We probably have at least a month of triple digit weather ahead of us here in Tucson.  Darrin Seidel, President of our Landscape contractor, Infinity Earthworks, provides the following tips on landscape activities we can focus on during the high temperatures.  These are not must-dos, but can-dos for you or your own landscaper.  Darrin also describes a few activities to avoid when it's this hot, especially as the "nonsoon" dry weather persists.  (This list will also be online at

Good Hot Weather Landscape Activities

• Hand-water new or stressed plants that are located beyond your irrigation system.
• Clean up debris shed by trees and bushes (e.g., pods, pads, bark, etc.).
• Remove mistletoe from trees.
• Cut off or pick up branches that fall from storms.
• Weed by hand or by spraying.  (Weed killer is especially effective when the weeds are hot and thirsty.)
• Spray pre-emergent just prior to expected rainfall.
• Treat cacti, agaves & other plants for grubs with adequate hand watering.
• Remove dead or dying plants.
• Mulch tree wells around non-native plants to reduce evaporation and insulate sensitive roots.
• To minimize wind damage, prune tree branches away from structures, roofs & utilities, and selectively thin out branches to allow high winds to flow through trees.
• Review your irrigation system; including, drip sites and timer batteries and check for leaks.
• Adjust irrigation timer to water later in the morning (10 or 11).  Or use two start times during peak heat, e.g., 7am and 1pm.
• Clear dirt, debris, nests, and insects from irrigation valveboxes to facilitate access to valve, filter, solenoid & wiring from timer.

Landscape Tasks to AVOID in the Hot Weather 
• Planting or transplanting
• Structural tree pruning
• Shaping shrubs or trees
• Don't fertilize during peak heat unless there is sufficient rain.  When fertilizing, try to use organic products and thoroughly water them in.
• Avoid trimming cacti/agaves when it is very hot and dry because it interferes with the plants' efforts to store moisture to survive.