Lawn care in Arizona is more challenging than in many other states. The extremely hot, dry summer temperatures and moderate winter temperatures make it difficult for the lawn to survive without proper care. Though the effort can be challenging, maintaining a healthy, vibrant lawn in Arizona is absolutely achievable with a few, basic care tips.
The soil quality in Arizona is generally sandy and alkaline. This soil variation reduces the capacity for good moisture and nutrient retention needed for a vigorous, healthy lawn. Increase the soil’s moisture and nutrient retention by adding compost fertilizer to the lawn. A layer of compost fertilizer will not only increase the lawn’s water and nutrient retention, it will also serve as a layer of protection, protecting the root system from the weather’s elements.
Mow the lawn regularly and maintain a blade height between 2 ½ and 3 inches from the early spring through late fall. The height of the grass will serve as a protective barrier for the underlying root system and reduce the potential for invasive weed growth. Never cut more than one-third of the blade during any one mowing and always mow in the evening after the sun begins to rest. This will allow the grass ample time to repair itself before the height of the next sun. Reduce the blade height to 1 to 2 inches during the winter months.
Proper watering is an essential aspect for a healthy lawn. It is important to water the lawn thoroughly and infrequently. Water the lawn with approximately 1 ½ inches of water in a slow, rain-like manner to provide a deep irrigation. Use a trickle system or soaker hose to complete the irrigation, rather than a standard watering hose.
Always water the lawn in the early morning before the height of the sun. Increase the watering level during the hot, dry summer. Allow the lawn to dry out between watering. Water when the lawn’s color begins to dull and the blades begin to lose their resilience.
Feeding the Lawn
Like most lawns, Arizona lawns greatly benefit from regular feedings. However, it is important to avoid excessive feeding. Feed the lawn when it begins to show signs of nutrient deficiency, such as yellowing and dullness. For the average Arizona lawn, feedings that occur approximately every 30 to 45 days will meet this requirement. Use a well balanced, slow-release fertilizer.
Apply the feed evenly and water thoroughly after the fertilizer application. Always apply fertilizer applications in the early morning or late evening. Avoid midday applications to avoid burn spots and browning patches.