by Catherine Robbins, Office Administrative Assistant, ZebraScapes LLC
Have you seen the zebra-striped trucks around town or the zebras out on Williamson Valley Road? They belong to Rodney and Denise Steidinger, the husband and wife team who own and operate ZebraScapes Landscaping & Services.
The Steidingers have called Prescott home for more than 12 years. Their family is active in our community though their church and its foster-care ministry, as well as volunteering their time and business services to local events and organizations. Both grew up on farms in Illinois, so ranching and landscaping are labors of love for the Steidingers and their four beautiful daughters Trinity, Kiley, Haley and Ella.
Tips for Spring Yard Care
With spring approaching, the ZebraScapes team would like to share their top tips for spring yard care. Just as one’s home needs spring cleaning this time of year, landscaping and irrigation also require it. These seven simple tasks will help prepare your yard for the growing season.
Cleanup of perennials begins by removing dead leaves and stalks. This also applies to ornamental grasses, which may not have been trimmed during the fall. This can be done with either scissors or pruners.
Trees and shrubs also benefit from the pruning of dead limbs and winter-kill on branches. Shrubs that bloom in spring, however, need to have their buds in place on last year’s growth to burst into action when the weather warms. If live wood is pruned, the flowers will be removed, so it’s best to prune these shrubs after blooming has ceased. Shrubs that bloom later in the year don’t need a head start, they bloom on new growth, so prune to your heart’s content.
As you tidy your yard, remove any cut or fallen branches, rake up debris, such as trimmings, leaves and twigs, and always sanitize all garden tools with rubbing alcohol or bleach.
Spring is an ideal time to fertilize. Most plants, including lawn, trees and shrubs will enjoy a feeding in the spring and reward you for the effort. There are a number of fertilizers available, so be sure to do some research. Select the right fertilizer for your needs and follow the application directions, as some chemicals will burn plants when used in excess.
When spring arrives and freezing temperatures wane, it’s time to begin watering your yard. During an irrigation startup, pipes should be checked for damage and/or cracking that may have resulted from winter frost. Damaged pipes can cause flooding and overwatering. The Arizona Department of Water Resources estimates that 70 percent of residential water use is outdoors, especially during the summer. It is crucial to make sure irrigation timers are set correctly and systems function properly. Improved watering efficiency can save you time, water and money.
It’s always easier to tackle weeds before they rear their ugly heads. While landscape fabric and mulch or rocks can work well for weed prevention, applying a pre-emergent herbicide is also helpful, especially when applied twice a year, in early spring and just before the monsoon season. If weeds do emerge in spring, you can use a post-emergent herbicide; however, this tends to be less effective than treating the weeds before they surface.
Garden pests are at their peak in late spring and early summer. Wild birds not only add music, beauty and color to a yard, some also serve as a natural form of pest and weed control. Designing a landscape that attracts birds can be a win-win for you and your feathered friends. This can be done with a water feature or small pond, birdbath, feeders, fruit trees and plants, and nectar-producing and seed-bearing plants.
We realize this is a lot of information to process. If you need assistance with spring cleaning your property, we can help. Give ZebraScapes Landscaping & Services a call at 928-830-4061, visit us on Facebook or log on to zebrascapes.com.