Desert Yard Makeover in 5 Easy Steps

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Here in Arizona, our hot summers, warm winters and overall arid climate make for some pretty tough growing conditions. Is your desert yard in need of a makeover? The pros at Earthtones Landscape Management can help! With a little planning, dedication and regular maintenance, that dry, unkempt yard can be turned into a beautiful outdoor paradise for you and your family to enjoy year all year long.

  1. Make A Plan: This is perhaps the most difficult part of the 5-step process to give your desert yard a great makeover, but it’s obviously critical to the success of the project. The first question you need to ask yourself is, “How much am I willing to do and what kind of yard do I want to have?” If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to handle landscaping maintenance on a regular basis, you may want to consider contacting us so we can help you choose an installation that won’t require daily/weekly maintenance, or give you options on our regular landscaping maintenance services. If you’re not interested in doing regular maintenance yourself or hiring the work to be done, consider installing hardscape elements to fill up empty yard space as opposed to installing grass and other plant life. Besides regular weeding, installing rock beds or stone hardscape areas are a great way to avoid the routine hassle of weekly maintenance. Decide where you want your beds and hardscape areas, and then choose where you’d like to have a lawn.


  1. Clean it Up: Now that you’ve decided what you want to do, start to make it happen. Contact Earthtones for a one-time yard clean up or begin to prepare your space for grass and hardscape installation. No matter which way you choose to go, you’ll want to rake out the yard, removing any debris, rocks, roots, errant branches and other vegetation. After that, you’ll want to grade the area to ensure proper runoff. You’ll want to grade from your house on down, meaning that the grade will decline as you move away from your home to prevent water from running back toward it. While you are grading or raking out your yard, keep an eye out for scorpion nests, snake burrows, and other stinging insects, and always wear thick, protective gloves and boots.


  1. Install Hardscape, Beds & Lawn: If your plan is to grow a lawn, you’ve picked an excellent time of year to undertake this project, as fall is the best time to install grass, thanks to the rains and milder temps brought on by monsoon season. As to the type of grass to install, just keep in mind that Bermuda grass is great for summer due to its hearty, resilient nature, and Rye is excellent during winter and early spring months. Till and pre-treat the area with fertilizer and you’re off to the races.


Let hardscape areas and beds provide the “filler” around your home and out into the yard. Installing beds close to the house further reduces the chances of water intrusion thanks to rocks and bed liners that slow the passage of water into the ground, as well plant root systems.


When it comes to hardscape, ask yourself, “What do I enjoy doing outside?” Do you enjoy eating outside or grilling out? Consider installing a stone patio out back with a custom-built stone grille station. Do you like to relax in nature? Consider installing a stone fire pit area or fountain for quiet days and evenings of peaceful contemplation. This is Arizona, so you’ll want to consider shading your outdoor livable spaces with trees or custom awnings in order to stay cool. The possibilities for your yard are nearly endless and should revolve around the way you want to use your space.


  1. Add Traditional Landscaping Elements and Irrigation: This time of year is perfect for planting a wide variety of trees, bushes and other foliage, thanks to cooler temperatures and more frequent rains. African daisies, Alyssum and Carnations are all good flowers to plant during the fall, while trees like the Palo Verde, Ironwood, Sissoo and Desert Willow will thrive with proper installation and bi-annual care. Consider adding some landscape lighting to highlight beds and hardscape areas to create contrast and focal points.


Lastly, irrigation may be necessary to keep your flora at its best. There are several options, from small bed irrigation systems to whole yard systems that cover everything. Before you install hardscape or grass, make sure to discuss an irrigation system with your landscaping professional.


  1. Utilize the Space You’ve Created: Once it’s done, get out there and enjoy it! If you get started on your desert yard makeover now, you’ll be able to enjoy your space just as the weather begins to cool down.


For more information or to schedule a no-obligation, no-hassle consultation, contact Earthtones Landscape Management today.