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AUGUST 2020

PLANT SPOTLIGHT

DESERT SPOON

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You have probably seen the Desert Spoon shrub all over the southwest. That is because the Desert Spoon was made for this region. It is drought-tolerant, happy in full sun, and prefers dry soil. 

 

Desert Spoon can fill out large open areas, with their mature size topping out at 6ft wide! They are a beautiful accent piece, particularly in tropical and/or xeriscape landscapes.

The sharp, serrated arms can also act as a barrier around pools, walls, and anywhere else you need a little help from nature to keep people and pests away.


FUN FACT! The Desert Spoon will only bloom when it reaches 7-10 years old. And even then, it is not a regular, annual occurrence like most plants. 

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AVERAGE TEMPS

HIGH 105

LOW 81

GRASS

This is the last growing month for the summer bermuda grass before we begin the gradual preparation for winter over-seeding.  This month is a good time to treat grass with soil amendments, wetting agents, iron, acid/ph/salt, pre-emergent, insecticide, and fungicide.

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Rich, colorful blooms of bougainvillea, oleander, and Mexican bird of Paradise are on full display during this hot, humid weather. 

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PLANTS

Most of Arizona’s landscapes are stressing during August. Non-native plants, like pine trees and grass are especially struggling to cope with the intense heat. This stress can make everything weaker and more susceptible to pests or disease. This is why we treat all of our landscapes with fungicide and insecticide. Most of the plants here are not native to Arizona so they need all the help they can get to thrive. 

DOLLAR SPOT FUNGUS

Dollar spot fungus will appear as small bleached spots within patches of dead grass. The spots are about the size of a dollar coin, and can grow up to 6” in diameter. They can also appear fuzzy in morning dew. Like any fungus, dollar spot grows when the grass blades are exposed to long periods of wetness. This can be from overwatering, humid conditions, or overcast weather. Turf that is stressed from drought is most susceptible. Because of this, dollar spot is commonly seen in turf that has had periods of excessive watering to recover from recent drought conditions.

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The first step to eradicating dollar spot is to adjust your irrigation. Verify your watering times are running between 12am-6am so the grass has adequate time to dry out.  Also, thinning nearby trees, removing excessive/crowded plants will reduce the humidity around the grass and improve airflow. Finally, removing thatch build up will prevent turf from holding too much water, and will also contribute to improved airflow.

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There are chemical options to combat Dollar Spot as well. However, the fungus that causes dollar spot can quickly develop resistance to the fungicides used to treat it. Because of this, a rotation of fungicides should be used, including systemic and contact varieties.
 

In conjunction with proper landscaping practices and chemical applications, our trusty friend Nitrogen can encourage a speedy recovery for your turf! When applied properly, Nitrogen can event help prevent this patchy fungus.

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