Fall Commercial Landscaping Tips

Commercial Landscaping In the Fall

Since Phoenix is a desert environment, it is very harsh on commercial landscaping and the Fall is no exception. As always, water is a scarce and expensive resource and it is important that it is used as efficiently as possible to keep property maintenance costs to a minimum and to conserve our resources.

In order to keep the grass areas on your property’s landscaping looking their best during Winter, it is general practice to trim back the summer Bermuda grass and over-seed with Rye Grass for the winter. As always it is important to manage the winter lawn by irrigating it properly. There are cost savings to be had since a well-managed winter lawn actually uses less water than a summer lawn.

Your Commercial Landscaper should be continually managing your watering cycles for you and to ensure that the winter grass is properly established and then properly irrigated. If they are not doing this for you, you will need to ensure that at the very least your irrigation schedules are adjusted four times per year to accommodate the changing seasons.

When considering your commercial landscaping layout and irrigation, remember that sloped landscaping areas are difficult to irrigate efficiently since you want to irrigate the landscape with sufficient water to keep the plants healthy but excess irrigation water could run off onto sidewalks and streets.  Sloped areas are best irrigated by dividing irrigation cycles into multiple shorter periods of time spread out during the day.  Doing it this way allows the water to soak into the soil rather than running off.  The most telling sign of an irrigation cycle or layout would be over-watered areas that are constantly soggy, or discolored.  Excess water also allows molds or fungi to grow on the lawn or plants thereby weakening them.

Narrow strips are difficult to water efficiently and require a disproportionate amount of maintenance.  Over spray from sprinklers can hit driveways, sidewalks, streets and cars.  You may want to consider removing these strips of grass as part of a long-term upgrade.

Commercial Landscaping: Things to do during the Fall

Fall and Winter are great times to work on your landscaping since your plants will not be growing as strongly and the cooler weather is kinder to all concerned.

This time of year is great to check, and repair or upgrade your irrigation systems. Check for leaks and adjust irrigation schedules for the season.

Winter is a good time to prune landscape shrubs. Your landscaper will trim most of your plants as part of the regular maintenance, however they will also carry out annual selective pruning to trees and larger shrubs that will produce a more natural-looking plant that will bloom to its full potential.  You should wait until late February or March to prune the more tender plants such as bougainvillea or lantana that might be damaged by frost.

Fall is the perfect time to plant new areas, replace plants that have died or to do upgrades to lower maintenance landscaping and plants. Planting in the fall gives roots a chance to establish in the cool months before the hot summer temperatures hit. There are many low water use plants to choose from and your landscaper is best placed to make recommendations as to upgrades that will save you money in the long term..

As always weeds remain a problem in the desert and fall is a great time to get a handle on your weed problem. Your commercial landscaper will be managing this for you, because well managed weeds saves them work and you money – all while keeping your property looking its best.

Many water conservation offices also offer free landscape and irrigation workshops in the fall.  Check out this link for tips and techniques for effective water use www.wateruseitwisely.com.