What Can You Do To Minimize Heat Stress?

In most cases, summer stress can be lessened or even prevented by proper irrigation. Slow, deep irrigations that allow water to soak water down deep into the soil to reach the lower root zones of plants are essential. Never use hot water from a hose. Let the water run until it cools off. Timing is critical also. It is best to irrigate by running the drip irrigation to regular landscape plants 3 – 4 days per week for 2 hours with the run time starting in the early morning.

Trees should run twice per week for 3 hours. Flower beds and pots should run twice per day, every day for 5-7 minutes each run. A correct irrigation will wet the entire area underneath shrubs and trees to ensure that a majority of the roots are receiving water.

If you understand the basics of summer heat stress, we can take the proper steps to minimize the stress or avoid it all together.

As always, you can call Sonoran Gardens with any questions or concerns. We’re here to help!

Looks Like Spring is Here! What Happened to Winter???!!!

Hello fellow gardeners. It’s time to gear up for warm weather!

If your plants are anything like mine these days. they look happy and full of blooms right now, but we need to remember it is going to be hot soon. Especially with our warm winter, plants are already thinking we are well into Spring. So, here are a few tips to get you started this season:

  • Prune your shrubs after they have completed flowering
  • Woody plants such as Bougainvillea and Lantana should not be cut back until threat of frost has past.
  • Cut back shrubs that need rejuvenation 12″-18″ from the ground. Shrubs that could benefit from rejuvenation cut back would include: Texas Mountain Laurel, Oleander, and Hop Bushes.
  • Shrubs that need just clean up can be achieved by removing base branches and/or unproductive branches within the canopy.
  • If any of this is not in your area of expertise, please call our staff at Sonoran Gardens to learn how we can help you with a custom designed maintenance plan.

Summer Pots: Sonoran Gardens are the pot experts! Let our Contained Gardener team show you how pots can light up your living areas inside & out! A few thoughts…

  • Yes, you can have color in the hot Arizona summer!
  • Summer annuals can begin being planted in mid-April and they should last until mid-October
  • Summer flower staples include Zinnia, Penta, Angelonia and Vinca
  • The soil should always be moist to the touch, but not so wet that water is filling up your saucers.
  • The Sonoran Gardens Contained Gardner irrigation team can set-up your irrigation system if needed.


Make sure your irrigation controller is adjusted for spring & summer. Your plants need extra water with the high temperatures and low humidity.

Tips for keeping your plants healthy in the warmer weather:

  1. Inspect your irrigation system for leaks, breaks, and clogs. You will be running your system more frequently and any leaks or breaks will end up wasting a lot of money. In addition leaks and breaks can create unsightly wet spots and mud puddles in your area. Clogs in your system during the hottest time of year will restrict water to your plants and can result in stressed and dying plants.
  2. Listen to your plants – they will show you if they need water. Look for leaves that are turning a lighter shade of green or yellow, dull wilted, drooping, or curling leaves, stems or branches dying back. Be cautious of heat wilt. At the hottest part of the day many plants will experience heat wilt. Their leaves show signs of wilt because they are tired from reflecting the sun all day. These plants are not dying or under-watered; once the day begins to cool they will perk back up. Think about how you feel after a day in the sun – it can be exhausting! Use your finger to test the soil around the plant; if it is moist your plant is probably experiencing heat wilt.
  3. Program your controller for the season. Most landscapes will require time and/or days added to the irrigation schedule for the summer months. Knowing how much water your plants require and how much water your system puts out is integral to programming your control. You can visit Arizona’s, Water Use It Wisely website for some great basic tips to determine how much water you need. In addition, reference your irrigation controller’s user manual they typically provide information on appropriate programming.

If you need assistance programming your system, or are experiencing any issues, Sonoran Gardens can help you out with that. Call today – 520-579-9411. Or contact us.

Don’t forget, it’s not just your plants that need water in these temperatures. Make sure you always have water on hand and are drinking plenty of it throughout the day.

Sonoran Gardens Landscape Design & Construction is a complete landscape design, landscape construction, custom care landscape maintenance, irrigation and lighting repair firm serving Tucson, Oro Valley, Catalina Foothills, SaddleBrooke, Tanque Verde, Marana, Vail, Sahuarita, Green Valley, and Southern Arizona.

Sonoran Gardens

4261 W Jeremy PL

Tucson, AZ 85741



Spring landscaping tips from Sonoran Gardens Landscaping

Yes, I believe we can all agree that we might be having the most unusual Tucson winter weather in quite some time, but Spring will soon be here and we thought we would share a few tips on what you should be doing in your outdoor spaces. As always, Sonoran Gardens is here to help with our Custom Care Maintenance program that can take care of all of your maintenance needs every month. For more information, please call us at 520-579-9411.What you should be doing:

  • Apply pre-emergent: weeds are already starting to come up and the pre-emergent should go down before the spring rains. It will keep your weed growth to a minimum. Be sure to read the label on any product you purchase.
  • Trim back your rose bushes
  • Start cutting back your plants that for adequate Spring growth. This should include all your “woody” plants including Lantana, Bougainvillea, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Yellow Bells, and Red Salvia. Sonoran Gardens' Custom Landscape Care
  • This year we experienced a catastrophic freeze event(s). To treat your plants it is best to wait to cut them back until they are beginning to show signs of re-growth. At this time you can cut back the dead limbs to the new growth. If the plant died all the way to the ground (as was often the case with lantana) wait until you see new growth sprout up, then cut the plant all the way to the ground.
  • If your cactus has signs of frost or freeze damage there are a couple routes you can take. First, if the cactus is severally damaged and experiencing rot, it is best to remove the specimen completely and replace it when the weather is warmer. If the tips or small portions of the cactus are damaged these areas can be pruned off. The pruned areas should heal just fine, as long as the pruning occurs after any threat of cold weather. Finally if just the very tip of the cactus (columnar) has been damaged you can leave it. The cactus, typically, will generate new shoots from the dead growing point.
  • Fertilize citrus

    Our Custom Care team working hard to keep your outdoor spaces looking their best!

    Our Custom Care team working hard to keep your outdoor spaces looking their best!

  • Flushing irrigation filters. We recommend doing this every quarter – typically around the changing of the seasons. Sonoran Gardens has a team of irrigation experts that can do this for you.

Please feel free to call us at 520-579-9411 with any questions or needs that you might have. If you found this information helpful, please feel free to share it with anyone!

Here’s to Spring!4261 West Jeremy Lot #2, Tucson, AZ 85741   |   Tel: 520.579.9411


Examples of complete landscape projects from Sonoran Gardens

A beautiful example of a Sonoran Gardens new construction installation:

All masonry, iron work including gates, fences and trellises, brick paving, plantings, and pots by Sonoran Gardens!

Sonoran Gardens Landscape Design, Construction and Custom Care Landscape Maintenance in Tucson, Arizona, was established in 1996 by Chris Niccum. Chris has a Bachelor’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Purdue University and has spent his entire working career in the landscape industry. He started Sonoran Gardens with an old pickup truck, some basic hand tools, one helper and a dream of becoming the best landscape construction company in Tucson. His years of experience had shown him that producing a high quality product, exceptional customer service, and treating people with integrity and honesty, would lead to success. Since that time he has brought together a staff of dedicated professionals who share that belief.

Sonoran Gardens approaches each project as a unique opportunity to meet our client’s needs and exceed their expectations, always with an on-going development of systems and procedures to ensure that these goals are achieved for every one of our clients. From detailed personalized planning and award winning design, to expert project management and installation, Sonoran Gardens will do whatever it takes to ensure your complete satisfaction.

Contact us at 520-579-9411 for your complimentary landscape design and installation consultation or to learn more about our Custom Care Landscape Maintenance program.

Thank you!

Chris Niccum and the Sonoran Gardens Team

Fall is the time to spruce up your Southern Arizona landscape

It’s a great time for a landscape spruce up! Summer’s heat is beginning to subside, and plants are awakening from their summer dormancy.  They want to grow and bloom! Replace those plants that may have been burned over the last couple months. These cooler evenings mean great weather for outdoor living. So, liven your landscape now and enjoy it all winter long!

Perfect weather for morning coffee in your custom outdoor living space! 

Call Sonoran Gardens today to schedule a fall spruce up at (520) 579-9411.

Sonoran Gardens Landscape Design & Construction is a complete landscape design, landscape construction, custom care landscape maintenance, potted plants and potted gardens, irrigation and lighting repair firm serving Tucson, Oro Valley, Catalina Foothills, SaddleBrooke, Tanque Verde, Marana, Vail, Sahuarita, Green Valley, and Southern Arizona.

Since 1998, our talented landscape designers have created hundreds of custom landscapes as individual as our clients. We work closely with our customers to design an outdoor living space that exceeds their expectations and meets their budget requirements.  Simply check our Google reviews and testimonials.

What Are the Climates of Arizona?

The Many Climates of Arizona by Sonoran Gardens Landscape Design & Construction

Arizona has a reputation. Ask anyone that has never been here to describe what they think of when they think of Arizona and you will inevitably hear: hot, dry, barren.

The reality is that Arizona has an extremely diverse climate that allows for a vast array of landscape life.  In Arizona we are surrounded by an environment that makes gardening both extremely challenging and extremely rewarding. According to the University of Arizona, Arizona consists of five climate zones; ,  Cool Plateau Highlands, High Altitude Desert, Mid-Altitude Desert (this is where Tucson lies), and Low Altitude Desert.  Each zone has distinctly difference climatic qualities. Before you start your garden become familiar with your climate, it is the first step towards a successful landscape in Arizona.

Sonoran Gardens Landscape Design & Construction is a complete landscape design, landscape construction, custom care landscape maintenance, potted plants and potted gardens, irrigation and lighting repair firm serving Tucson, Oro Valley, Catalina Foothills, SaddleBrooke, Tanque Verde, Marana, Vail, Sahuarita, Green Valley, and Southern Arizona.   To learn more about how we can help you create a wonderful outdoor living space at your home please call us at 520-579-9411 or visit www.sonorangardensinc.com/contact.

Sonoran Gardens Purchases The Contained Gardener

Sonoran Gardens is excited to welcome The Contained Gardener into our family!  http://sonorangardensinc.com/about-contained-gardener-tucson Stayed tuned for our newsletter next week for all the details!

Tips on Landscape Lighting from Sonoran Gardens

For years, Sonoran Gardens Landscape Design & Construction has been receiving questions about LED landscape lighting. Our response has always been that the technology wasn’t quite there yet. Outdoor lighting should provide soft and subtle highlights not a florescent impersonation of a UFO landing in your front yard. I always say that landscape lighting is the feature that brings a yard from great to WOW! But LED lights just didn’t cut it. I am so excited to say that is no longer the case!

FX Luminaire lighting

FX Luminaire lighting makes your night light up right!

FX Luminaire has created a line of LED lights that are not only attractive on the exterior, but also project the type of lighting suitable for a landscape, all while maintaining the benefits of LED. Their light fixtures come with unique color filters that can be used to get the perfect illumination. So why use LED?

1.)    Energy Efficiency: LED lights require + 80% less voltage than halogen based lights, which equates to lower energy costs and longer fixture life.

2.)    Heat Reduction: Lower voltage means less heat. Less heat is safer and also attributes to longer life.

3.)    Life Span: Did I mention LED lights last longer? LED lights can last 50,000 hours or more!

FX Luminaire LED lights installed by Sonoran Garden come with a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty – that means no light bulb replacements for 10 years!

Remember installing outdoor lighting is an art. Allow our Sonoran Gardens designers to tastefully incorporate landscape lighting into your yard.  Call us today at 520-579-9411.

Outdoor lighting from Sonoran Gardens

Outdoor lighting from Sonoran Gardens

Sonoran Gardens Design & Landscape are Tucson’s complete design and landscape construction specialists.  Whatever your desire, we can turn your outdoor living areas into your outdoor paradise!


Tips on designing your outdoor kitchen from Sonoran Gardens

In honor of the Fourth of July and summertime, I have decided to blog about one of America’s favorite pastimes – BBQ! There are few things that bring to mind “American summertime” like grilling. You can kick these celebrations (or regular dinners) up a notch with an outdoor kitchen. In Southern Arizona, outdoor kitchens are a trend that is here to stay. Outdoor kitchens can be as simple or complex as you desire. Typically they include a grill station, beverage center (cooler or refrigerator), and counter tops/food prep areas. More complex outdoor kitchens can mirror interior kitchens with sinks, stove tops, cantilevered bars, granite and more.  

Outdoor kitchens should bring an ease to your outdoor entertaining. When designing an outdoor kitchen keep them close to other gathering areas in your yard such as a fireplace or your pool and spa. And, of course, make certain there is a designated dining area nearby. With the addition of an outdoor kitchen, tyur home can be the perfect place for a summertime bbq!

Here are two outdoor kitchens Sonoran Gardens has built in Tucson, Arizona.

Tucson outdoor kitchen

Tucson outdoor kitchen


Magnificent views and dinner, too!

How to custom design a fountain by Sonoran Gardens Landscape & Design

This beautiful custom fountain was recently installed at a project in Tucson, Arizona. The fountain is hand carved and each tile was individually handpainted. I love seeing special features like this evolve from our designer’s visions!  To learn more about a custom fountain for your home or office please call Sonoran Gardens Landscape & Design at 520-579-9411.

Sketch of fountain design concept
Sketch of fountain design concept

Fountains can be unique focal points for your landscapeFountains can be unique focal points for your landscape