Matt's Helpful Hints and Tips
Frigid Temps reak havoc on landscape
Wow!!!!! and Brrrrr! These past few weeks have really done a number on the landscapes here in the central valley. Flooded earlier this season and now dry, cold and breezy. Many seasonal color and perennials have croaked and and citrus and other nsensitives have really been damaged. How does your agapanthus look now? Mine are shot and will take several months to recover. Good news is , most if not all will. Keep container plants moist but not wet, along with the landscape. Irrigation can be used sparingly, but remember it is wet a couple inches down so don't over do it.
Start thinking about lawn care. Lawns suffer greatly in extreme cold. Most from poor irrigation coverage, or a forgetful owner I met recently that kept the timer at 3 minutes per station. She could not understand why the lawn was so dry. We adjusted accordingly for her and the lawn bounced back in about 3 weeks. Also consider the mowing height. If you care for your own lawn set that mower so you have about 2 inches of grass blade height after mowing. That additional height will protect the sensitive root zone, maintain moisture and generate plenty photosynthesis. Short cuts will result, depending on grass type, in scorched, dried out and frost burned root zones, stressed lawns and subject them to a weakened state, which seemingly invites pest and disease problems.
Stop feeding your lawn in Decemberand resume again in late February. Much like you and I, lawns tend to slow their growth activity when temps below 45 degreees. Maintain moisture levels and look for signs of weed and pest investation. prepare your turf for this coming Spring with a fertilizer and weed preventer. Start application at the end of February and again in April.
I hope you have taken the time to inspect, flush and repair your drainage system before fall and winter storms are upon us. This starts at the gutters and goes to the street. Free flowing gutters, drain systems, catch basins are an intricate part of keeping your yard healthy and your home safe from standing water, gutter over flows and mold, foundations issues. For those flat landers like me, LDL speciazes in yard sump installations, which tie into new, augmented or existing drain line systems. See our slide show for an example of back yard sump installation in Lodi in June of last year.
Like mine, your perennials have been up and already seen their best show. But lets extend that season a while longer, shall we. I good dead heading, pruning, thinning and feeding will burst them back to near spring levels. Daylilies, Coreopsis, shrub roses etc respond great to this treatment. Feed every 2 weeks for a month and they will wow you until October.
Thinning out and heading back are key terms you here about pruning trees and large shrubs. We strive to create a strong framework, yet not create a "lollipop" look or top heavy plant that would be proned to wind damage or an unnatural appearance. Allowing for structure, shape and beauty to come though visually. Try LDL for your next decorative pruning needs.
With wet weather and all those snails and slugs getting twitter pated right about now, control them in a myriad of ways. For those with an aversion to baits and goos, try getting out there with a flashlight in snail prone areas of the yard and start having a pick and toss party. Kids love it and it will reduce numbers to a manageable level. Two nights ago, I tossed 110 during a light evening sprinkle. With Hosta and other annuals about to go into the yard I want as few as possible, so I will supplement with "Slugo" or Corry's" baits, slightly away from the plants I want them away from.
Protect pets by baiting inside a cut out milk jug, or similar container that is staked to the ground. Once caught, toss the container. No mess, no muss, no fuss. Empty the dead ones and return the container for round two or three.
How about Landscape Designs- "Plan your work, then work your Plan". Family or friends purchase a home recently and all they have talked about is the yard and what to do with it. Give a gift that will help transform their investment into a dream with a professional landscape design. They could work from the design and do it themselves or hire us to do the install when the time is right.