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Well, it is January, the dawn of new year. Winter here in Bullhead City on the Colorado River is short, and seldom is as cold as a spring day in Minnesota. And that means that spring is coming soon.

Did you know that the value of your property is increased by landscaping that provides shade and color? Did you know that with proper planning you can have both? Did you know that January is the ideal time to maintain your landscaping, or for designing a summer oasis?

Here in the desert southwest water conservation is a priority. And so one of the first steps in development of a landscaping plan is evaluation of the site. This includes either charting the grade, or creation of a proper grade. This enables directing the flow of water during our rare rain storms to ensure it soaks into the ground rather than runs off.

Next comes careful plotting of zones for the planting of mutually supportive plants. This is also key to creating a balanced, easily maintained yard that will not create future problems.

As an example, trees, even desert friendly ones such as Palo Verde or mesquite, if planted in the wrong location can create issues. If they are planted to close to foundations, sidewalks, walkways or driveways, future rooting can damage concrete or even create a safety hazard.

Trees and similar plants can also present a water hazard. If planted in the wrong location or on the wrong grade, runoff or overspray from sprinklers will make walkways slippery. And again, this can also damage concrete.

Trees can help cool your house during he months of summer. That is an energy savings which translates into lower utility bills. But trees should never be planted close to the house. When planting picture them as mature trees, not as saplings.

Another important thing to consider when planning your landscaping is maintenance. Trees usually need pruning in January. Other plants such as lawns are labor intensive. With proper planning you can create zones with plants that can be trimmed and fertilized at the same time.

Irrigation, sprinkler systems and drip systems are also an crucial component in development of an integrated. If improperly designed and installed there will be a waste of water. It can also result in a more labor intensive yard, and plants being damaged or killed by over watering or lack of water.

All of these are reasons to consult with a professional when making a landscaping plan. And there are also reasons for a professional service to maintain landscaping.

It is January. That means that spring is just a few weeks away. So this is the ideal time for landscaping, for preparing your yard for spring and summer, and for transforming your largest investment, your home. This is the time to contact the landscape professionals at Baron Services.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America