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Landscape Design FAQ's & Tips


Questions about landscaping in Arizona?
Click on the question to view the answers below and if you don't find the answer you're looking for, contact us using the quick, simple form on the right. We'll do our best to answer your questions!

 


Irrigation
The most important part of your landscape is the irrigation and soil preparation. The irrigation system, whether it be drip to plants and trees or on your lawn can only serve you if it cover s the correct amount of area, distributes the correct amount of water, and is most importantly in good working order. Trees and plants should not be set up on the same line. The reason for this is that plants need to be watered with greater frequency with less duration and trees need to be watered with less frequency with greater duration as appropriate to each species. Newly planted trees and shrubs need regular watering to encourage and establish good growth. The first 4 to 6 weeks are the most critical for plants that are set out in spring or summer. Those that are planted in the fall or winter require less frequent irrigation during the establishment period. Although we make general recommendations, there is no single watering schedule that can be applied to all nursery materials. The irrigation that is required is determined by the nature of the soil, the site and the weather and each watering needs of the individual plantings. The main idea is to keep the root ball moist at all times.
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How short should I mow my lawn?
Bermuda Hybrid should be mowed in high temperatures at 1.5 to 2". Perennial rye grass in cool temperatures should be mowed at 2" to 3".
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When should I water?
There are many schools of thought on watering. We suggest that during summer or warm weather March through October water plants 30 minutes per day. In winter time water two times per week for 30 minutes. NEVER WATER PLANTS OR LAWN AT NIGHT. What does mold and mildew like best? Darkness, Arizona heat and moisture are the perfect nursery for mold and mildew.
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When should I water my new lawn?
For the first 10 days after sod is down, water three times per day for approximately 10 minutes. Do not mow for those 10 days. Let lawn completely dry out for two days then mow. Then water every day for 15 minutes once per day. Winter watering schedule should be every other day for 10 minutes twice per week. In summer, water every other day for 15 minutes. NEVER WATER PLANTS OR LAWN AT NIGHT. What does mold and mildew like best? Darkness, Arizona heat and moisture.
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When should I fertilize my lawn?
Fertilize once per with appropriate lawn fertilizer. In winter, use Nitra King or Turf Royal. In summer use Turf Royal or very hot weather use Iron Supreme all of which can be purchased at Horizon Turf & Irrigation in your area. Follow directions on the container and water heavily after fertilizing. If you have dogs, water lawn the for 3 minutes after dog urinates. This will minimize brown spots.
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What can I do to minimize the brown spots on my lawn from dog urine?
If you have dogs, water the lawn for 3 minutes after dog urinates and lesson the protein in the diet. This will minimize brown spots.
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When do I over-seed my lawn?
My favorite time is in the middle of October or when the night time temperature is below 50 degrees. After the first year, scalp lawn as far down as possible. Over-seed with Perennial Rye grass at 3 times the recommended rate. Water three times a day for 10 minutes for 10 days to establish the yard. After 2 weeks, turn off the water for 2 to let it dry out somewhat before mowing. If you mow with very wet grass, the mower will make wheel tracks in your lawn.
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When should I scalp my lawn?
Although most lawn services power rake or scalp in the fall when the lawn is to be over-seeded; it is less stressful on your lawn to scalp in June when the lawn has a chance to recover.
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How do I over-seed my lawn?
After the first year your grass is in, scalp lawn as far down as possible. Over-seed with Perennial Rye grass at 3 times the recommended rate using a drop spreader. If you use a rotating spreader, it is difficult to get even coverage and not get grass seed in areas you do not want to have grass. Water three times a day for 10 minutes for 10 days to establish the yard. After 2 weeks, turn off the water for 2 to let it dry out somewhat before mowing. If you mow with very wet grass, the mower will make wheel tracks in your lawn.
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My grass is green on the top but yellow underneath. What should I do?
Your grass needs nitrogen. Buy a fertilizer with the first number being 20 to 27. Spread according to package directions and water well. Be sure to clean sidewalks well because iron will stain sidewalks and flagstone.
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My grass is yellow on top but green underneath. What should I do?
Your grass needs iron. Apply as the package directs and water in well. Be sure to clean sidewalks well because iron will stain sidewalks and flagstone.
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What do the number markings on the fertilizer bag mean?
The first number is Nitrogen. Nitrogen makes things green. The second number is Phosphorus. Phosphorus makes things bloom. When your flowers are blooming, add Phosphorus and the blooms will be more prolific and last longer. The last number is Potassium. Potassium, makes plants stiffer, thus your flowers will stand up nice and tall.
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What should the PH of my soil be?
Arizona soil is generally a PH of about 8. Most plants grow better in a PH of about 5. You can lower the PH by adding mulch or Peat Moss.
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When should I fertilize blooming plants?
Fertilize every 2 weeks during blooming cycle using Everbloom or any high phosphate fertilizer.
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When should I trim my bushes?
The general rule is ?After they bloom?. It is important for the health of the plant to flower. Constant trimming or shearing will leave the plant sparse leaves on the inside.
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Can I grow tropical plants in Arizona?
Absolutely, Kona Land and Water Escapes specializes in putting a little bit of Hawaii in your back yard. With the right watering system, you will be surprised how low the water usage is.
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When should I water plants?
There are many schools of thought on watering. We suggest that during summer or warm weather March through October water plants 30 minutes per day. In winter time water two times per week for 30 minutes.
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When do I plant annuals?
Let's divide this into three categories: Warm weather, Cool weather and transitional annuals.
Warm weather annuals are: Blue Salvia, Cosmos, Golden Fleece, Celosia, Zinia,Gazania, Vinca, Pentas and Portulaca.
Cool weather annuals : Lobelia, Alyssum, Pansy, Petunia, Snap Dragon, Geranium, Diantha,Stock and Dusty Miller
Transitional annuals are: Marigold, Kale, Gerbera, Chrysanthemum, and all bulbs. Arizona winters do not get cold enough for many bulbs. It is wise to refrigerate the bulbs for two weeks before planting.
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How do I choose which annual to plant?
First of all, consider color and design. Decide which flowers should be in the back or center and which should be in the front by size.

You would think that you should select the most robust flowers. Quite the opposite is true. Select plants with buds and just opened flowers. When planted, the plants will open more quickly and having selected the plants you did, the life of the plant will be longer.
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How do I prepare the flower bed?
Remove Debris and weeds from the area to be planted.
If possible, irrigate a day or two before starting bed preparation.
Evenly spread 3" to 4" of organic material such as well cured compost on top of the planting bed.
Evenly sprinkle a moderate amount of sulfur and fertilizer (see bag instructions) over the planting area.
Incorporate compost and fertilizer with a shovel to a depth of 8" to 12", rake planting be to level and smooth surface.
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What do I need to know when planting?
Each planting holes should be about the size of the root ball. Gently loosen the root ball and set it in the planting hole. Plant at root crown level, barely cover the top of the root ball with soil. Pinch off any damaged plant parts, spent flowers or yellow leaves Gently fill and tamp soil around plant, do not pack soil hard around it. Water by hand every half hour. Mulch to a depth of 1" to 2" as appropriate for plant species. When finished planting water again. Water every other day until plants can go on a regular schedule depending on current weather.
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Is there maintenance for annual flowers?
Set the irrigation to a schedule based on the local soil conditions and weather. Fertilize every 3 to 6 weeks with a fertilizer high in phosphorous to stimulate flowering Pinch off the flowers as they fade at the base of the flower, not just the petals. Inspect plants for insects and disease, remove dying plants and treat as appropriate. Inspect bed for weeds and if present, remove. Inspect if mulch needs replacement.
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How do I choose which tree I should put in my yard?
First, notice the overall shape and health of the tree. Consider mature size, shape and whether you want deciduous or evergreen. Look at the tree for fullness and vigor. Choose a tree that has no damage to the trunk. The trunk should taper from root ball to top of tree. Look at the leaves for pests. Make sure the roots are not protruding from the holes at the bottom of the container.
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What do we do to protect our plants in the winter if it freezes?
Subtract 10 degrees from the predicted temperature. Cover plants with sheets or freeze cloth. Towels are too heavy on the plant. Do not prune frost damage until after March 15th.
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Are tropical plants frost sensitive?
Yes, especially the first year. Subtract 10 degrees from the predicted temperature. Cover plants with sheets or freeze cloth. Do not prune frost damage until after March 15th. Some tropical plants are Bamboo, Umbrella Plants, Cana Lilies, Hibiscus, Gardenia, Bird of Paradise.
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Are there tropical looking plants that are not frost sensitive?
There are many tropical plants that are not frost sensitive such as Bicolor Iris, Katie Ruellia, Little John Bottle Brush and Asparagus Fern.
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Can you grow Bamboo in Arizona?
Absolutely. Kona Land and Water Escapes grows Bamboo especially for Arizona. Our Bamboo is clumping bamboo, that is you will not see it popping up all over your yard. Our beautiful bamboo fills in quickly and is the perfect barrier to the neighbor?s second story house.
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Is there a fast growing plant that is a good barrier against my neighbor's second story house?
Absolutely. Kona Land and Water Escapes grows Bamboo especially for Arizona. Our Bamboo is clumping bamboo, that is you will not see it popping up all over your yard. Our beautiful bamboo fills in quickly and is the perfect barrier to the neighbor's second story house.
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My Koi pond has green stuff growing in it. What should I do?
Algae loves Arizona heat and sun. String Algae comes in on the wind. Clean out as much as you can with a broom and wire brush. Algae roots attach in the sides of the pond so clean as well as you can. Treat with GreenClean according to package directions. GreenClean is available from many sources online or at biosafesystems.com.
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The water in my Koi pond is pea green. I have fish. What should I do?
You have an algae bloom. Short term treatment should be with GreenClean according to package directions. GreenClean is available from many sources on line or at BioSafesystems.com. Best solution is to have a UV light which is outside your pond. Call us for an estimate at 480-345-0314.
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The water in my Koi pond is pea green. I do not have fish or plants. What should I do?
Short term, add pool chlorine, then for a long term solution, you could install a chlorine feeder which uses chlorine tablets like in swimming pool equipment. Call us for an estimate at 480-345-0314. Also, you could periodically add a chlorine tablet where the water moves. Be careful where you put the tablet remembering that chlorine bleaches over time and also is harmful to any gaskets in your equipment.
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Why is there foam on my water in my Koi pond?
There are many reasons for foaming water. Recent rains may have put pollution in your pond. You could be over feeding your fish. You may have an algae problem.
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I keep losing water from my pond. What should I do?
You should lose about 1" of water per day in the summer time if your water feature is running. Turn off the waterfall and let the pond sit over night. If the water level is the same, you have a leak in your waterfall. Call us at 480-345-0314 for a free estimate on repair. After 40 years of experience, we have it down.
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There is a leak in my waterfall. What should I do?
Call us at 480-345-0314 for a free estimate on repair. After 40 years of experience, we have it down. Most of the time, if your pond is concrete and you have a natural waterfall; the leak is in the pond or waterfall. Only rarely is the leak in the plumbing.
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What can I do when dogs pee on my grass and make spots?
If you have dogs, water the lawn for 3 minutes after the dog urinates and lessen the protein in the dog's diet. This will minimize brown spots.
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Lenny Clark and the Kona team look forward to helping you create and maintain your backyard paradise.
Since 1970 Kona Land and Water Escapes has been one of Arizona’s leading landscape contractors. We take customer service very seriously and guarantee all of our work. Our job isn’t finished until you are completely satisfied and we guarantee all of our work.


Questions? We're here to help!
480-345-0314 | service@konalandscape.com


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