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.

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.

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 accessories 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!