Also known as Dwarf Bottlebrush, Little Johns have deep green leaves and bright red brush-like flowers. The blooms keep your landscape full of color from spring through fall. In the winter months, the leaves maintain their healthy green color, making it a perfect accent year-round!
Luckily for those of us in the desert region, Little John’s are exceptionally well suited for our soil and summer heat. Because of this, they can be planted in small, tight spaces as well as large open areas - just about anywhere with full sun exposure.
FUN FACT! Little Johns are a major attraction for hummingbirds and butterflies!
APRIL FOOL'S DAY
The beautiful, mild weather of April will bring with it the showy flowers of the Baja Fairy Duster shrub, which will continue cyclical blooming periods throughout the spring and summer. Red Yucca and the Desert Willow tree will also brighten up your landscape this month, and all summer!
BAJA FAIRY DUSTER
Spring has sprung and soon temperatures will be climbing again. It is important to make sure your irrigation system is functioning properly and efficiently before the summer heat hits. Lack of water can quickly impact the health of plants, trees, and grass. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and LandTech’s complimentary irrigation inspections to make sure you are ready for summer!
SPRING GRASS TRANSITION
As we transition from our enviable mild winters into hot summer weather, you’ll start to see changes in your ryegrass: it will start to yellow, its watering and mowing demands will change. A good place to start is understanding the difference between ryegrass and Bermuda grass, and the needs of each.
BERMUDA VS RYE GRASS
Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass. It is well-suited for the southwest region as it is heat, drought, & salt tolerant. The blades of Bermuda grass are flat, with arms spreading low & tight to the soil.
Ryegrass is a cool-season grass. Because of its fast growth and cold tolerance, it is an ideal winter grass for our landscape. It has characteristically a tall, thin, wispy blades.
A successful spring transition depends upon the following key elements:
Timing - Mowing & Aeration - Water - Fertilization
As warm summer temperatures begin to creep in around April/May, your winter rye lawn will begin to transition to summer Bermuda. When night time temperatures stay above 65 degrees for at least five days, it is a good time to help this transition along.
MOWING & AERATION
Through the transition process, LandTech will be mowing much lower than normal. This will allow sunlight and heat to reach the soil surface and “wake up” the bermuda root system. It is important not to mow so low as to scalp the turf as this can be harmful to the Bermuda and leave it weakened as it starts to grow in in the summer. Shady areas obviously provide a cooler environment for the rye grass to hang on just a little longer as summer creeps in. These areas may require you to maintain a lower mow height longer than full-sun areas, so light and heat have a chance to penetrate to the Bermuda. During transition periods, LandTech removes the grass clippings to help prevent thatch build up, which will also delay the Bermuda grass growing in healthy.
Aerating your turf is another way LandTech promotes the healthy transition to summer Bermuda grass. Using an aerating machine or tool, small plugs of soil are pulled out of the ground. This process breaks up hard pockets of soil to increase water penetration, nutrient uptake, as well as allow more heat and oxygen to reach the root zone. This is typically done in early summer, once the Bermuda is actively growing.
Warmer weather can make you want to increase the water to your turf. However a successful transition to Bermuda grass begins with reducing watering to 70%-80% of your typical usage. Cutting back on water will begin to stress the rye grass, while continuing to support the dormant Bermuda grass.
After a few weeks, the Bermuda grass should start to take over the rye grass. Once you reach this point, we will apply a balanced fertilizer to supply the Bermuda with the nutrients it needs to grow.