Insects in your Garden: Friends or Foes

Are garden insects good or bad to have around? If you want to protect your garden from pest infestation, know what insects should go and what should stay. Later, we’ll also discuss how to protect your garden from the bad ones as well.

Beneficial Insects

Also known as beneficial bugs, these insects are great to be around in the garden because some aid in pollination and others work as natural pesticides. In addition, they can increase a garden’s ecological diversity and defend your crops and plants from harmful and dangerous insect pests.

A few of them are the following:

Bees

They collect and carry pollen from a flower to another, aiding in cross-pollination important to produce more seeds. With them, more plants and flowers will grow and you will end up with a productive garden.

Praying mantis

Mantis, which is a slow moving and solitary insect, can catch a prey with its front legs and eat larger grasshoppers, beetles, crickets and other harmful garden insects.

Ladybugs

Also called lady beetles, the adult ladybugs can get rid of crop pests, such as mealybugs and aphids. Their eggs, which they lay among pest insects, later become larvae that feed on the harmful insects, too.

Braconid Wasps

The female adult injects its eggs into moths, caterpillars and aphids, among other harmful insects. Later, the larvae feed inside the hosts that eventually die once the larvae become adults. Bring them into your garden by planting nectar plants, such as wild carrots and dill.

Lacewings

The larvae and adult lacewings feed on harmful insects, including mealybugs, caterpillars and aphids. A few other preys for these insects include the sweet alyssum, cosmos and whiteflies.

Harmful Insects

Some garden insects have to go away – and these are the harmful insects that pose a threat to a garden’s vitality or a danger to plants and animals. Some of them include the following.

Spider mites

These vicious insects can injure the plants badly within a short span of time. They feed on them by piercing their leaf surface to extract fluid and leaf cells.

Aphids

They’re some of the most harmful pests in the garden because they come together and suck on the fluids of plants that the latter need for nourishment and growth.

Cabbageworms

You must get rid of these insects especially if yours is a vegetable garden of cauliflower, broccoli or cabbage. These insects can eat the bases of these vegetables without you noticing until the crops die. They also feed on foliage, leaving plants only with large veins and stems.

Dangerous Insects

These garden insects can injure and damage the crop. Some can also cause pain or injury to humans, such as carpenter or black ants that can sting, leading to discomfort when it injects its formic acid into the skin. A few of these dangerous insects also include the following.

Venomous spiders

They can bite when feeling threatened, which can cause skin swelling and irritation. Examples of venomous spiders are the black widow and brown recluse, which venom is considered more lethal than that of a rattlesnake.
Immediately, venomous spider bite can cause severe itching, breathing difficulty, nausea, muscle pain and vomiting.

Wasps

You won’t like these insects around that sting when disturbed while looking for food. They also do sting several times, unlike a bee that does it only once, when defending their nests. They do it by injecting their venom into the animal or human skin using their stinger. Unfortunately, a sting can be serious for allergic people.

Scorpions

They can sting and cause discomfort, swelling and other symptoms, yet some can be lethal, too. If their population becomes uncontrollable, you should call up a professional pest control company that knows how to eliminate garden scorpions effectively.

How to Protect Your Garden

There are many ways to protect your garden from pests. One is to attract beneficial insects, including ladybugs, lacewings, bees and praying mantises, into your garden. In addition, you should get rid of sickly plants, which are ravaged either with a disease or by harmful insects.
However, DIY efforts might not be enough if the pests’ population becomes uncontrollable and have the tendency to move into your home.

For the best results, you should seek the help of a pest control company that can get rid of different types of garden pests using proven and customized approaches. They can use either or a combination of chemicals and baits to get rid of garden pests.

Hiring the pros also eliminates the guesswork on your part. There is no trial and error for them because they’re trained and experienced in identifying different pests and proper ways to get rid of them.  They can also provide a quicker result rather than you trying to eradicate the pests yourself can.

Overall, professionals can ensure the maximum effect of a pest control method or treatment by also detecting the main infestation source.
There you have what to know about beneficial, harmful and dangerous insects in your garden. There are some worth keeping and some should be eradicated.

Weed Removal Challenges That Every Expert May Face

Weeds are survivors by nature.  Some of them may even take years before they are totally gone.  And even weed removal experts face challenges in getting rid of them.   So in the following, let’s talk about the problems that the pros may have to face at certain points in their careers.

Expert Weed Removal Challenges

Whether you like it or not, weeds grow and many times thrive in the garden. They compete for nutrients and water with lawn grass and plants.  These weeds also grow everywhere, producing an unsightly garden appearance. For this reason, the pros that homeowners seek help from have to remove and prevent them from growing back.

Hard Weeds Are Worst

Weeds like Morning glory, Marestail and Velvetleaf are a nuisance and are nemesis because of their ability to spread and thrive in the garden.  

For this reason, garden owners and enthusiasts strive hard and find ways on how to get rid of them for good, so they turn to the pros to prevent the worst weeds from taking over a majority of the garden area.

Some of the pros will make use of a weed barrier fabric or thick mulches.  For example, they may have to use techniques that will prevent the vines to flow and set seed.  In addition, they may have to spray herbicides early in the season when the morning glory is still young.  They may also have to monitor for new weeds to get rid of them.

The pros revealed that it might take several seasons to control the worst garden weeds, and in fact, the seeds can be dormant before they sprout after several years.

Weeds with Deeper Roots Can Be a Royal Problem

The pros have to use the right tools for the weeding job especially for deeper rooted and established weeds.  They’ll use a sharp and strong garden knife or steel trowel that can go below the surface and target the toughest garden weeds.

The experts can also pull the weeds when the soil is wet or moist to prevent leaving the rhizomes and the roots behind.  They may also weed little every several days to ensure that they don’t miss anything.

Hand Damage

The pros might also use a mattock or a spade to eliminate the deeper-rooted weeds for good.  To protect their hands from spines, irritants and nasty weed and soil elements, they will be wearing gloves.  Once they’ve worn protective items, they will be able to handle the job with confidence.

Technique

Weed removal is not an easy or casual task that the pros can do just walking by your property. Just like any service providers, the experts also have to stop and plan before weeding.

They should also have the right tools and protective items for their safety.  

Also, they have to go after the roots, so the weeds don’t have the chance of growing back.  

Soil moisture is another weeding factor. The experts find it a challenge to weed in droughty conditions when the soil is very tight.   But as they have the proper technique, there is no weed challenge that they cannot beat!

Chemical Use

Too many weeds to remove, the experts carefully consider the use of chemical products that must be environment-friendly.  They choose herbicides that won’t damage the lawn, and then spray them on each weed or where needed.

Timing

The timing of their work matters. The pros succeed at weed removal because they employ timing elements, such as the time of the season.  

For example, annual weeds, such as crabgrass, are going through varying seeding cycles during the spring season, allowing them to produce as many offspring as they could to reproduce and thrive in the garden.  

This is a challenge that the experts turn around by weeding before the plants go to seed or before they flower.  

They act fast and remove the weeds as soon as possible during the growth cycle, ensuring that they’re not depositing in the seed bank.

Even the experts have to deal with weed removal challenges, but the most professional among them are able to solve any problem effectively with their expertise in the field.  They are knowledgeable and skilled to deal with any challenge and can work against the worst weeds with their proven approaches and techniques.

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DIY Garden Maintenance – Essential Things to Start With

Equipping yourself with knowledge on maintenance goes a long way in your DIY garden project. Keep reading the following for the essential tips you’ll ever need, including on weed control.

Having the Necessary Tools

Your hands are not the only tools you need for garden maintenance, but you don’t have to buy many tools at once. Instead, focus on the basic tools that will assist you in gardening.

  • Gloves:   Without the right pair of gloves, you might have to deal with a splintery hassle.  Do not buy bulky gloves because they are hard to use. Also, be sure to keep yours away from insects and water while storing them.
  • Hand trowel:  They’re perfect for digging around and planting herbs.
  • Spade:  It makes the digging for holes and moving dirt mounds from one place to another easier.
  • Rake:  It is an essential tool if you want to keep your garden clean from debris and leaves.
  • Hoe: Choose a hoe based on the garden type you have. If your garden is perennial, you may need a thinner hoe.
  • Loppers:  you will need a pair of it if there is something that has to be lopped in your garden.
  • Long hose: Pick one with a rain wand and an adjustable nozzle.
  • Wheelbarrow: You need it if you use compost or have a backyard that has more soil.  One can help you haul pounds and pounds of soil.

Pruning

It is the process of cutting away overgrown or dead stems and branches and is a basic task to do to keep your plants away from infection and disease. Many shrubs, trees and other garden plants, such as roses, need maintenance and pruning.   

Tip: When pruning trees, you should not remove over 30% of a tree’s foliage at once. You can also consult gardening pros to determine the right method of pruning you will need for the task at hand.  

Prune damaged shrubs and trees in the late winter.  Never wait until the spring season. Remember that the damaged or wounded stems and leaves can be infected, making the disease more established. It is still better to do the pruning or trimming of the broken limbs earlier, even if storms in winter can cause other damages.

Planting

For planting maintenance, there are several things to remember. For one, you should watch out for bugs and insects, which provide the entry holes for bacteria and viruses to get into the plants.   In addition, some insects carry and spread these germs from one plant to another.

You must also use the right kind and amount of fertilizer. If not, too much of it can burn the plants’ roots, limiting their ability in absorbing water.  And this condition also makes plants prone to more damage during drought.

Part of maintenance, you must also be able to choose the plants and put them in the right location.  For example, Azaleas and other shade-loving plants will grow badly in full sun areas.
They can also be easily attacked by insects and diseases. Overall, using location and zone appropriate plants is a part of successful gardening.

In addition, you should water your garden regularly, but to make it helpful for plants, choose the right watering methods that won’t put in too much moisture on the foliage of the plant.

If you’re watering by hand, you should hold the leaves out of the way as you’re watering the roots.

Weed control

There are basic things to remember when weeding. As a general rule of thumb, you should not leave any roots behind, so do not just yank the leaves only or the weeds will grow back.   

  • Make sure to grab them very close to the ground before pulling them straight up.
  • Also, you can use a hoe if the weeds are very small and if the soil is dry.
  • If using mulch, you may want to pick one that is mixed with weed preventer.

But for the best results in weed control, you may want to consult the weed removing pros in your area.  They have the vast knowledge and updated skills on how to deal with any weed problem, including getting rid of the worst garden weeds.

Hope you picked up something from the above tips for garden maintenance (having the right tools, pruning, weed control, etc).   If you think we missed a tip or two, let us know in the comment section. Finally, spread the word and help others by sharing this post on Facebook today!

Yard Maintenance Tips for North Las Vegas Landscaping

Since the entire Las Vegas Valley is located within the Mojave Desert, it is easy to assume that climate conditions are exactly the same for every property. While the entire region shares a desert climate, there are unique characteristics from area to area within the valley. These different factors need to be considered when designing the best landscape for a particular property.

Soil and Elevation makes a Difference

Located on the north and east edges of the valley is the city of North Las Vegas. Differences in elevation and soil composition need to be properly considered when maintaining landscapes in this area. North Las Vegas also draws more of its water from underground sources than other parts of Las Vegas. The higher mineral content of the water needs to be taken into account for the health of plants and the durability of hardscapes.

North Las Vegas

While many companies claim to be the best cheap landscaping North Las Vegas choice, it takes a company with experience to provide proper maintenance for your yard. Cacti Landscapes has proudly served customers through North Las Vegas for over ten years and understands the unique geology and topography of the area. Instead of providing a one size fits all solution for landscape maintenance, we treat each customer as an individual. We will create a customized maintenance plan based on the size and location of your property as well as the variety of your foliage.

Irrigation Systems are Critical

During the hot summer months in North Las Vegas, providing your landscaping with aquate water is of utmost importance. Overwatering can be just as harmful as watering too little. It is crucial to regularly examine your irrigation system and make sure it is in proper working order. Broken sprinkler heads and leaking pipes will drown some areas while leaving others to die of thirst. It is also good to evaluate the layout of your irrigation system from time to time. It is as efficient as it could be? An effective and well maintained irrigation system will keep your landscape lush and healthy without wasting water. If you think your system needs some help, we will be happy to evaluate it for you.

Cacti is ready to answer all your questions about North Las Vegas landscaping maintenance. Contact us today for solutions to all your landscaping needs.

Water Main Line repairs in Las Vegas

Thanks to the extremely dry climate in Las Vegas, nothings stays wet very long. Therefore, if your lawn suddenly develops patches of soaked soil or you start finding pools of standing water around your property, you may have a broken water main. While serious, this problem can be quickly and professionally resolved by the experts at Cacti Landscapes.

backyard lawn swimming pool

The water main line is important because it connects your house to the Las Vegas municipal water system. Water main pipes do not last forever and depending on the material used may rust or crack. Buried deep under your property, it can be easy to forget about your water main or irrigation system. Ignoring a leak can lead to excessive water bills, reduced water quality, and possible damage to the foundation of your home.

If you see any sign of a water line leak, don’t wait for the problem to get worse. Call Cacti Landscaping today at 702-370-5000. We will perform a complete examination of your property using state of the art detection technology to uncover any problems.

Get a Repair Estimate Today!

6 signs your water main line is in need of repair

  • Water flowing out from under your home’s foundation
  • Water seeping up out of your lawn or the paved areas surrounding your property
  • Water leaking out of a water meter or fire hydrant
  • Soaked areas or standing water anywhere on your property
  • Loss of water pressure in your home
  • A hissing noise or the sound of rumbling coming from the water main

We know how to put your Vegas yard back together

Water main lines are buried underground in Las Vegas. Repairing your water main will require us to dig up part of your yard. You may be concerned about what digging such a trench will do to your landscaping. No need to worry. As landscaping professionals, Cacti Landscaping is the perfect choice to repair your damaged water main. We will do everything possible to minimize the impact on your yard as we uncover your water main line and repair the damage. Once the leak has been taken care, we are able to put your yard back together. It can look like nothing ever happened. Or as many of our customers have decided, you can avail yourself of this opportunity to install a new landscape design. Whatever your choice, the experts of Cacti Landscape are ready to take care of all your landscaping needs.

frontyard landscaping lawn

We love giving second opinions

Already know you need a water main line repair for your Las Vegas home? Called another company only to get an outrageous estimate? No problem! We love giving second opinions. Before you make a decision, call us and experience the Cacti Landscaping difference. Our expert repair teams are dedicated to giving you fast results for a price that will put a smile on your face. Choose Cacti Landscaping to have the job done right, the first time.

Check Your Irrigation System Before Spring Hits

Irrigation GraphicIt’s starting to warm up a bit here in the Las Vegas Valley. If you’re as excited about spring as we are at Cacti Landscapes, then we know you’re looking for what to do next with your lawn as everything starts to blossom. Before spring goes into full effect, it’s important that you take the time to consider a few very factors for your lawn health: your watering patterns and your Las Vegas irrigation system. Hopefully you adjusted your timer this past season to water less in the cooler months. Now that the sun is shining for extended hours in the day, it’s time to again consider what the right amount of water is for your lawn for the season that’s soon to be upon us.

Check Your Timer Settings

Ever walked by a house in your neighborhood that had sprinklers going off in the mid-days sun? Let’s not be that neighbor, they probably forgot to check their irrigation system. Preserving water in our community is beneficial for everyone. Watering at the ideal time of day, not only preserves water, but helps your plants absorb the proper amounts necessary. Since all lawns vary in size, sun exposure, and types of plant varieties, be sure that your timer is set for the right time of day for your yard, and is in code with the Las Vegas Valley Water District’s water schedule for your neighborhood.

Las Vegas lawn and sprinkler system

If you don’t have an irrigation system and prefer to water by hand, that’s great too. You’ll still benefit from checking with your favorite professional at Cacti Landscapes; to make sure that you’re watering habits are in alignment with what you need.

Checking Your Sprinklers and Irrigation System

A lot of stuff happens in the ground during the winter months, giving your irrigation system a tune up before its busiest season will reassure that you’re able to relax and enjoy your yard during this beautiful time of year. Luckily we don’t get much snow here in Las Vegas, but the temperatures still got pretty low during some of our colder months, which brings up the pesky factor of possible frozen pipelines or damaged sprinklers.

Although Irrigation systems freezing hopefully isn’t an issue here for you in town, it’s still something you’ll want to keep in mind as you get your system ready for spring. A cracked or damaged sprinkler or pipe can cause disrupt and a change of pressure in the connecting system. First you’ll want to check all of your sprinkler heads, valves, and nozzles to make sure they are free of debris and that nothing is obstructing the waterlines. Overgrowth around the water head of a sprinkler can limit the pathway of the sprinkler, so you’ll want to trim or remove any excess growth while you’re checking. Next, you can do a trial run of your system to make sure water is being disbursed properly from all of your sprinklers and that everything is flowing as it should.

Spring Forward

We hope this has helped provide some important tips on getting your irrigation system ready for spring. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our irrigation specialists if you have any questions or are looking for further irrigation tips. Thanks for making Cacti Landscapes your preferred Las Vegas landscaper.

It’s a Great Time to Fertilize your Yard and Lawn

Fertilizing is an important part of lawn care and your yard maintenance. We at Cacti Landscapes want to help educate and support you with all of your lawn care needs; this includes important information about fertilizing your yard.

Clean Las Vegas Landscaping

Here are some tips about fertilizing and why now is a great time to fertilize your Las Vegas yard and plants. In the winter months you are safe from the blazing hot temperatures of the summer sun, which can contribute to burning or drying out your yard. When using fertilizer in the summer, at certain points you risk severely damaging your lawn or plants when attempting to fertilize. In Las Vegas, since we don’t get snow fall that sticks, we are safe from the problem of melting snow rinsing out nutrients within the fertilizer.

The Soil Benefits of Cooler Temperatures

The cooler temperatures actually help maintain and preserve the nutrients in the fertilizer and keep it held in the soil. A great additional reason to fertilize in the winter months here are the wonderful temperatures for your sake. You can enjoy a nice day out gardening with a light jacket and a hat and not worry about potential heat stroke or over exposure to the sun. After all, your health and safety is of utmost importance when considering how to care for your lawn. Always remember to stay hydrated and protect your skin when caring for your lawn, even in the winter months.

Strengthen Roots

Fertilizing in the winter helps strengthen roots. If you’re using fertilizer for plants or trees, root health is something you want to give attention to. Fertilizing now helps plants maintain important nutrients to grow stronger roots. There will always be some modifications on fertilizing and gardening suggestions based on the types of plant or lawn you are caring for. In regards to lawn fertilization, the level of nitrogen within your fertilizer will be an important factor to pay attention to. Be sure to check the desired nitrogen level for your particular kind of grass. If you’re unsure of what type of fertilizer is best for your plants and lawn care, play it safe and check in with your Cacti Landscapes specialist.

Winter reserves of carbohydrates can help your lawn

Who knew that plants much like us use carbohydrates to store and burn for energy and growth? This applies more predominantly in regards to some grasses. Fertilizing in the winter months helps your lawn withhold using its natural carbohydrate reserve and give it an extra boost for its rapid growth period in the spring. The extra carbohydrates within the plants not only help promote healthy growth but can help prevent plant disease and help in aiding plant injury or illness.

Moderation and measurement is key

Some indoor plants may require less fertilization due to their lack of exposure to the outdoor elements. When fertilizing indoor plants, remember it’s still helpful for their growth but they may require less.

Las Vegas Yard

We hope this has helped you stay informed on some important tips on fertilizing in the winter months. Thank you for choosing Cacti Landscapes for your professional resource in all things plant and lawn care related.

What to Plant Now to Keep your Las Vegas Landscaping Beautiful Year-round

Las Vegas PlantsYou know the common saying “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail?” The same applies to your landscaping plans, we at Cacti Landscape want you, and your yard to flourish and succeed all year. Here in the Las Vegas valley it can be easy to forget that we have our own unique climate system that can sometimes be unpredictable. We want to help you avoid disappointment by planting things this season that may struggle in the surrounding seasons.

Let us shed some light on how you can best set yourself up to win with a healthy looking yard to enjoy for the whole year.

First things first, make sure you’re paying extra close attention to the different needs of different plants. Never assume that each plant requires the same attention. Some plants require less water or sun light then others and it is a common error to either over or under water a specific plant. Over or under watering alone can make a significant difference in the vitality of the plant and cause irreversible damage to its roots.

Secondly, make sure to read the instructions on plants that you buy and pay close attention to whether they are a sun dwelling plant or one that strives best in the shade most of the day. To help with this, before you shop, take specific note of the way your house faces at various times of the day. Knowledge is power, so be prepared with the understanding of what will do best in and around your house. Keeping this in mind will allow you to strategically place the right plants in the right areas based on shade and sun exposure in and around your house. Sunlight overexposure and under watering can quickly happen in our dry desert city. If you are unsure of light exposure or even where to start, don’t forget to contact our Las Vegas landscaping specialists to help answer any questions or to schedule an estimate.

Las Vegas Desert Landscaping

Here’s one suggestion that we encourage you to consider for your yard:

Fruit Trees:

Fruit trees can be a great asset to your home. Not only do most fruit trees do well in the desert, they are fairly simple to care for once planted. Typically fruit trees are aesthetically pleasing and when healthy can provide delicious fruit for your family. The biggest concern with fruit trees are the pesky insects that can linger around your blossoming fruit. Be sure to check on your fruit trees regularly and prevent infestation with environmentally safe pesticides. You can also create your own DIY pesticides that can be easy to make to protect your fruit trees. If you have your heart set on a specific type of fruit, be sure to ask a professional and make sure that is a fruit tree that will succeed here in Las Vegas. Some types of fruit require more moisture or cooler temperatures, but don’t let that prevent you from enjoy a fruit tree in your yard.

Thanks for letting Cacti Landscape support you in having a beautiful yard that flourishes year around.

Landscaping before it gets hot, NOW

If you are a Las Vegas native or are new to the valley, chances are you aware just how hot it can get here in our desert climate city at various times of the year. The heat brings many challenges for our plants to endure in the spring and summer months. One of the top mistakes that people make with their yards is not taking the seasons into consideration. Don’t be solely at the mercy of Mother Nature when it comes to your yard this season. Be sure to set your yard up for success ahead of time by being mindful of some important factors this winter, before the heat strikes our valley.

Winter Landscape in Vegas

The first thing to be aware of is that your yard, regardless of your type of landscape, has 4 different seasons for landscape maintenance. Earlier this month we highlighted the importance of Winter Pruning what we are specifically highlighting now are additional important factors for landscaping to help you be the most prepared for the upcoming seasons.

What to plant this season

The winter can be an excellent time to plant deciduous trees and shrubs, roses in particular are something that you can plant in your yard in the winter Vegas months. These types of plants are known as bare root plants. Planting bare root plants at this time of the year before the ground is fully frozen gives the plants a chance to grow new roots prior to having to deal with the hot sun and drying winds that the summer months bring into the valley.

Winter Landscaping Tips

As a general rule for the winter months less is more for your yard and outdoor plants. Be sure to winterize your lawn equipment and adjust your timer on irrigation systems specifically for winter to water only one day a week, unless your professionals at Cacti Landscape tell you otherwise for specific plants.

Although it may appear that your lawn and certain plants stop growing in the early winter, they are actually growing deeper roots in the beginning of the season. Now is a great time to fertilize and reseed your lawn to reassure it is healthy and rich prior to the hot summer months.

The Las Vegas forecast for the last few weeks of that year are particularly cold. Check your pipes and sprinklers to make sure they all protected. A frozen pipe can cause future irrigation problems. If you’re unsure of what to look for speak to your professionals at Cacti Landscape so that we can evaluate your watering systems for you to make sure you are safe for the remaining winter months.

Keeping Your Las Vegas Yard Healthy in the Winter Months

Are you looking forward to having a beautiful Las Vegas yard in the Spring of 2015? Don’t forget that preparation for a great looking yard in the upcoming year occurs now in the winter months.

December is a busy month with the holidays approaching, let Cacti Landscapes help you review a few simple yet important things to keep in mind for your Las Vegas winter landscaping plants this season. As you look out for the health and growth of your plants for the upcoming year, pruning is something to pay close attention to. Pruned plants are not only healthier and vibrant looking, but are less work to care for down the road, which also saves you time and money in the long run.

Winter Landscaping

What to Prune this Winter

Specific attention for many Las Vegas natives should be paid to the pruning of trees, roses and shrubs.

Trees and Shrubs:

Pruning trees and shrubs in your yard is easier in the winter months because the leaves have primarily fallen, this allows you to cut only what’s necessary without leaves getting in the way. Pruning trees and shrubs during this time which is also known as their dormant season, allows the plant to be invigorated. The pruning process maintains the plants energy reserves that will encourage new growth after the season is over.

Roses:

Pruning of rose bushes in the winter months is specifically to ensure new growth of beautiful roses in the seasons ahead. Pruning of roses should occur in the winter months or before buds begin to swell on the branches. Since seasons are not as extreme here in Las Vegas, keep an eye on your rose bushes to ensure that you are able to prune them in good timing. Remove all old or dead branches but be careful not to remove more than half of the previous season’s growth.

Pruning Tips

  • Trim your plants at an approximate 45 degree angle. If a branch is cut flat it creates a blunt surface, this can collect water which increases the chance of decay.
  • Always remove branches first if they appear to be dead or dying.
  • If a limb on a plant seems to be dying or diseased be sure to cut far enough below the infected area to assure that it is removed completely.
  • Pruning is best when plants are dry in case there are any infected parts of the plant. Be mindful of when your plants were last watered and pick a day with dry and mild weather. Water can spread disease and cause unwanted damage to a healthy plant.
  • Trim branches in three parts. First you can cut off about 1/3 of the branch to remove extra weight of the branch. Second, cut the remaining branch you are removing and lastly make one small cut off the top.
  • Do your best not to scalp your plants. Plants look best in their natural organic shape, pruning them in this way allows them to grow in the way that it is easiest for them naturally as opposed to a forced shape which may be trimming healthy branches and leaving unhealthy ones behind.

Summerlin Landscaping

We’re Here to Help

Now that you’re ready to prune all of your winter trees, shrubs and rose bushes; we hope you enjoy a sunny day in your yard taking care of your plants. We know what a busy time of year this is, we at Cacti Landscapes are happy to help you in the pruning process of your yard to ensure that it remains healthy and esthetically appealing for you to enjoy. Your safety is also important to us, never hesitate to call your Vegas winter landscaping professionals for professional help.

Desert Landscaping: Designing your Yard

Landscaping may seem overwhelming when you look at a flat, barren piece of land and wonder how you are going to design a yard that takes into account the basics of our Las Vegas Valley desert climate. But if you break it down into steps it can be a manageable process that doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take months of work. In fact, you can tailor the design to your budget, tastes and climate concerns, like water efficiency, so that you get the most for your money and effort.

Designing your Yard in 6 Easy Steps

1. Decide what is important to you for your yard. Make a wish list, but keep in mind how much you want to spend and plant life that is suitable to a desert climate.

Some things you can consider are:

  • Do I want an area to relax and have coffee in the morning while reading the paper?
  • Do I want a play area for the kids or the grandkids when they come to visit?
  • Do I want to be able to entertain in my yard?
  • How much shade do I want?
  • Do I want a vegetable and herb garden?

2. Get ideas by walking or biking through the neighborhood. Bring your smartphone if you have one and take pictures so you can have them when you go to the nursery or home improvement store. Magazine and online sites like Pinterest are also great places to find DIY ideas.

3. Make a drawing. First measure your lot, then draw a diagram that includes the house and any existing features like a walkway, pool or patio. You can use grid paper to make the drawing to scale or use an enlargement of the plot plan provided by your builder. You may want to enlarge the diagram so you have room to make drawings and notes. It’s a good idea to make several copies to use during various stages of the design process and update it as you go.

4. Choose desert climate turf and plants that thrive in our drought-like conditions. For a database of drought tolerant, native plants go here. Deciduous, low water-use trees can provide summer shade and low water-use plants add texture, seasonal color, and aesthetic quality to your landscape. Desert wildflowers can provide extra color and visual variety during certain times of the year.

5. Add materials to add texture, functionality and diversity to your desert landscaping. You may want to integrate hardscape or structures into your landscape plan.

Swimming Pool Landscaping

Some good ones to consider are:

  • patios
  • walkways
  • boulders
  • a barbecue or fire pit
  • built-in planters and seating areas
  • a swimming pool, spa or fountain
  • walls or fences to separate or screen an area
  • trellises that support vines and soften the look of fences and exterior walls
  • sculptures
  • bird feeders
  • Garden artwork
  • Paint and fabric

6. Design the Irrigation system. Now that you have the layout complete, you can incorporate the irrigation system. If you don’t know much about irrigation then research and learn all you can first or seek professional help for this step. Making mistakes with the irrigation can be costly in both money and time when you are forced to rip it out and redo it. If you are going to attempt to design and install a system yourself check the publication dates for the most current information because there have been many advances in irrigation technology in recent years.

In our area turf is usually watered by a sprinkler system whereas decorative plants, such as trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers, are usually watered with a drip irrigation system. If watering times are scheduled correctly and you maintain your drip system properly, this type of irrigation system can reduce evaporation and runoff, reduce weed growth and promote plant health by providing water to each plant’s root zone, where it’s needed most, without wetting leaves and soaking areas that don’t need to be watered.

Now that you have your yard designed, the landscaping professionals at Cacti Landscapes are here to help you with installation and maintenance of your dream yard. Experts in design, installation and upkeep of landscaping tailored to the demanding conditions in the desert Southwest, the friendly professionals at Cacti Landscapes can guide you through the entire process from design to completion; taking into account your wishes and helping you fulfill them in a way that minimizes water usage and maintenance and maximizes your enjoyment of your yard for years to come.

Creating Desert Climate Curb Appeal in Las Vegas Landscaping

Hardscape Concrete LandscapingCurb appeal is the look of your house from the outside, what guests and neighbors see. Having a well-manicured front yard is not only about making a good first impression when people come up to your door or pass by, but curb appeal also increases the property value of your home. The key to front yard landscaping in our Las Vegas valley is to create a yard that is low-maintenance and requires low water usage, while still being inviting and attractive. How do you create a front yard that looks beautiful throughout extended dry spells, extreme heat and infrequent rain?

Here are 5 ideas for developing desert-friendly front yard landscaping:

1. Light it Up

Lights are a practical and attractive way to add variety to your front yard. Take advantage of the abundant sunshine and use solar lights that soak up the sunlight during the day and then glow as they change colors once the sun goes down. Best of all, they don’t require an ounce of water to maintain.

2. Rock Garden Entrance

Front yard landscaping can be accentuated with a rock garden entrance. Use pavers as a walkway and accent with shrubs, succulents and desert trees along the sides.

3. Desert trees

Planting a couple of desert tress are a way to add some natural shade while giving a lush feel to your front yard landscaping. Desert trees are tolerant to desert climates so they will not overburden your water usage.

Some lovely tree types native to desert climates are:

  • Chilean Mesquite
  • Phoenix Mesquite
  • Sisso Tree
  • Willow Acacia
  • Shoestring Acacia
  • Mulga Acacia
  • Museum Palo Verde
  • Blue Palo Verde
  • Palo Brea
  • Ironwood
  • Texas Ebony

4. Non-plant Materials and Adornments

Patio brickwork, tile, decorative rocks, gravel, small boulders, fieldstones, pillars and sculptures make functional, low-maintenance features and ground cover that add variety and dress up a front yard. When you intersperse these with native plants, desert trees, and drought resistant grasses, it creates a well- balanced, eye-catching scene.

Concrete Curbing in Backyard

5. Add Color

There are few things that make front yard landscaping pop like patches of vibrant color. A mix of perennials and annuals make a nice combination to liven things up.

Plants that introduce abundant color to your front yard while blending with our southwestern climate:

Perennials

  • Desert Marigold
  • Blackfoot Daisy
  • Firecracker Penstemon
  • Parry’s Penstemon
  • Jerusalem Sage
  • Mexican Hat
  • Chaparral Sage
  • Autumn Sage
  • Moss Verbena
  • Hummingbird Trumpet

Annuals

  • Mexican Golden Poppy
  • Blanket Flower
  • Maximilian Sunflower
  • Arizona Poppy
  • Red Flax
  • Blue Flax
  • Owl’s Clover
  • Desert Bluebell
  • Cherry Red Sage
  • Moss Rose
  • Five Spot
  • Shirley Poppy
  • Zinnia Profusion Series

You can, and should, have it all—a front yard that catches the eye of neighbors and guests but is suited to our Las Vegas desert climate. Practical landscaping doesn’t have to be dry or boring. There are so many ways to create front yard landscaping with appeal that will be the envy of your community. Our Las Vegas landscaping professionals at Cacti Landscapes can help you design and construct a front yard that is functional and fabulous!