Managing our natural resources during drought conditions takes mental observation of our situation, educating ourselves on what the causes and effects of drought are, and taking positive actions to provide the best remedies to reduce or at best eliminate the negative effects of drought conditions.
Managing soil organics and learning how to effectively improve your soil is one of the biggest steps you can take in your quest to deal with drought conditions in your landscape. By providing healthy, vibrant, microbe rich nutrients to our soil matrix, you can improve the overall growing conditions and health of all plant and tree materials on site. Biostimulants like CytoGro ( www.cytogro.com ) can provide special extracts and natural ingredients to improve the biological activity levels in a safe and organic way. The primary ingredients are cytokins & auxins that are combined with natural extracts of amino acids,vitamins, and nutrients derived from sea vegetables. This combination promotes deep, dense root development which strengthens plants and increases tolerance to stress by disease damage, insect infestation,lack of moisture,poor water quality, and other environmental factors
Another one of the best 'Ole Skool' methods of optimizing your soil is by utilizing organic compost and mulches to help retain vital minerals and nutrients in the soil and help create a living soil web environments for earth worms and other microscopic insects that create food and life for our plant and tree roots. As a bonus, this same mulch helps retain precious water so that our landscapes can survive under today's extremely hot weather conditions.
Proper water management through the use of 'Smart Irrigation' technologies and innovative approaches to saving and applying water to our landscapes is vital.
We are currently using one of the latest WiFi enabled controller that our clients and I can control water use on-site from anywhere in the world ! ( Contact me at this website under our contact form )
There are many water provider/supplier programs available now for you to learn more about what is available to help you conserve and use water wisely. Check with your water provider or online under "Landscape water conservation " and I am sure you will come across many websites that can help you learn more and apply proven techniques.
By educating yourself on the basics of proper resource management at your home or business you will be well on the way to saving your landscape investment, your precious time, and most of all our limited natural resources.
Here in Southern California, we should seriously consider which plan of action to use to help protect one's home and businesses from seasonal wild fires. Wild fires can occur at any time an are especially devastating in the late summer and early fall when it is normally seasonally hot and windy from our Santa Ana winds.
I have witnessed on news the havoc and destruction fires have caused in Washington state and other western states and pray that those effected by their wildfires will have faith, and hope to rebuild and rethink their "Firscaping" plans.
Listed below is a suggested plan when " Firescaping" with fire-resistant plant materials.
* The first order of business is to break down your property into 4 zonal areas.
* Zone 1 : 50 ft. and closest to your home.
Suggested plan of action : keep area moist and well trimmed,
Install turf,ground covers,and annual color.
Avoid using plants with high resin content ( Pines, Junipers,Eucalyptus etc.. )
* Zone 2: 51-100 ft.
Keep landscaping low and sparse.
Slow growing,drought tolerant shrubs & ground covers are to be considered to keep the fire at ground level.
Use plant materials with high moisture content.
* Zone 3: 101-150 ft.
Keep area high and clean
Trees are suggested to be planted in this zone with their branches at least 10 ft. away from the nearest tree and their branches should be no closer than 15 ft, from the ground.
* Zone 4 : 150 ft. and beyond
This should be considered your "Natural Area"
This area may not be landscaped, it still should be well maintained.
Trees are suggested to be thinned twice a year.
all low branches, leaf litter, and dead plants & branches should be removed.
* Other items to consider:
Use crushed stone for mulch and avoid using bark or shredded dry mulch.
Use materials such as rocks & pebbles, decomposed granite,flagstone, and artificial wood that is inorganic or inflammable when building fences,decks, etc...
By keeping these simple suggestions in mind during this high fire season, it is my hope these suggestions will help save not only your home or business during a wild fire but maybe more important, you and your families lives.
Tree selection and placement on a property takes careful thought and planning to assure successful growth of the tree,to maintain safety and to provide environmental advantages to it's owner(s). You need to answer these questions first when determining what tree is going to work best for you and your needs. 1. Why is the tree being planted ? To provide shade,fruit, or seasonal color ? To provide a screen or windbreak ?
2. What is the size and location of the planting site ? Do you have full sun, shade part shade,sun ? Do you need to consider clearance for sidewalks,patios or driveways ? Are there overhead or below ground wires or utilities in the vicinity?
3. Which type of soil conditions exists ? Is it deep,fertile and well drained, or is it shallow, compacted and infertile ?
4. Which type of maintenance are you willing to provide ? Do you have time to water,fertilize,and prune the newly planted tree until it is established ?
Trees make our surroundings more pleasant and if placed and cared for properly, trees can increase the value of your real estate.
Trees properly placed can also cool in the summer and add warmth in the winter depending on the choice of tree and desired effects. Planting trees in the fall is a great idea as during the fall and winter months at least here in the warmer southwest zones, newly planted trees can take advantage of the seasonal rains and warm days to enhance the rooting and establishment of the tree. By spring time, the trees planted in the fall and winter should be well rooted and ready to "Spring Out" with new leaves and start it's first new year on it's journey to become a beautiful addition to your home or business property. There are many great nurseries to go on-line and check out what the nursery carry and the selection(s) availability. One such nursery, San Marcos Growers (www.smgrowers.com ) carries a wide variety of beautiful and water conserving trees. Please feel free after checking the San Marcos web site, to give me a call or E-mail so we can help you take care of your pickup,delivery, and installation needs.
* Note: Some of my information for this blog I obtained from the pamphlet "Tree Selection" published by the ISA ( International Society of Arborculture) www.isa-arbor.com
Our recent Southern Calif. windstorms were one for the record books. Residents of foothill cities such as Pasadena, Altadena and San Gabriel have reported that the winds in their communities have never been so strong and so destructive. Wind storms can damage trees in a couple of ways. A tree may be completely blown over, or branch and trunk failure can happen. CERTIFIED ARBORIST will find many times that a tree may have been predisposed to failure by cut or damaged roots, or by diseased or decayed roots. The wind forces on the upper portion of the tree simply become too great for the roots to support the tree. Wind storm damage that causes branch or trunk failure is caused by the twisting and swaying due to the high winds. In some cases the wind forces cause the wood fibers to split or twist. Often stem and branch failure occurs at old wounds. Wind storm damage can be minimized if trees are maintained in healthy condition. Timely watering,and moderate fertilization will help keep the tree growing vigorously. Pest or diseases may indicate a stress problem with the tree. Healthy , vigorous trees adjust more quickly to changes in the environment than one's under undue stress. Proper pruning can eliminate hazardous limbs and allow adequate wind movement through a tree. CERTIFIED ARBORIST provide the needed "Educated" opinion that is needed to properly advise consumers what steps that should be taken to assure the proper health and safety from tree hazards to reduce the amount of wind storm related damage.
For help in locating a CERTIFIED ARBORIST in your area, fill out the " CONTACT US " form on our web site or call me direct at 562-755-9914.
* Information obtained from the Arborist Certification Study Guide
Winter time offers not only shorter sunny days but the prime time to do some "winterizing" of your landscaping lawn,shrubs and trees. During the winter here in our Southern Calif. climate zone, we normally get most of our seasonal rain. This supplemental water provides the needed ingredient to activate energy to the root system and provide needed nutrients for the flower and fruiting production for our shrubs and trees later on in the growing season ahead. Fertilize those fruit trees,lawn,and shrubs with a balanced fertilizer and to add more boost to your fertilizing program, be sure to fertilize with a fertilizer that has a higher ratio of potassium and phosphorus. ( The last two numbers listed on the fertilizer bag, the first number listed is nitrogen )These two ingredients add strength to the root system to help your lawn, shrubs and trees withstand the hot arid summers ahead and also provide the energy for your shrubs and trees to produce massive blooms and plenty of fruit. For more information on our fertilization programs and soil supplements that we have available, respond back on the contacts link or call me direct at 562-755-9914.