Not sure what will grow in Arizona?

DBG spring 2012_094

The new 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

The Phoenix valley has been assigned two zones, roughly the area east of 17 and south to the I-10 falls within the 10a zone which has an average minimum winter cold of from 30-35 degrees F, west of 17 the zone is a bit cooler with lows of from 25 to 30 and is designated as zone 9b. 

No posters of the new USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map have been printed. But state, regional, and national images of the map can be downloaded and printed in a variety of sizes and resolutions.

The Sunset magazine has assigned the section of Arizona surrounding the Phoenix valley  a 13 designation, using a range of temperature wider than the USDA scale. We will refer to the Sunset magazine planting times and tips because we receive their information monthly while only annually do we hear from the USDA!  

All of the Arizona zones are subject to extreme temperature variations for short periods, and any home gardener must pay attention to the weatherman and protect plants that are supposed to survive any given temperature either high or low.  

First Wednesday of the Month!

Man Preparing Food For A Dinner PartyThe first Wednesday of the month is the time to do your big grocery shopping if your 55 years young or more. Most of the grocery stores offer 10% on this one day a month to their customers who are in the 55+ age bracket.

Please check with your favorite grocery store to confirm this discount is available. Also watch your mail for the fliers letting you know not only the sales, but if your favorite store is offering a special extra discount Wednesday too.

It is a great time to fill your freezer with food for the month.

Happy Cooking!

West Valley–303 freeway opening up

Connectivity is always a concern when choosing a location for your home.  Living in a 55+ community, your not looking at how long it takes to get to work, commuting being a thing of the past.  But easy access to the city, airport, and other things going on in the greater Valley of the Sun is always a good thing.

The 303 loop section from I17 connecting down to Bell Road is opening this week!

This makes access to Trilogy at Vistancia, Sun City Grand, Sun City West, Arizona Traditions, Corta Bella and more much nicer.

Now hop on the 303 and head north for freeway access to I17.  It comes in just south of Carefree Highway, making for faster access to the north and down to the rest of the city.

Summer Resort Fun

With temperatures rising, many of the visitors to our beautiful city have left, not to come back till cooler weather returns. So the resorts are offering great summer play packages.

  • Millennium Resort has offers starting with $100 room, and get $100 in food and beverage, even pool side. For a bit more add in a golf package.
  • Hyatt Regency Scottsdale is offering free meals, kids camp, and with their ‘water playground’ loads of fun for the family
  • Stay at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort and spend the day at the spa or enjoy all of the services they offer.

Call the resort you’re interested in getting away to and find out what specials they are offering.

You don’t have to get out of town to have a vacation – summer fun is waiting in your own back yard.

New Coffee Shop in Town!

A good friend of mine, Steve Belt,  recently opened up a coffee shop here in Scottsdale.  Echo Coffee.  At Echo, they roast their own beans, serve organic goodies for breakfast and healthy lunches too.

I was surprised to find they have different roast, depending on the type of coffee drink you order.  The latte’s for example have a sweeter roast than the drip roast…

scottsdale coffee Echo coffee

and Drip!  They are serious about drip coffee.  Each cup is individually made and taste – YUM, this is what coffee is supposed to taste like.  So be sure to drop in while visiting Scottsdale.  They are located on Thomas and 68th, just south of old town and the Valley Ho.

echo coffee drip line up

Get your Air Conditioning checked

Your AC system needs to get a tune up twice a year. As you prepare to turn on the cool in the spring, and in the fall before you turn on your heat. For the longevity of your unit, regular maintenance is a must.

Also consider getting your ducts cleaned and checked. Cleaned for… well better air quality in your home, and checked for leaks that need repair. That can save more money. You may also qualify for a $250 rebate from APS for duct testing and repair.

A great company to work with for Auto Glass Replace or Repair

Arizona has a high level of auto glass repair. Much of our landscaping is done with gravel, even on the highways. One rock in the road can quickly chip and or crack your windshield. So make sure your insurance covers repair and replacement.

The insurance rule of thumb I have discovered is: if a crack is smaller than a dollar bill it can be repaired. If the crack is in line with the drivers view, the windshield gets replaced, as it is a safety hazard.

I recently had my windshield replaced. I started by calling my insurance company USAA and asked who in my area they would prefer I use. Their preferred vendor was Safelite Auto Glass. Later I called Safelite and set an appointment. (I could have done it direct thru my insurance company but a phone call interrupted and I had to call back) They took all my information and got my email so they could send the confirmation. Nothing out of the ordinary there…

Safelite Email

Safelite Email

A bit later I received another email with the technician’s name and photo. I was super impressed, since they were replacing the windshield at my home, I now would know exactly who was expected at my door. He also called prior to arriving, letting me know a more precise time for his arrival.

It is an amazing way to inspire confidence and comfort with using their company.

It’s Raining in Arizona – Things to know

The average rain fall in a year for the Valley is roughly 8″. But what is normal truly. Last year we had less than 4″ for the whole year. This week we have already had over 1 1/2 inches and more is coming, possibly 3″-5″ tonight.

What should you know…

  • First don’t drive thru any rushing water, or huge puddles, you don’t know how deep they are, and it takes only inches for rushing water to pull your vehicle down stream
  • Be extra careful on the roads.  We don’t normally get this amount of rain.  There are lots of months with no rain, and nothing to wash the oil off the roads from cars.  When the rain does come, our roads are more slick than you are accustomed to even if you come from a rain soaked area.
  • The roads dip down to allow the water flow across:  A wash; is any dip in the road where water accumulates, it’s not just a puddle and could be deceivingly deep.
  • The Stupid Motorist Law: (that’s really what it is called) has the driver pay for the cost of rescue services if needed to get you out of your car to safety.

Driving in the rain, always be more alert.  Driving in the rain in Arizona; be even more careful.

Old West Alive and Well!

Sometimes I forget I live in the wild west.  Yes, there are plenty of Saguaro cactus around, lots of open desert just out of the city.  But when you live in a metropolitan area with a population of over 3 Million, you just forget.

Well in Cave Creek this week they had elections and the vote was a tie for city councilmen candidates Adam Trenk and Thomas McGuire.  The Maricopa County Superior Court Judge ordered the election be determined by a game of chance.

The Judge shuffled the cards, and the opponents each cut the deck, high card to win.  With the King of Hearts, Adam Trenk won the seat.

I couldn’t make this stuff up folks, the wild, west lives on!

What a Pest!

One of my clients recently moved into temporary housing.  Only to discover the house was infested with Scorpions.  When I think infestation of Scorpions, my mind says it takes ONE to make an infestation.  If I see one, I know there are more.  She however was seeing 4 – 6 – 8 a day.  YIKES  Some were as long as 3 and 4 inches.

Getting rid of the pesky things is not very easy.  Nothing kills them quickly.  Nothing keeps them out of the house.  You can spray and reduce, over time, the number of them, but the way to treat is to seal them out of the house (a pricey process) and eliminate their food source.  No quick fixes. 

Talking to Robert Acosta over at Arizona Exterminating he gave me a great tip to a non chemical way to kill the ones you see.  Hair  Spray!  The stickier the better.  The hair spray when dry, will keep the scorpion from moving, it will freeze, and starve.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer creepy crawly pest…

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