Landscaping for Desert Wildlife
By selecting a wide variety of southwestern native plants, a garden will attract desert wildlife. The plants provide food and shelter so that birds and small reptiles will feel right at home. Incorporating water into the design will further enhance the habitat and your viewing pleasure. This article from the Arizona Game and Fish Department will give you more information and other links on the subject. Desert Wildlife
Seed vs. Sod
It is important to consider the differences between installing sod for a lawn vs. using seed. On the surface, seed seems to be a more economical option. However, the water costs, fertilizer, and maintenance required will quickly bring the comparable costs more into balance. Also with sod, you get the instant impact of having a green lawn instead of waiting until the seed germinates and matures. Weigh the pros and cons after reading this tip from the Arizona Master Gardeners Manual. Master Gardener Lawns
Pros and cons of a Winter Lawn
This articles discusses the pros and cons of overseeding for a winter lawn.  It provides some good tips and links to other articles that outline the process, if you decide to do so
. To seed or not to seed
Control weeds in your winter lawn
What are some of the most common weeds that pop up in your winter lawn, and how do you control them? This is the focus of this article from West Coast Turf. It discusses various methods of eradication, including chemical applications and hand-pulling some types of weeds. Jay encourages fertilizing to strengthen the turf so that it is thicker and reduces the amount of weeds that will germinate. Mr. Wise Grass
Soil Amendments for your Garden
The first task that needs to be addressed when planning a garden is making sure the soil has the correct nutrients and texture for vibrant plant growth. The three macronutrients required are nitrogen, for healthy stem and leaf growth, phosphorous for root growth, and potassium for overall plant health. The pH of your soil can also determine whether your plants will thrive or struggle. These topics along with the processes required to amend your soil for optimum results are discussed in this article on The Spruce. Amending your soil
Landscape Rock Materials
A major component of landscape design in Arizona is the use of decorative landscape rock materials. The use of rock conserves water, by diminishing the amount of turf to be maintained. The options, with the various colors and sizes available locally, are numerous. Some of the major suppliers are Pioneer Landscape Materials, Kilauea Crushers, Kalamazoo Materials, and Granite Express. Samples can usually be provided for pick up and taken to the proposed site for comparison. Often times homeowners will select a color that is complementary to the color of their home or other nearby structure. Pricing varies and is a consideration for most people. Most types of rock are installed to a depth of 1 1/2"- 2". To determine the quantity of rock required, the total square footage of area must be measured. The other factor is the size of the rock material chosen. The following link (courtesy of Kalamazoo Materials) will provide a chart that will allow you to calculate the tonnage of rock and the cost needed for your landscape. Coverage Chart
Smart controllers
The use of a "Smart" irrigation controller for your landscape can effectively reduce water usage and save money.  Each irrigation zone can be programmed for light conditions (full sun, part shade, etc.) plant type (tree or shrub), slope, and soil type.  The on-site weather sensor communicates current temperature and moisture conditions to the controller to determine the run times.  This allows the plants to receive adequate water and avoids over-watering. Smart Controllers
Understanding Backflow Prevention
Drinking water contamination from backflow is a major concern throughout the country. Backflow prevention devices can protect public health and reduce liability for contractors. In Arizona, all devices are required to be tested and documented by a certified technician annually. More information concerning backflow prevention is provided in this article from Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine. Backflows