I am in Tucson AZ. My house is on about 0.65 acre and was neglected for a few years before I owned it. The grounds are all desert dirt, front, side and back with a gravelly appearance and other undesireable debris in the dirt. There are many grass like patches low to the ground and other vegetation growing 2-3 ft high. I want to eliminate all this and start with clean desert dirt, well tended and then explore landscaping possibilities. I want to keep a sparse appearance. BTW no grass and well tended dirt is very common in the southwest. Existing plants I will keep are palo verde trees, mesquite trees, a saguaro cactus, barrel cactii, a couple ocotillos and oleanders.
Just to improve appearance now I would like to rake, sweep, pull, dig up anything undesirable. Then in spring I would spray a preemerge and spot treat anything undesireable that comes back. Am I on the right track or should I leave what is growing and treat it in spring? Is there an herbicide I would spray now to treat undesireable growth?