With the first hints of cold in Arizona comes, we all know that winter is on its way. While people with gardens in warmer climates are just starting to plant, Arizonians know it’s time to shut the garden down. Plus there plenty of things to do in the fall to get ready for the winter season. For example, putting perennial gardens to bed, protecting annual crops from frost and preparing shrubs and trees from the cold.
Make sure you get a healthier start for next year by spending this fall weeding the perennial garden and sprucing up the lawn. Below is a checklist that will help you get your garden ready for winter time in Arizona.
Fertilize your lawn in the Fall
- Mow your lawn about 2-3 inches high to keep your grass roots healthy, cutting down too far will ensure they die out quickly and leave patches on your lawn
- When fertilizing, make sure and use the 3-1-2 ration of law to food.
- Reseed your lawn on the thing spots and spread annual ryegrass seed on top of the lawn during the warm season to add color during the winter
- Add 1/2 inch layer of compost as a top-dressing to build up your grass’s root system
- Aerate your lawn where there are compacted areas with an aerator machine
- Make sure and water the lawn a lot during the fall, especially if we are having a dry month
Shrubs and Trees
- You should shred your leaves instead of bagging them up and throwing them away. Create a 1-2 inch layer of chopped up leaved on top of the grass. The leaves will eventually breakdown and the earthworms will love the food leaving your soil well nourished.
- Do collect some of leaves but compost them together with fresh grass clippings, flower plants, spent vegetable and other scraps from the kitchen.
- Paint the trunks of your young trees with a white latex paint to avoid sunscald, which is basically your tree truck splitting due to quick temperature changes.
- Protect your evergreen shrubs from cold wind by driving in stakes around the soil and wrap burlap around the plant, or you can also apply antitranspirant spray to the foliage.
- Protect tender evergreen shrubs, such as rhododendrons, from cold winds by driving four stakes into the soil around the shrub and wrapping burlap around the plant, or applying an antitranspirant spray to the foliage.
- For shrubs that are growing under eaves, place wooden tepees over them where the water tends to fall of the roof.
- If there are areas that stay warmer during the winter, plant shrubs and evergreen trees now. Plant deciduous shrubs and trees after their leaves fall.
The goal of getting ready for winter is to do it before winter comes. Fall is usually the best time to get your plants, tree and shrubs ready for the chilly winter in Arizona.