There are so many varieties and colors of lantana in the southwest! From ground covers to shrubs, white flowers to bright red blooms, there is a lantana for every landscape and taste. They are fast growing and exceptionally well acclimated to our desert conditions. Lantana bloom almost non-stop from early spring through late fall. Clusters of miniature purple, white, yellow, or red flowers pop up all over the shrub. Lantana should be cutback in the spring to promote new, healthy growth each year.
FUN FACT! Various colors were "bred" from the original yellow/gold lantana. Because of this, the most hearty lantana varieties today are yellows, reds, and oranges. While white and purple are the most fragile.
ASH TREE DECLINE
Throughout southwest, we enjoy the shade and fall color of many varieties of Ash Trees. However, one thing all varieties have in common is that they are all susceptible to Ash Decline. This condition is just that - a general decline of an Ash tree over several years, until it ultimately dies. It can be caused by poor planting location or soil conditions, pests, or weather stresses.
Symptoms of ash decline include yellowing leaves (other than fall color), loss of leaves, dead branches, and cracks in the trunk near the ground. When an Ash Tree is experiencing Ash Decline, it may seem to be recovering in the spring as new growth begins to appear. But by the peak of summer, usually July/August, it will begin to show signs of decline again. Once an Ash is in decline, unfortunately there is no cure or remedy to save the tree. However, Ash trees are resilient and proper management of your trees can improve their life expectancy. Some recommended practices include following proper trimming/pruning techniques and schedules, removing dead limbs, and removing other trees already affected by Ash decline.
MOW & SEW: OVERSEEDING
Over the month of September, mow heights are lowered with each mow to prepare for overseeding with winter ryegrass. The final scalp is typically done in October, one week prior to, or on the day of seeding. The best time to overseed is when daytime temperatures are in the 70°s, and overnight lows are above the 50°s. Throughout October, we watch closely for overwatering, seed movement, or dry sections.
S C A L P : Successful seeding will require the bermuda grass to be mowed very low or “scalped.” Scalping is crucial to a successful seeding process. It eliminates competition for your new seed, helps the seed make contact with the soil, and allows sunlight to reach the sprouts as they grow in. Remember that scalping to the dirt level can damage the Bermuda grass, making it struggle to come back from dormancy next spring.
S E E D : There are a lot of different type of ryegrass blends, all classified by perennial, annual or blended. We highly recommend using perennial ryegrass. Plan on using 10-20 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet of turf area. Seed should be applied in a crosshatch pattern. Throw the seed evenly in one direction, then again in the other direction (perpendicular to the first).Be careful that the application in both directions Is even. If you don’t, you will end up with thin or thick patches and stripes. The edges can be spot-seeded by hand as needed. Mulching is optional, but can help insulate the seed if temperatures have cooled sooner than expected, or if you get a late start to the overseeding game. Mulching helps retain moisture for the seeds and guarantees seed-to-soil contact. We also recommend applying mulch on steep slopes, which will help hold seed in place when watering.
W A T E R : Proper watering is always important for your grass, but it is crucial during overseeding. Watch for leaks or broken heads! This can wash away your perfect seed spreading job. Before you seed and especially after, ensure every inch of your grass area is getting wet. Keep track of the time it takes to dampen the soil but not cause pooling or any seed movement. The time will vary with each area depending on the type of sprinkler and head layout. Be sure to have multiple start times throughout the day so the seed doesn’t dry out and die.
G R O W T H : Monitor and inspect the grass everyday. Watch for overwatering, seed movement, or dry sections. Spot seed, mulch, and make adjustments to the water as needed. In about 10 days, your brand new baby seeds should begin to sprout or germinate. Watering schedules should be maintained until the grass has covered the area. After this, the water can start to slowly decrease. Once your grass is well established, it’s time to prepare it for mowing. Watering will be cut back to once every day, or every- other day and run times will be increased. We like our grass to be tall with well established roots before performing the first mow.
The summer growing season is coming to an end, and that makes fall a great time to trim trees! Trees trimmed in the fall will maintain a fresh, clean appearance all the way until next summer! Be sure to practice the proper pruning techniques, though. Lion-tailing or topping your trees makes them more vulnerable to disease, and sun and wind damage, no matter what time of year you trim them.
If a tree is damaged or encroaching on signage or buildings, it can seem like a simple solution to only cut or “top” the portion of the tree that is a problem. However, topping trees has several negative effects on what is left of the tree. In addition to looking... weird... improperly pruning a tree in this way may leave the tree structurally unsound, and more prone to breaking.
Topping the tree’s main branches to stubs will cause fast-growing sprouts to grow where the cut was made. This sounds great, but these sprouts are weak, and bushy. The new growth makes the tree uneven, and heavy. Extra maintenance pruning will be required to keep up with the additional, unbalanced weight.