As Arizona continues to grow in population, the pressure for water availability is going to be put at a premium. Desert plant material performs best when watered less but deeper. In addition to watering wisely, how you maintain the plants also effects water use.
Shearing vs. Hand-Pruning Shrubs
Shearing plants induces stress, requiring more water to keep them healthy. Constant shearing is probably the result of having the wrong plant in a spot requiring you to control growth by cutting them back constantly. Plants bloom from the end of their branching, and constant shearing only takes off color, so why do it? Remove plants causing space issues and replant with a more appropriate species. Hand-prune the new plants to encourage natural growth habits and reduce your water costs.
Water trees deeply and infrequently; by doing this, you will flush salts through the root zone; encourage deep, strong root systems, and reduce the amount of water shoots or suckers from the base of the tree. Prune only to correct cross-branching or remove dead wood.
Eliminate turf if it isn’t both functional and aesthetic. Turf uses more water than any other species in the landscape, so ensure it provides a functional use for your home.
By following these few guidelines, you’ll reduce watering costs for your home and have a healthier landscape with more color.