Category Archives: Lawn

Rejuvenating Your Lawn for the Summer

A lush green lawn provides a cool respite in the heat of our Phoenix summers. Bermuda grass is the grass of choice for summer lawns. It can take the desert’s hottest weather if it has enough water. This type of grass goes dormant, turning brown, in the fall when the night time temperatures start to fall below 55 degrees. The best growing time for Bermuda grass is when daytime temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit with nighttime temperatures above 65 degrees, around April or May.

Some people choose to overseed their lawns with Ryegrass each year in the fall to keep their lawns green during lower winter temperatures. Unlike winter Rye grass, Bermuda grass only needs to planted once. The Bermuda grass will come in more fully and quickly if Ryegrass is allowed to dry out in early May. Two weeks without watering is usually enough to kill the Ryegrass. Once the Ryegrass turns brown, resume lawn watering to encourage the Bermuda grass to come out of dormancy.

Over the winter, your lawn’s soil will probably have become compacted beneath a layer of thatch. Thatch is a layer of dead and living grass shoots, stems and roots that are visible between the soil and the green grass blades in your lawn. Thick thatch layers can cause root damage and can be a haven for disease-causing organisms and insects. Thatch can also hold too much water, resulting in root rot. Lawn aeration is the best way to address this problem. Aeration works best when a mechanical core aerator is used. This machine removes small plugs of soil and places them on top of your lawn, leaving holes that allow nutrients and water to reach the root system. The process strengthens and invigorates the roots, resulting in a thicker and healthier lawn. For best results for your summer lawn, aeration should take place around May.

Once your Bermuda grass begins to turn green, regular fertilizing and watering during the growing season in order to maintain growth and color is recommended. Make sure your irrigation system is properly working to ensure the best summer lawn possible.

Let Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance help you manage your summer lawn including aeration, fertilization, ongoing maintenance and irrigation system checks/repairs. We can also help you with ryegrass overseeding in fall.

Goodman’s Landscape Volunteer Work at Copperwood Elementary

As a small landscaping company that was founded in Arizona in1984, we take pride in our local communities. Whenever possible, our employees enjoy giving a helping hand to those that need it both with our time and expertise.

Goodman's Landscape volunteers

A Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance crew member teaches volunteers the basics on how to install irrigation drip lines to the plants for the school’s habitat.

This project came into our office as a pro bono opportunity to help out a local school as well as teach the basics of landscape installation techniques. The job called for a tortoise habitat to be constructed in a corner of the playground of Copperwood Elementary School in Phoenix.

The design for this project was supplied by an employee of the school. Services such as labor and coordination were supplied both by volunteers and by Goodman’s Landscape.

Once on the jobsite, the first step in the project was for the landscape team to remove all grass from within the designed project area. The next task was to lay down trenching for irrigation and all other needed utilities such as electrical wiring. The trenches were cut with a Groundhog trencher.

Following the trenching came the boring for fence posts surrounding the project area. Plant material was then installed along with the tortoise habitat and features of the habitat.

Many techniques were employed, and many tools were used in this project besides the Groundhog trencher. These included a Bobcat loader, jackhammers, which were utilized mostly for compacted digging, and a plate compactor for foundation compacting surrounding the newly installed habitat.

Landscape renovation half way point

You can see the midway point in the development of the tortoise habitat. Included is a perimeter boarder which will keep tortoises from escaping and also will deter unwanted guests. A small water feature doubled as a water source as well as a place for the tortoises to escape the heat.

Plant material was supplied by local nurseries and irrigation supplies were donated by Horizon Distributors. Hurley Trucking provided the container to house all building supplies throughout the project build. ABC sand and gravel was donated by Granite Express. Lafarge pavers were supplied by Phoenix Pavers. Supplies such as wheelbarrows, shovels, picks, rakes and dig bars were all provided by city of Glendale, Ariz.

Once all the plant material had been installed, we were left with a few tasks. First we needed to bore holes that would act as the post housings for the surrounding chain link fence. Secondly, the crew had to lay down a nice layer of 1/4” minus Madison Gold that will keep the dust down and looks a little bit better than the ground that was exposed after the existing sod was removed.

All in all, this was an amazing opportunity and display of coordination by the volunteers that helped make this possible. All of us at Goodman’s are grateful for the opportunity to provide Copperwood Elementary School with our landscape renovation services.

If you have a project or sponsorship opportunity that you are looking for support from a local landscaping small business, please submit your information through the contact form.

How to Prevent Frost Damage in Phoenix Winters

Frost DamageMost people in the Phoenix Metropolitan area do not pay much attention to cooler temperatures until they start to see damage in their landscape. This can be a costly error in judgment as severe cold damage can be mitigated by simply covering plants on the few days when cooler nighttime temperatures are forecasted. According the University of Arizona, the average first frost date ranges from November 21st to December 12th and the average last frost date ranges from February 7th to April 3rd.

Professional Grade Frost Prevention

Goodman’s sends out a yearly frost damage alert to our customers in late October, early November advising them to pay attention to forecasts. A majority of our longer term customers have purchased professional grade frost cloth from us at some point, and store them in the off season for use on cooler nights. The advantage of professional grade frost cloth is that it can be left on for longer periods of time, thus avoiding the labor of taking it off after daybreak and putting it back on in the evening.

Frost Damage PreventionIf you have a lot of cold tender plants in your yard, you may be aware that putting on and taking off frost cloths can involve hours of time…particularly if you are installing them correctly. Proper installation means covering the plant from top to bottom, as shown in these pictures. Make sure that the cloth drapes down and is not tied at the base. Last year we had several people call after seeing damage, only to find out all suppliers were out of frost cloths. This resulted in a huge amount of plants needing to be replaced in the Spring.

Tips for Frost Damage Treatment

If you start to notice your plant’s fruit, leaves, shoots, stems, flowers, and/or flower buds dying during the winter season, you can most likely attribute it to frost damage. Some people might have the desire to prune the frost-damaged plant right away, however, this is not recommended because it could stimulate new growth that would be exposed to frost damage again. Also, even though the leaves and stems are damaged, they are still helping to keep warm air near the plant. It is best to prune during the spring when the plant has already started to show new growth. If the entire plant seems damaged and the new growth is only at the root level, you will probably need to either cut down the existing dead plant to make room for the new growth or replace the plant all together.

Do not use smudge pots, mulch, or chemicals to try and keep your plants warm. As mentioned above, investing in professional grade frost cloths is the best way to prevent frost damage.

Do Your Plants Have Frost Damage?

If your landscape has experienced frost damage this winter, please contact Goodman’s today for a free estimate on replacing your plants with frost-damage tolerant plants. We can also provide you with a landscape maintenance plan that will keep your yard looking beautiful and fresh. We also provide landscaping in Scottsdale and surrounding areas.

Happy Thanksgiving – Irrigation Part and Plant of the Month

Happy ThanksgivingWith sincere thanks and deeply felt gratitude to all of our customers, everyone at Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance join in sending you and your family our wishes for a bountiful and very Happy Thanksgiving!

We are grateful for all of the amazing work that everyone does here at Goodman’s and to our customers. We wouldn’t be here without your continued support!

Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora)

Other names include: Mescal Bean, Texas Mescalbean, Frijolito, and Frijolillo. This evergreen shrub or small tree grows to about 12 feet high, it has smooth bark, and its dark green oval leaflets are 1-2 inches long. It blooms from February to April, and it produces Wisteria-like lavender-blue flowers in 4 to 8 inch clusters. The silvery gray 1 to 8 inch seed pods open when ripe exposing red seeds. These small tree often times produce multiple trunks. Keep them in full sun or light shade. They tolerate Arizona alkaline well-drained soils. When moving a Texas Mountain Laurel, make sure to not disturb the root ball.

Texas Mountain Laurel

All parts of the Texas Mountain Laurel are toxic, however it’s the seeds that pack the highest concentration. If ingested, among other symptoms, you can expect to see profuse salivation, weakness, impaired vision and a slow heart rate.

Why is it in our landscapes?

It’s small size, Wisteria-like blooms, grape Kool-Aid / grape bubblegum scent and overall ornamental appeal make it a popular plant for small spaces. Avoid planting in areas where children or pets spend unsupervised time.

Irrigation Valve Solenoid – Irrigation Part of the Month

A solenoid is a component of a solenoid valve. Its basic function is converting electrical energy to mechanical energy. A small electrical current is sent to the solenoid spring, causing the spring inside to essentially become a tiny magnet. Coiling tighter as a result of the magnetic field it pulls a tiny piston backward, sealing off the hole that allows air into the chamber. With the release of air pressure, a diaphragm is pushed aside by incoming water which passes through the valve to feed the irrigation lines. When the programmed amount of time ends, the electrical feed is halted and the process reverses. You can usually tell a solenoid is malfunctioning because it’ll make a distinct “click” and hum or vibrate when it is activated.irrigation valve solenoid

How to change a broken irrigation valve solenoid:

  1. Disconnect both wires connected to the solenoid.
  2. Turn solenoid counter-clockwise until free of the valve.
  3. Screw in new solenoid by turning clockwise, hand tighten only, be careful not to over-tighten.
  4. Connect both wires to new solenoid using waterproof wire caps.

Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance has full-time irrigation repair and installation crews that are ready to help you with your next project. Contact us to learn more about our irrigation services in your local Phoenix and Scottsdale area.

The Benefits of Lawn Aeration in Phoenix, AZ

scottsdale lawn aeration

Lawn aeration is the best way to facilitate gas/air exchange and water/nutrient absorption. Soil compaction and other soil conditions that occur naturally over time can make it hard for your lawn to thrive without periodic aeration.

To compound the problem, thatch buildup can act as a barrier preventing water and other crucial nutrients from penetrating to the lawn’s root zone.

Aeration works best when a machine specially designed for this task is used (a mechanical core aerator). The machine removes small plugs of soil and places them on top of your lawn, leaving holes that allow nutrients and water to reach the root system.

The process strengthens and invigorates the roots, resulting in a thicker, healthier lawn. While some of our customers request that the plugs be removed, we do not recommend it. The soil from the plugs contain beneficial fungi and bacteria that aid in the decomposition of the thatch layer and are considered a valuable top dressing for your lawn.

grass aeration scottsdale

How do you know if you need to aerate your lawn? Well, the obvious answer is that if you notice that your lawn isn’t in tip top shape. Another method is to dig up a section of your grass with a shovel to about 5 or 6 inches deep to see if the grass roots are further than 2 inches deep into the soil. If they don’t, then your lawn would benefit from lawn aeration. It is common for grass areas that are exposed to a lot of foot or vehicle traffic to need aeration more than other areas because it is more likely to become more compacted. It isn’t recommended to aerate a lawn that has been sodded or seeded within the last year of planting.

Water your lawn thoroughly for one or two days before you plan on aerating in order to help the aerator penetrate the soil more easily. Make sure you mark various sprinkler heads and other objects that might get in the way of the aeration. You only need to go over your lawn one time with the aerator.

For Arizona residents, aerating winter grass in September to October is a good time because it allows your grass to break dormancy and the grass is actively growing. For summer lawns, it is good to aerate around the months of May and June.

Let Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance help you with your lawn and grass aeration this winter. Call today to learn more about our various Paradise Valley, Phoenix, and Scottsdale landscape maintenance options.

What is Lawn Scalping and Thatch?

What is Lawn Scalping?

lawn scalpingIn terms of preparing a lawn for overseeding, scalping is lowering the level of the Bermuda lawn to allow Rye seeds better access to soil and sun after it’s been spread. The best practice is to set the mower on a progressively lower setting each time the lawn is mown until the desired height is reached – approx. 1/4 to 1/2”. At Goodman’s, we encourage our customers to authorize their winter lawn estimate as early as the end of August, so that we can begin lowering their lawn over several services in preparation for overseeding in October, rather in a single visit, which much less desirable for the health of the Bermuda.

When you mow your lawn properly, it will not only increase the quality and health of your lawn, but it will also decrease the amount of weeds. For the best looking lawn, it is recommended to mow on a weekly basis. It is always a good idea to keep your mower blades nice and sharp. Lastly, don’t forget to mow your lawn in different patterns each time in order to reduce overall wear and tear of your grass. This will keep your grass looking nice and healthy.

What is Lawn Thatch?

lawn thatchAll grass has a layer of thatch that exists between the bottom of your grass and the soil —basically dead grass roots and stems. A thin layer of thatch is desirable because it insulates your grass from extreme temperatures and acts as a cushion to help your lawn withstand foot traffic.

thatch

However, if thatch accumulates to more than one-half inch in thickness, it can put your lawn at risk of drought because the water saturates the thatch instead of the soil and root system, leading to insect infestations or other lawn issues.

Thatching is the removal of detrimental thatch, and requires a special machine called a dethatcher or power rake to remove it. It is important that you set the blades to run at about 1/4” above the soil. The goal is remove the thatch, not the soil. Flag all of your lawn heads so they readily visible and you can maneuver around them with the machine. Otherwise, you will have a potential irrigation accident on your hands.

Before you begin removing a large amount of thatch, remember that if you start removing smaller amounts, it is always possible to remove more later, however, if you start removing too much, it isn’t possible to add more thatch after it has already been removed. Starting with smaller is the safer route. If your thatch has grown quite a bit (about two inches or more), it is likely that the root systems of the grass are in the thatch layer, that means that you will have to plan to overseed these areas after thatching. It isn’t recommended to remove thatch if your lawn is weak or under drought stress. Otherwise, it is quite possible that your grass won’t be able to recover fully. It is OK to remove thatch late summer/early fall.

Do you Need Help with Lawn Scalping or Thatching in Phoenix, Arizona?

Call Goodman’s, the Phoenix yard and lawn maintenance experts. We can provide you with a fast and friendly lawn care estimate today. Please give us a call at 602-861-1144.

Winter Lawn Overseeding in Phoenix, Arizona

Winter Lawn Phoenix AZ

Arizona residents are lucky, unlike other parts of the country, you have a choice whether to keep your lawn green all year, or to let it go dormant. Most people do chose to keep it green. In addition to being more esthetically pleasing than a straw colored lawn, maintaining a healthy green lawn all year provides the added benefit of keeping weeds from getting a foothold in your lawn.

It is important that you make the decision early on, so you can properly prepare your lawn for overseeding. At Goodman’s, we start the discussion with our customers in August, so that we can begin transitioning their lawns in September for installation in October. Waiting until your Bermuda lawn goes dormant naturally before overseeding is not a good idea. Good seed germination takes sun (warmth), adequate water and contact with soil. You want to make sure temperatures are still warm enough to help with germination. There is only a small window of opportunity each year when conditions are ideal, which is why it is so important to plan ahead. Late season installations should be avoided.

Winter Lawn Overseeding

Warm season grasses like Bermuda go dormant and turn blondish/brown when soil temperatures fall below 60 degrees farenheit. If you want your lawn to remain green you must overseed the Bermuda with our cooler season grass, Rye. Perennial Ryegrass is preferred to annual Ryegrass for winter because it’s blade is darker green, hardier, finer and easier to mow.

Do not overseed a Bermuda lawn unless it has been established for at least three months. Overseeding is also not recommended for St. Augustine lawns. If you have Zoysia, use half the recommended seeding rate. For shaded lawn areas overseeding with Fescue is recommended.

How To Install A Winter Lawn in Phoenix, Arizona

1) Stop fertilizing 4 to 6 weeks prior to overseeding your Bermuda lawn, and cut back on watering.

2) If needed, dethatch lawn lightly. Thatch is dead grass below the green part of the lawn and above the soil. Set the dethatcher blades to run at about 1/4” above the soil. DO NOT dig into the soil, you may damage the root structure of your Bermuda, and you DO want it to fill back in next year when the Rye dies. Remember to run the dethatcher in two directions.

3) Rake the removed thatch into piles and dispose of it.

4) The next step is scalping. This lowers the height of the Bermuda, making it easier for the Rye see to receive the sunlight/warmth it needs to germinate. If you are using a reel mower scalp to 1/4” to 1/2”. With a rotary mower 3/4” is acceptable.

5) Apply 10 to 15 lbs of seed per 1000 sq. ft. of lawn. Include a starter fertilizer with seed.

6) Rake or drag to ensure seed makes contact with soil.

7) Lightly cover seed with no more than 1/4” of weed and salt free organic mulch. Keep seeds damp by watering 3 to 4 times per day with light 5 to 7 minute durations. You want to avoid seed becoming dry, or overly saturated.

8) After germination (7-10 days), reduce watering frequency as needed. This is dependent upon the type of sprinkler heads you have, temperature, wind, and rain, and may vary from once every two weeks to every other day. Only water enough to avoid wilt between watering.

9) When grass is 2” tall (about 2 weeks) mow for the first time. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the blade at each mowing and make sure your mower blades have been recently sharpened. Allow germinated grass to establish deeper roots before mowing on a lower setting.

10) Two weeks after planting, fertilize your lawn using a balance fertilizer. Fertilize monthly, or as needed after that.

11) Apply iron & calcium nitrate at least once before frost.

Call Goodman’s

Keep your lawn looking beautiful year around. Let Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance provide you with a quote on installing winter lawn in your front or backyard. Give us a call today at 602-861-1144 for a friendly estimate today.

Phoenix Landscape Maintenance To Do List for Month of June

Turf / Grass / Lawn

lawn and turf tipsPlant Bermuda lawns during the active growing season, May through August Fertilize Bermuda grass lawns with Nitrogen each month beginning late April or early May according to the directions on the fertilizer package. Apply Iron once a month according to the directions on the fertilizer package. Apply one inch of water per week to Bermuda lawns. Once every two or three years dethatch Bermuda lawns if necessary. Only dethatch during the active growing season, May through August. This enables the turf to quickly recover.

Roses

Cut back on fertilizing established roses to encourage plants to slow down for the hot summer. Water deeply as temperatures climb. Hose off plants in the early morning to increase humidity and control spider mites.

Vegetables

Plant Seeds: Armenian Cucumbers, Melons (Cantaloupe, Muskmelon), Sun- flowers. Plant Transplants: Sweet Potatoes

Landscape Plants

agave plant tipsIncrease water application as the weather warms. June is the driest month. Pay attention to irrigation needs of plants. Apply mulch to the ground around heat sensitive plants keep the roots cooler and prevent evaporation. Apply chelated iron to bottle brush, pyracantha, silk oak, and other plants with iron deficiency symptoms. Prune palms when flower spathes show or delay pruning until after the palm has finished flowering to prevent infestation of Palm Flower caterpillars. If palms are pruned in the spring, leave the top five rows of peels so the caterpillars have a place to hide. Cut off spent blooms to stimulate rebloom. Native and imported heat tolerant plants can be planted right through the sum- mer months. They will need to be watered on a regular basis until fall. Trans- plant palms in the heat of the summer for best results. If you have previously had a problem, apply around the base of Agaves a pesticide labeled for use on grubs in order to kill the grubs of the Agave Weevil.

Don’t List . . . DO NOT expose citrus and other sun sensitive plants to sun- burn by pruning during the summer.

Source: AZ Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County, The University of Arizona College of Agriculture & Life Sciences & Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance, LLC.

 

Month of June Promotion

Pre Monsoon Tree Trimming
Thinning of canopies prior to Monsoon Season helps wind pass through decreasing the chances of breakage or trees going down.

$40 Off jobs totaling $360 or more!*

*Must be in our Service Area. One coupon per customer. May not be combined with other offers. Expires 7/31/2013.
CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE.