Landscape Watering Reminder - January

With over three weeks since any appreciable rain (no rain in the forecast) and temps a little above normal, be sure to watch your landscape and provide an irrigation if needed - especially to pines that benefit from winter moisture.

Leaf yellowing or leaf drop occurs naturally this time of year to plants such as palo verdes, mesquites, desert willows, elms, ash, and Texas sage. Leaf-litter provides beneficial mulch for your plants or add to your compost pile. See below for more details.



Recommendations are for plants that are established in the landscape (in the ground about 2 years).

Note: These recommendations are a general guideline only and may need to be modified for your specific site conditions.

Desert Willow

Plants like Desert Willows lose their leaves completely during the winter months. Photo by Donna DiFrancesco.

Lawn watering:
Summer grass (Bermuda) - once every 30 days
Overseeded cool season grass (rye) - once every 10 -14 days
If trees and shrubs are on the same valve:
Desert Adapted - once every 35 days
High Water Use - once every 18 days
Tree watering:
Desert Adapted -once every 45 days
High Water Use - once every 21 days
Shrub watering:
Desert Adapted - once every 30 days
High Water Use - once every 14 days
Groundcover and vine watering:
Desert Adapted - once every 28 days
High Water Use - once every 14 days
Cacti and succulent watering - if needed
Annual & vegetable watering - once every 7-10 days

Wildflower watering - once every 10 -15 days
Reduce your landscape watering 30 to 50 percent by adjusting your irrigation each season. Landscape Watering by the Numbers: A Guide for the Arizona Desert will help you determine how much water to apply and how long to run your system. Visit the interactive Web version or request a free copy of the booklet at
Bonus tips

    • Leaf litter is great to mix in with your kitchen scraps to make compost! If you don't have a composter, call your solid waste department and see if they provide compost bins. Mesa provides composters made from recycled trash bins for $5. Find more details and tips for composting on the Solid Waste web page.

    • Smartscape Landscape Training for Professionals includes 20 hours of specialized training in the areas of irrigation, plant material, planting, design, plant problems (and solutions) as well as pest management. Each class is taught by local experts. The next training series will take place from Jan. 23 to Feb 15. Download and print the registration form or contact Haley Paul, Smartscape Program Coordinator, at or (602) 827-8200 x395 with any questions.

    • Need to get some dates on your new 2012 calendar? Check out some fun upcoming landscape classes and workshops on our Water - Use It Wisely calendar!


    To register for monthly watering reminder emails, visit and click on Email Alerts located in the right navigation bar. Choose Landscape Watering Reminder, and follow the registration instructions. You can remove your name from the list at any time.

    For more information about Mesa's water conservation programs.