Differences Between Bermuda Grass and St Augustine Grass

August 24th, 2016

When it comes to grass, there are plenty of factors that go into choosing the right blades for your backyard.  Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses are common choices, but these two types of grass have several distinctive differences, which can make one a better option for your yard than the other.

bermuda grass vs st augustine

Here’s a quick guide to help you better understand the differences between Bermuda grass and St. Augustine Grass:

Water

In the turf wars between Bermuda grass and St. Augustine Grass, Bermuda grass takes the trophy.  St. Augustine tends to get a little greedy when it comes to water consumption, soaking up as much as twice the amount of moisture it takes to keep its Bermuda Grass counterpart happy.

Since Arizona is such a hot, dry climate, water conservation is often at the top of homeowners’ lists when they’re shopping for new grass.  There are many elements you should consider before you decide on the right blades of grass for your new lawn; if water conservation is on your list, it’s important to know which species are the thirstiest.

Temperature

Both Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass tend to do well in hot climates.  When the temperature drops below 60o, both grasses become a bit temperamental.  St. Augustine is a little more volatile than Bermuda grass in chillier weather, which can leave it vulnerable to pests and diseases.

Thankfully, in the Phoenix area, we’re not faced with chilly weather often, so either grass tends to withstand our temperatures quite well.]

Related: Summer Health for Arizona Sod

Growth

When it comes to growth, the differences between Bermuda grass and St. Augustine Grass largely lie in personal preference.  Bermuda grass will take off aggressively once it’s established.  As it expands its territory, it will require frequent trimming (particularly along driveways, sidewalks, and gardens.)  Keeping up on trimming tasks will help to prevent this grass from taking over turf beyond its own terrain.

Soil Requirements

St. Augustine grass tends to be lower maintenance in terms of soil requirements.  It requires about the same amount of potassium as other grasses and has low phosphorous needs.  Fertilizing with nitrogen every couple months will help St. Augustine grass survive any strange cold spells we may experience in winter here in Arizona and help it bounce back in the spring.  Bear in mind that this grass does suffer without sufficient iron in the soil, so it’s imperative that you use the best fertilizer for St. Augustine Grass to ensure that it’s getting its proper nutrients.

Bermuda grass can be a little needier in terms of fertilization requirements.  It will have a higher nitrogen requirement that other grasses.  Depending on the strain of Bermuda grass you choose, the turf, and the desired appearance, it may also require special attention to other elements, as well.

Sun vs Shade

If you’re lucky enough to have ample shade, you might lean towards St. Augustine Grass, as Bermuda grass doesn’t grow at its best without direct sunlight.  Bermuda grass is much happier with constant exposure to the sun.

Traffic

The traffic element is very much an element dictated by your own personal use.  Bermuda grass is resilient and handles being trampled on quite well.  It’s a great grass if you’ll have a lot of human activity on your lawn.  St. Augustine Grass, on the other hand, isn’t a fan of high traffic; it does much better being left alone.

There are plenty of factors that go into determining the right grass for each person’s needs.  If you’re still not sure about the differences between Bermuda Grass and St. Augustine Grass, our team at Evergreen Turf is here and happy to help!  Contact us with your questions, and we’ll be glad to give you some answers!

Arizona Lawn Care Tips

August 17th, 2016

Lawn care isn’t just about regular watering and the occasional weekend mow. Many frustrated homeowners would even argue it’s a science. Arizona lawns in particular must be properly maintained due to extreme summer temperatures. Keep your lawn looking just as nice as the day you laid sod with these maintenance tips for your backyard.

sod in arizona

Summer Watering Tips

  • Avoid watering daily as over-watering robs the root system of oxygen
  • Don’t be afraid of under-watering—the reverse is far more damaging. Water thoroughly but infrequently and always follow the guidelines for your particular grass
  • On average, ten inches of water below the soil provides enough depth to sufficiently water the grass. Pro tip: Test with a screwdriver one hour after watering.
  • Program your automatic sprinklers to activate 1-2 hours before sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and minimal evaporation.

Preparing for the Cold

  • Understand that the dormancy period of your Arizona sod is standard and necessary for the life cycles of your grass.
  • If you can’t live without a beautiful green lawn in the winter, go ahead and overseed your warm-season grass with cool-season reinforcement.
  • Give Bermuda grass a rest every few years as overseeding can prove stressful to overworked roots.

Know How to Mow

Here’s the thing with mowing—it’s not only important to do it, it’s important to do it right. When overgrown, long blades provide too much shade preventing the shorter ones from growing. This leads to shaggy grass with tons of space for—you guessed it—weeds. If you mow your grass too short, it sucks up too much water. Note: If your yard is particularly shady, add about 25% more height based on the following guide:

  • Bermuda/Perennial/Annual Rye: 1.5 – 2 inches
  • Hybrid Bermuda: 0.5 – 1 inch

Arizona Soil: 101

Did you know Arizona soil is comprised of surface, subsurface, and subsoil layers? This is important to know because it affects how your grass will grow. Subsoil is the finest of the three and contains less organic matter which is what essentially determines the condition of your lawn. In order to prepare your soil for optimal growth:

  • Alter its chemical makeup by adding organic matter such as manure to help deliver water and nutrients to your Arizona sod grass.
  • Aerate your Bermuda grass in May or June in order to give the soil better access to water and oxygen. You can also do this the day after a good monsoon rain when the soil is easy to break up.

Caring for Flowers and Other Plants

What Arizona backyard is complete without desert plants like succulents and groundcovers? Be sure you understand the needs of each type of plant that complements your lawn. For example, cacti need little water to survive, so you wouldn’t want your automatic sprinkler heads to douse them or nearby succulents. Take note of perennial grow schedules to ensure you’re caring for your grass and flowers at the right times. Lastly, make sure you know how much space you’ll need for a mature garden or shrub. You don’t want to provide too much shade to sun-dependent grass or create an obstruction of walkways.

Caring for your Arizona lawn doesn’t have to be an arduous task so long as you stay on schedule. If you don’t have time or patience to maintain your Arizona sod grass, give us a call at 480-456-1199 to discuss re-sod options. You don’t want to wait until your annual end of summer BBQ to try and take on a dead patches or overgrown weeds.

Get 10% off your next purchase of sod plus free delivery (500 sq/ft minimum order) when you order online today.

Arizona Backyard Ideas on a Budget – 2016 Edition

August 12th, 2016

Being a homeowner is part of the American Dream, but the frequent cost of basic home repairs often makes the idea of making over your home or property seem like a dream in and of itself.

arizona backyard ideas

If you’ve caught yourself staring at your backyard, wishing you could give it a makeover without doing serious damage to your savings and credit debt, here are some excellent Arizona backyard ideas on a budget!

Prepare Yourself.

Even the craftiest of DIYers can feel frustrated with their projects at times.  Before you set out on your backyard remodel adventure, set realistic expectations.  You’re going to need some paint, some patients, and some parts.  Bargain-hunt for items at close-out sales and thrift stores, and be sure to scour the internet for interesting ideas that can help you repurpose things you already have laying around.

Choose Your Inspiration Piece.

Maybe it’s a fire pit or a homemade gazebo.  Maybe it’s an intricately-painted pot that you picked up at a thrift store, or perhaps it’s the tree swing you put up for your kiddos.  No matter what your inspiration point, pick a focal feature, and build your budget-friendly backyard around that element.

Take Your Indoor Living Space Outside.

Arizona is the perfect place to build an outside living space that’s just as great as the living room you enjoy inside your home.  Even if you’re hibernating in the air conditioning when the summer sun is out, you can still take advantage of the fresh outdoor air when the evening arrives!

Pinterest is filled with pretty phenomenal ways to reuse unconventional items and turn them into works of backyard living space art.  These are a few of our favorites:

Get Outdoor Rugs.

Outdoor rugs are another way to bring the comfort of the inside out.  Placing outdoor rugs on the hard surfaces of your outdoor spaces, such as your patio, balcony, or gazebo, bring a certain warmth and inviting appeal that can’t be achieved otherwise.

If your outdoor rugs are too boring for your particular taste, get creative.  Paint, stencils, plants, and lighting can enhance the overall effect of your outdoor rugs.

Paint Inexpensive Pots.

Go crazy at local thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales.  Look online for sales and giveaways involving inexpensive pots.  You can paint these pots, and make them interesting conversation pieces for your backyard.  Use them as storage containers, plant flowers, fruits, and veggies in them, or use them to hold candles so your evenings are illuminated with your beautiful DIY accessories.

Install a Shed Office.

A little extra space can go a really long way.  If you’re feeling confined in your home and need a space to which you can escape, consider installing an office shed out back.  This can give you some much-needed respite from rowdy kids and too much company when you’re trying to get some work done or have a little me-time.

Using an old door as a desk and some corkboards and quirky art to make the inside organized with your own unique style, your shed office will be a place where efficiency and peace-of-mind come together without ever requiring you to flee the comfort of your own property.

Looking for more ideas?  Check out our first edition of Arizona Backyard Ideas on a Budget!  Do you have #BackyardBudgetIdeas?  Share them on our Facebook page.

Effects of Over Fertilizing

July 20th, 2016

The decision to install Arizona sod is a no-brainer for many Phoenicians. It’s one of the easiest and quickest methods by which to enjoy a beautiful green lawn. Maintaining the sod, however, often tells a different story. It requires patience, dedication, and a keen understanding of lawn chemistry. Don’t have a degree in the sciences? Not all hope is lost. Learn how to properly care for your Arizona sod to prevent one of the most common mistakes—over fertilization.

Effects of Over Fertilizing

How to Properly Fertilize Arizona Sod

Lucky for you, this topic has already been covered on our Arizona Sod Nutrition page. Key summary points are as follows:

  • Fertilizers follow a nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium formula (displayed by percentages in that order).
  • New sod installation should either be 6-20-20 or 15-15-15 (the latter indicating 15% nitrogen, 15% phosphorus, and 15% potassium). Apply either before or immediately after installation.
  • Fertilize two weeks later with the same 15-15-15 analysis to replenish the soil after nutrients have settled and migrated past the roots.
  • Once established, the sod will thrive on a monthly diet of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. For example, 16-8-4 or 21-7-14.
  • If your lawn grows faster than expected, scale back the fertilizing schedule to an 8 week program with slow release nutrients. Popular analyses are 28-3-10 and 32-4-7. This will prevent over fertilization.

Causes of Over Fertilization

Over fertilization of Arizona sod manifests as an unsightly brown or grey lawn from what’s known as fertilizer burn. SF Gate provides a few tips for prevention.

  • Nitrogen: Whether it’s too much or the wrong type, nitrogen is usually to blame for destroying your once-beautiful sod. Avoid fast-release nitrogen blends and opt for controlled-release instead.
  • Salts: Although it aids plant growth, salt can be problematic and cause root damage. Be cautious of your watering schedule as less water results in higher salt concentration.
  • Fertilizer Type: With so many fertilizers on the market, it’s easy to choose the wrong one. Organic fertilizers—albeit slower acting—present a lower risk of burned blades. Always follow the instructions on the bag and apply when grass is dry and the temperatures are lower. Since heat is obviously an issue in Arizona, this may take practice.

How to Repair an Over Fertilized Lawn

So, your lawn is a mess and you now know why. How do you remedy the situation? Spoiler alert: it might not be fixable and certainly won’t be fun.

With chemical-resistant gloves, clean up as much loose fertilizer as you can. To extract excess fertilizer from the soil, water all brown patches 2-3 hours per day for at least 7 days. If the lawn gods are looking kindly upon you, this may be enough to fix the problem. If not, you will need to reseed or install a new patch of sod. If the cycle continues, it’s time to start from the beginning by treating the soil. Dig at least two inches past the surface and replace with fresh topsoil. It goes without saying you should also test the soil’s pH level and make sure you are using the right Arizona sod for your region.

Tip: Avoid using lawn patch products that combine grass seed, fertilizer, and mulch. You don’t want more fertilizer on your already over-fertilized Arizona sod.

Over fertilization is easy to spot, but make sure it’s the root cause of your dead grass before fixing it. Grass that may appear to be over-fertilized might actually be damaged by urine, insufficient watering, or an insect infestation. If DIY methods have you feeling confused or overwhelmed, call Evergreen Turf for a professional recommendation.

How To Keep Your Lawn From Drying Out This Summer

July 20th, 2016

There’s nothing worse than investing time and money into your dream yard only to see the grass wilt and dry out. Save yourself the frustration by learning how to properly care for your Arizona grass. With scorching summers and annual monsoons, it’s difficult to get things right the first time – but not impossible.

How To Ensure Your Arizona Sod Lawn Does Not Dry Out in the Summer

Commit yourself to research

Whether you’re installing fresh sod in Arizona or rehabilitating a dried out lawn inherited from prior homeowners, the first thing you should do is research the best grass and how to care for it. Take into account the soil’s pH level, shade to sunlight ratio, surrounding plant life, and your personal commitment to maintenance. Talk to neighbors whose lawns you love and ask what problems they’ve faced. A well-kept lawn does not happen by accident so it’s important to know what species is likely to thrive in your region and how much time and money you have to ensure its success.

Opt for sod over seed

Heat is a major inhibitor of healthy growth as watering can lead to nearly-instant evaporation. Seeds often require significant time to form strong roots unless you’re prepared to be diligent about watering and reseeding annually. Sod is a good choice for Arizona homeowners as its even easier to grow and maintain than starting with grass seeds for several reasons:

  • Installing sod in Arizona is a “one and done” solution to a bare lawn. Simply prepare the soil and install sod the same day it arrives.
  • Although seeding is less expensive than sod, that might not be the case in the long run if you’re forced to reseed annually and pay more for maintenance services.
  • Sod is more resistant to weeds as there is less room for the seeds to settle and germinate.
  • Sod is less likely to dry out. This is because seeds initially need to be watered several times per day to prevent dry soil. Although sod also needs moisture to become firmly rooted, the watering schedule is less demanding and decreases in frequency much earlier in the rooting process.
  • Laying sod in Arizona is perhaps most advantageous for its instant curb appeal. This is appealing to both new homeowners eager to enjoy their lawn and those looking to put their home on the market quickly.

Know how to maintain sod in Arizona

Once you’ve committed to installing sod, heed the most common tips and tricks for avoiding a dry, stressed out lawn.

  1. Stay off the sod. Constant foot traffic from children and pets places unnecessary strain on new grass that is trying to form a healthy root system.
  2. Restrict your dog to one specific area of the yard to do his business. If you can help it, try to avoid the grass completely and train him to relieve himself on the pavement (which can easily be sprayed down) or rock landscaping.
  3. Prevent over fertilization by taking the proper precautions.
  4. Closely adhere to the watering schedule of your specific sod type. Remember: the dry Arizona heat speeds up evaporation, so be mindful of the frequency and depth of watering.
  5. Water early with evenly spaced sprinklers to avoid midday evaporation and fungal diseases caused by wet grass that festers in cool temperatures overnight.
  6. Mow only at the recommended height for your particular sod and leave the clippings throughout the yard to aid water absorption.

For an estimate to install sod in Arizona or for a professional guide to preventing dry patches, contact a sod specialist at 480-456-1199.

How To Get Rid of Weeds – For Good!

July 20th, 2016

Want to finally learn how to get rid of weeds in grass? You’re not alone. Harsh Arizona temperatures present the perfect opportunity for weed growth throughout an otherwise healthy lawn. Learn how to combat these pesky plants by knowing how to prevent and effectively remove weeds.

how to get rid of weeds in grass

What Causes Weeds to Grow

You might be doing everything right to maintain your lawn, yet still find yourself fighting weeds every month like clockwork. Keep in mind, weeds are opportunistic and germinate the moment they’re exposed to a little rain and sun. Seeds will multiply as quickly as possible under optimal conditions, getting assistance from birds, rodents, rain runoff, and wind. Even the laborious act of pulling weeds may cause seeds to spread.

Common Weeds in Arizona

In learning how to get rid of weeds in grass, it’s imperative you know the species. Different types of weeds require different methods of eradication. Common Arizona weeds are:

  • Spotted Spurge
  • Filaree
  • Common Mallow
  • Nutgrass
  • London Rocket

How to Get Rid of Weeds in Grass

Again, weeds are resourceful and very resilient, so understand that weed control won’t likely be a one-time occurrence. The Family Handyman gives you six practical solutions to weed control.

  1. Maintain your turf

Don’t give seeds the sunlight they need to grow. Keep your lawn cut to the recommended height based on sod type. Grass that is properly fertilized and watered at the ideal height will provide enough shade to outperform weeds.

  1. Know your weeds

The three main categories of weeds are annual grassy weeds (e.g. crab grass), perennial grassy weeds (e.g. quack grass), and broadleaf weeds (e.g. ground ivy). Each type requires the appropriate product, application method, and frequency of treatment.

  1. Control broadleaf weeds

Use a broadleaf herbicide and distribute it with the smallest possible applicator. To control sporadic weeds, spot treat them with a small pressure sprayer. Weed patches need a 1-2 gallon tank sprayer. Lastly, bring in a dial sprayer when your lawn has succumbed to uncontrollable weeds.

  1. Control perennial weeds

Because perennial grasses typically return year after year due to strong underground root systems, it’s not enough to simply pull them. Nonselective weed killers like Roundup will solve the weed problem but create another one—they will kill all plant life including your Arizona sod. Instead, put a cloth glove over a rubber glove, dip your hand in herbicide, and coat the blades starting from the base and moving upward. Don’t worry about actually pulling the weeds or coating every last blade—your method should work within a few days.

  1. Control annual weeds

Perfect timing is crucial in preventing crab grass, so be sure to apply treatment between the first and third mow in the spring. If it still rears its ugly head, control crab grass by:

  • Hand-pulling clumps and reseeding bare spots as needed
  • Letting it go until next spring when you can once again try to time it correctly
  • Treating clumps with crab grass killer (note: if you wait until summer or fall, this method will not work as seed heads will have already formed)
  1. Know when to call it quits

Pessimism aside, poor conditions may mean that you’ll be forever fighting weeds, dead grass, and infestations. Consult a professional to consider if a complete resod might be a better option. If all else fails, you can always default to Arizona landscape trends: desert rocks with cacti or low-maintenance ground cover.

Call Evergreen Turf at 480-456-1199 for a free phone consultation to discuss existing lawn care problems and practical solutions to your weed-related woes.

How To Fix Your Soil

July 20th, 2016

The process of growing a beautiful lawn extends beyond the initial sod purchase. To install and maintain healthy sod grass, the secret is in the soil. Learn how to prepare or repair soil for sod grass by reviewing the basics of yard care.

arizona sod- how to fix soil

How to Prep Soil for a New Sod Install

If you’re just installing a new lawn, you’ll need to properly prepare the ground and soil. This may prove to be an arduous task to homeowners with large yards, so be sure to set aside enough time for prep work. Since you should always install sod the same day it arrives, you don’t want it to be met with an unprepared foundation. To begin, remove all debris along with rocks, weeds, fallen branches, etc. To sufficiently amend soil for sod grass, till in mulch and gypsum 4-6 inches in depth while removing new debris below the surface. Level the ground and water thoroughly to compact the new soil. Finally, use a roller to avoid air pockets and uneven ground settling to end with a grade of one half to one inch below the patio and walkway. For more in-depth instruction, visit Evergreen Turf’s guide to sod installation.

How to Fix Soil for an Established Sod Lawn

To repair a lackluster sod lawn, you’ll want to test the pH levels of the soil. In short, the pH level is the soil’s acidity level—a finely tuned indicator of proper plant growth. There are many methods by which to accomplish this (see wikiHow for a complete list); however, the easiest is to simply use a test probe found at your local garden center. Dig a 2-4 inch hole in the soil and fill it with distilled water (the water type is important as it is neutrally acidic). Insert a clean, calibrated test probe into the mud and leave it for 60 seconds. The pH number will reveal the following information about your soil:

  • >7: Alkaline
  • 7: Neutral
  • <7: Acidic

Once you know the pH, you’re halfway toward correcting the problem. Be sure to test the soil in several areas of your lawn. If you see slight variations in results, take the average pH level. Drastic differences may necessitate spot treatment. The pH level is important because acidic soil can foster weeds and hinder healthy sod growth. While you should have an understanding of pH levels prior to installing sod, you may have to modify the soil through trial and error throughout the lifetime of your lawn.

Because different plants require different levels of acidity, simply start with basic research on your particular sod type and how it fares in the Arizona sun. Be sure to take the surrounding plant life into account when trying to determine whether to alkalize or acidify soil for sod grass. Although there’s a definite science to correcting a soil’s pH, it’s really quite simple to implement the changes once you know what’s required of your sod and/or garden. For more information on modifying pH levels, see Sunset’s Garden Basics blog.

If the study of acidity and alkalinity levels leaves you feeling exhausted, it might be time to hire a professional—especially if you have a large backyard with many trouble spots. Like any major home project, it’s always easiest to do things correctly the first time. Getting “down and dirty” with your soil is the key to a strong, vibrant yard.

Guide to Watering Your Arizona Summer Lawn

May 18th, 2016

In Arizona, the summers are scorchers. If you have a sod lawn in Arizona, your grass will need a little more water during the summer, but the reward of a fresh green lawn to enjoy all season long is well worth it.

Here are some watering tips to get you through the summer season while still conserving your ever-important water source:

guide to watering your arizona sod lawn

Know How Much Water Your Lawn Needs. In order to ensure the healthiest lawn, water needs to reach the roots of your grass each time you’re watering. Applying about 3/4″ of water during each session should allow you to penetrate about 10″ of ground, which is an optimal depth.

To test the depth of your watering efforts, wait about an hour after watering, then grab a soil probe or long screwdriver. If you’ve watered properly, you should be able to easily push your testing tool to a depth of 10″. If you’re probe doesn’t go that far, you should water longer until you’ve reached deep enough into the soil.

Know How Much Water Your Sprinkler System Applies. You’ll want to know how much water your sprinkler system is applying to your lawn to be able to properly account for the amount of time your sprinklers need to be turned on. To test this, take several flat-bottomed cans (pet food cans or tuna cans work great for this exercise), place them sporadically around your lawn, and run your sprinklers for fifteen minutes. When the time is up, measure the amount of water in each can.

Calculate a ratio using the amount of water that’s accumulated as a decimal of an inch (1/4″ = .25, for example). Add the amount of water from each can, then divide the total amount of water accumulated by the total number of cans. This will give you the average watering depth for a fifteen minute time frame. Generally speaking, you could expect a pop-up sprinkler to deliver about 4/10″ of water during this time frame, and impact sprinklers usually apply about half this amount of water.

If you’re seeing variations in depth from one can to the next greater than 1/4″, you should investigate your sprinkler, as you may have issues causing inconsistent watering, such as clogged sprinkler heads.

Since .75″ (or 3/4″) is necessary for a healthy lawn, perform the following calculation:

(.75 / the average watering depth) x 15 minutes = optimal amount of time to water

Consider these Cautions.

  • Different times of year require varying watering frequencies. Adjust your watering intervals to account for optimal frequency here in Arizona.
  • Time of day is important. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day, as the water will likely evaporate before it reaches its full potential. Instead, shoot for the evening or early morning hours so your sod can absorb the water and give it to the grass roots.
  • A mushy ground is indicative of too much watering. Cut back if you’re experiencing soggy soil which could ultimately produce unwanted fungus or mushrooms.
  • Don’t water when it’s windy.
  • Periodically test your run time, and make adjustments based on changes in the climate.
  • Pay attention to your sprinkler heads, and maintenance any clogs or misguided directions.
  • Mow your lawn regularly in accordance with the type of grass you’ve chosen to keep it at its healthiest.

Before the summer sun really gets going, check out these 5 Lawn Care Tips for Spring so your grass can be properly prepped and ready to go!

Landscape Ideas for Front Lawns – Arizona Homeowners

May 15th, 2016

Here are some tips for you Arizona homeowners out there looking for landscaping ideas for front lawns:

sod in arizona

  • Beautiful Cacti. A cactus is a great plant to keep around in our dry desert climate. These resilient lifeforms are perfect for Arizona, and with so many varieties, shapes, and colors, your front yard landscaping can turn into an amazing oasis filled with low-maintenance cacti that will happily beautify the front of your house without requiring any extra effort from you!

To complete the look, define a space around the front of your house with rocks, then place your cacti in an aesthetically pleasing pattern. Fill the bed with mulch, then place a few additional rocks in strategic places to create interesting eye appeal.

  • Hollowed Out Logs. For every door that closes, a window opens, so don’t overlook the use of items that are past their expected prime. Dead trees provide spectacular landscaping opportunities if you view them with a creative eye. Dead logs, branches, and tree trunks, for example, can easily be hollowed out (if they’re not already empty in the middle) and made into beautiful planters that will look stunning at the front of your house.

Because these natural planters limit the space in which you’ll be placing live plants, you have the opportunity to explore species that aren’t native to Arizona, which may require more water than you would want to expend if you planted them directly into the ground. Place some high-quality soil into the empty log, add your plants, and then fill the remainder of the space with additional soil. If you want to still with a low-maintenance option, shoot for succulents, as they require little attention, water, and energy from you.

  • Pavers and Layers. A cobblestone walkway can do amazing things for the aesthetics of your front yard. Even a simple set of stones, when placed along a path from the backyard to your front door, can add easy appeal all the way from the street. There are plenty of paver options out there in today’s market, so shop around and make sure you find a color, style, and texture that you fall in love with.

Elevate a simply paved path by creating a tiered system with a retaining wall to hold the upper layer of your landscaping in place. A rock retaining wall will look beautiful in our area, and you won’t have to worry about how it will hold up when the summer sun starts beating down.

  • Floating Decks. If you have a tree or two in your front yard, spend some time giving the branches and trunks some love. Floating decks make darling adornments to front yards, and they require very little effort to put into place. With some old, recycled lumber, you can easily construct floating decks to hang out around the foot of your trees. Once you’ve completed each deck, place decorative flowers and interesting outdoor-friendly accessories on them to complete the look.
  • Tree Swing. Accessorize the front of your home with an adult version of a childhood classic. An updated tree swing can bring a relaxing and welcoming feel to an otherwise typical front yard.

Are you an Arizona homeowner who’s proud of the landscaping you’ve created at the front of your house? We’d love to see your pictures at our Evergreen Turf Facebook page!

Backyard Trends 2016: Backyard Labyrinths

May 10th, 2016

Throughout time, labyrinths have represented peaceful places used for meditation and healing. Grounds of ancient civilizations the world over have been found to have remains of labyrinths, many of which are still somewhat intact today.

backyard labrynths

Backyards labyrinths are popping up across the country by homeowners who wish to have a peaceful oasis away from the stresses of work and the everyday world. This is a trend that has reportedly seen an uptick in requests resulting in thousands of backyard labyrinths on properties of all sizes. They can range from simple 30-foot spiraling desert stones in Arizona lawns or incredible, elaborate and lavish walkways reminiscent of 13th Century Europe.

Labyrinths aren’t mazes. In fact, their purposes are quite the opposite. Whereas mazes have multiple paths, dead ends, and confusing obstacles, labyrinths are created with a single winding path that leads walkers from the outside to the center and back again without distraction or disruption of other options.

If you’re interested in building a labyrinth in your own backyard, you have an awesome array of options. Elaborate structures often include lush landscaping, intricate stonework, and professional irrigation systems. This total package can be costly, but the ultimate outcome is something of beauty that’s meant to be enjoyed and awed. More simple options can be created by laying an intricate pathway of stone pavers that leads from the beginning to the center of a circle. The latter option, of course, requires less maintenance and is typically more affordable than options that add greenery.

You can find templates for garden labyrinths. This can be a great way to go if you’re looking for a catalog from which to choose your inspiration. Templates may be printed on weed-blocking landscape fabric, which is filled with sod, gravel, or stone after it’s placed on the prepared ground. Template designs are great for DIY options, but you may also want to consider going this route if you choose to employ the help of a professional. Finishing touches can go from simple concrete pavers to pricier options like French limestone and Turkish travertine.

If you’re considering adding a one of these peaceful paths to your own backyard, and you’re feeling a bit crafty, you could design and build a DIY labyrinth, or you could consider working with a pro.

Here are some tips to help you as you think through your backyard labyrinth:

  • Design. Designs can range from simple to very complex. Explore various labyrinth designs until you find one that truly speaks to you. Be aware, however, that the more complicated the design you chose, the more costly the project may become.
  • Scale. Labyrinths can be created in backyards of all sizes. No matter if you have a large space or small square of land with which to work, you’ll need to decide the dimensions of your project from the very beginning. Do you want to utilize your entire backyard space? Do you need to leave room around the perimeter for additional landscaping and yard details?
  • Grid. Create a grid system that allows you to see where the lines on the labyrinth intersect with identifiable locations on the grid.
  • Materials. Stone, wood, sod, and grass are just a few of the many options you can choose from.

Remember to have fun throughout the labyrinth project, from the planning process to completion of your meditative circular garden. Search Houzz for more inspiration, and contact our Evergreen Turf team if you need to order sod for any of your lawn projects!