The Ocotillo is one of our very favorite sights to see! A desert native, the Ocotillo is naturally adapted for low maintenance and minimal water requirements. In fact, it doesn’t need access to irrigation lines at all. It can be planted as a bold accent piece, or as a natural fence/barrier.
The Ocotillo always steals the show in any landscape with its tall, woody stalks. Sharp spikes climbing the stalks are hidden behind the rows of tiny green leaves.
Winter rains bring out the Ocotillo’s fiery orange flowers that bloom at the tip of each stalk.
FUN FACT! The Ocotillo derives its name from the Aztec word for torch.
APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS!
We may not all look forward to the hot summer temperatures. But we can all agree the color & diversity of summer flowers is a welcome sight! Look for the rich greenery & small 5-pointed flowers of the Penta, the bold color & fluffy blooms of the Celosia, & the Vinca, with soft petals in a variety of colors.
Palo Verde trees have been blooming in recent weeks & we’ve been able to enjoy the bright, fragrant yellow flowers. But as the blooming period is coming to an end, our streets, sidewalks, & landscapes will be covered in these flowers. LandTech will be working hard to keep up with the mess, blowing these areas & keeping them free of debris.
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.