Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas decorations are popping up everywhere….winter is here! Phoenix residents are lucky, we don’t have to put up with the blistery winter conditions like other parts of the country do. That doesn’t mean our plants and lawn do not need protection from the colder weather. The Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association has provided us with some simple winter lawn care tips for Phoenix, AZ. Please share them with your friends and neighbors.
Many of our landscape plants are considered tropical or sub-tropical, we begin seeing frost damage on plants, like Lantana, when temperature hit the low 30’s, while other plant don’t show damage until temperatures have been below freezing for a number of hours.
Frost blankets seem to be the favorite choice in our region, providing up to 8-9 degrees of protection. However, they are often used incorrectly. Here are a few helpful hints to make sure you are using protective frost blankets correctly:
- Use cloth or paper, never use plastic!
- Sheets or blankets, must be removed daily
- Frost cloth can be left on for a few days
- Drape plant from top all the way to the ground
- Do not allow any openings (trap heat rising from ground under cloth)
- Do not gather the drape around trunk
- Allow drape to cover all the way out to drip line, if possible
- Wrap trunks of young citrus trees loosely to the ground (can be left all winter)
Additional steps to help protect your plants from the cold:
- Lights, Christmas lights at bottom of plant can radiate heat
- Water under canopy adds heat: when water cools, energy is released=heat!
- Don’t Fertilize- new growth is more sensitive to frost damage
- Don’t Prune- don’t prune sensitive plants until after treat of frost (late Feb.)
- Don’t Overprotect- allow plants to harden off, gradually exposed to cold weather
We hope you find these lawn care tips helpful. Winter is the perfect time of year to invest in your lawn! For additional information or to schedule service, please call AMS Landscaping at (602) 944-0421.