Keeping that mean, green, “American Dream” lawn perfect in Arizona is no easy task. We have merciless summer heat, droughts and temperamental soil working against us. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a gorgeous, green lawn practically year-round. Sprinkler Doctors has been performing sprinkler repair in Phoenix AZ since 2007. We know our way around lawns, and our pros have some tips to help you keep your lawn in tip-top shape.
Fix Up Your Topsoil
Arizona soil is less-than-habitable for turf grass. While we toss better topsoil over it, at its heart is clay, rocks and sand. Making matters worse are high salinity and high levels of calcium carbonate, which drops soil pH. There’s practically none of the organic material that makes soil loamy, nutrient-rich and ideal for plants.
Using a soil tester, take a core sample from a few area of your lawn. See how far your topsoil goes. 6 to 12 inches is ideal, but many homeowners will find a scant 4 inches of decent soil before they hit clay. When your grass tries to stretch its roots beyond the borders of that good soil, it’s out of luck. If your soil comes up short, you can build up your topsoil carefully over time. Use a spreader to distribute 1/4 to 1/2 inch of quality topsoil or compost over your lawn in fall and spring.
Check Your Soil Quality
Even if you have enough topsoil, its nutrient levels will be depleted over time. Salinity and alkalinity from the underlying soil can also start impacting your good topsoil. It’s important to get regular soil testing done to see where your nutrient levels are and what amendments the pros recommend.
Most Phoenix homeowners rely on fertilizers to give their lawns regular nutrient infusions. A little fertilizer is good, but lawns that are dependent on quick-fix nutrients tend to be weak and fail quickly in droughts. For more resilient grass, go for regular applications of compost. Compost adds slow-release nutrients in the form of organic matter, improving overall soil quality in the process. Spreading a scant 1/4 inch over your soil right after fall aeration can make a big difference.
In Phoenix’s arid climate, you might be tempted to dump water on your lawn every day. Frequent watering might green up your lawn in the short term, but it makes your grass weak and complacent. If it expects constant access to shallow water, it’ll never grow deep roots that can sustain it when the going gets rough.
Instead of multiple, light waterings, stick to a schedule of once- or twice-weekly deep watering. If you don’t already have a programmable sprinkler system, consider having one installed to help stick to your new schedule. A company that specializes in irrigation installation will know the best system and ideal schedule for your situation.
Sprinkler Repair is how Phoenix AZ Lawns Stay Watered
A sprinkler system breakdown in the middle of a heat wave is a bad omen for a beautiful lawn. What’s more, sprinkler heads can get knocked out of place, kinks and mistakes can cause irrigation inconsistencies and water needs can change season to season. That’s where maintenance comes into play. Regular sprinkler system maintenance plays a big role in preventing disasters big and small.
A company that knows their way around sprinkler repair for Phoenix AZ lawns will know how to calibrate your system for the local climate. They know how to check for spray overlap, help prevent costly repairs and make sure your lawn is getting consistent, ideal water levels from season to season. Signing up for seasonal sprinkler maintenance is an effortless way to keep your lawn healthy.
Are Your Aerating?
Running water and trampling feet can make the softest soil settle and compact. Grass roots suffocate and have to fight for every inch of growth. Water and nutrients can’t penetrate as quickly or as deeply. Grass gets weaker, the slightest bit of heat can cause it to wilt and weeds arrive in force.
Annual aeration is crucial for healthy lawns. By slicing, pricking or pulling up “cores” of soil, aeration loosens compacted dirt and any thatch build-up on the surface of lawns. It’s best done immediately before overseeding and fertilization in fall. Your loose seed will have more surface area to grab, and your fertilizer will be able to sink in deeper. Follow it all up with a deep soak to seal the deal.
Maintaining perfect turf grass in Arizona is an adventure, but it’s not impossible. Keeping an eye on your soil, water and seasonal changes will help your grass thrive. If you need a hand, give Sprinkler Doctors a call. As experts in sprinkler repair for Phoenix AZ homes, we know what it takes to keep Arizona lawns healthy, happy and green.