Feb 17 2020Share

Prepare for Spring: Create Your Outdoor Plan Utilizing Free Classes and Resources

By Warren Tenney

With thoughts of spring swirling, now is the perfect time to do some outdoor planning. With a little strategy and knowledge, it’s easy to enjoy color in your desert yard all four seasons of the year. To assist with your spring preparation, the AMWUA cities offer a wide variety of free classes to help you design, plant and maintain a lovely, drought-resistant yard.

Through these free classes and workshops, you can learn about a wide variety of landscape topics including container gardening, designing desert landscapes, and how to prune a tree for health and beauty. There are classes about composting, and growing vegetables, fruit trees, and desert edibles. Learn how to manage your irrigation controller, water efficiently, find and fix leaks, and unravel the mysteries of your irrigation system. This type of knowledge can lead to beautiful and water-efficient outdoor spaces. 

These city classes are offered mostly in the late winter or spring and again in the fall. You can check with your city’s conservation offices for more information or view the complete list on the AMWUA website. It pays to have a plan before it’s time to grab your gardening hat and gloves.

For additional assistance with designing your ideal yard, a valuable interactive resource is also available for homeowners, businesses and anyone looking for a little extra desert-adapted flower power. The Plants for the Arizona Desert website, highlights over 200 desert friendly plants through high-quality photos, which will make planning your yard that much easier. The desert offers a surprisingly diverse selection of low-water-use landscape plants. Blending this distinctive palette of colors, forms, and textures allows you to create plant combinations to suit any landscape situation with creative options that ensure year-round color, seasonal interest, and a wealth of other possibilities.

As you plan your landscape, don't overlook one of the best design resources—local xeriscape demonstration gardens. Arizona’s many gardens, including those right here in the Valley, provide a wealth of practical information and showcase mature examples of the diverse array of trees and plants that thrive in our environment.

Now is an ideal time to start planning for the planting season and looking at options for transforming your yard. The final product will be worth it. Afterall a desert-adapted landscape will save you time, water and money while playing a valuable role in building a sustainable future for all of us. And utilizing the expertise of your local water conservation pros at these workshops empowers us all to be a little more water-wise.

For over 50 years, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information visit

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