Updated: Sep 10
Good drainage is one of the most important elements of a well landscaped area. Without proper drainage, plants will not thrive and no one wants puddles of water around their property either. Making sure the ground drains properly is the first step to creating an efficient garden.
First figure out what kind of conditions you currently have. Not many places in California have to deal with high water tables, which can cause poor drainage because the ground water level is already high. Lots of clay can also impede soil drainage and extra drainage is required. Lastly, the ground being too tightly compacted, common in new building sites, can also be an issue and loosening the dirt is a good idea before landscaping.
Hillsides that are poorly graded creates water run off. Grading slopped areas is an important step. By terracing flat levels into a slope, water won't run off as fast and have a chance to soak in. Planting grass on a steep slope without good terracing and drainage can lead to brown spots because the water runs off too fast and does not adequately water areas evenly on steep areas. Ground covers would be a better bet for a steep slope where terracing is not implemented.
Smart irrigation and slow drip systems can also help in making sure your landscape is not overly watered and the water given can soak in. Avoiding run off and overspray is important when implementing a watering system and today's smart controllers monitor the ground and only water when needed.
If you would like help with your landscape project, contact us! Our award-winning experts can help with every stage of the landscaping process and maintenance!
Trees add value to your property and are a great investment when improving your landscape. Not only do they add immense beauty, fruit, flowers, shade and more, they also help clean the air that we breathe. Planting trees should be a priority for all communities. Choosing the right tree for your property depends on several different factors.
Luckily, the Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute located at Cal Poly in California, has a data base that will help you select the proper tree for your location and your needs. You can search the site by entering your zip code and the attributes of the tree that you want here: ufei.calpoly.edu/index.lasso
Planting Your Tree
Once you have selected the tree that is best for your property, it’s time to plant! Like everything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. Following the correct planting steps is important to growing a healthy tree.
First, make sure you select the right location in your yard for your tree. Make sure the tree you are planting has plenty of room and will not outgrow its location. Then determine that the soil in which you are planting is compatible with the tree you have chosen. Also, make sure that your tree will have the right amount of sun and shade that is recommended for your particular type of tree.
Prepare a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball (some landscaping experts recommend a wider hole, up to three times as wide.) A wide hole will insure fast growth of the tree. The depth of the hole should be determined by the height of the root ball. The right depth will prevent settling.
Remove the plastic or wire basket and/or burlap from the root ball.
Add a starter fertilizer and fill around the root ball with the soil you removed for planting.
Deep water the tree, and water each day for seven days; then water twice a week for week two, and once a week afterwards.
Care and Feeding
It is important to know that mulching is very important to the health of your newly planted tree. Mulch acts to retain water, preventing the roots from drying out, and provide protection from the heat and cold. It keeps weeds away from the tree roots and prevents compaction of the soil around the tree. There are different types of mulch available.
For newly planted trees, water right after planting. Not enough water will damage a tree, but over-watering is harmful as well. The proper amount of watering can be determined by feeling the soil around the tree. The soil should be moist but not soggy. Allowing the soil to dry for a short time between waterings, is good for the tree because it allows the soil to oxygenate.
Consider a drip system with smart controller to efficiently water your newly planted tree and landscape, saving water and money. There are rebates available in many counties throughout California to help implement these systems.
After the first two years, the root structure of the tree should be well established and will not need the kind of monitoring that a newly planted tree requires.
Care must be taken when pruning newly planted trees because poor pruning can damage a tree for the rest of its life. The pruning of these young trees should be done to remove remove dead or broken branches. More aggressive pruning should wait until the tree is two to three years old.
Signs of a Healthy Tree
Is There New Growth: If you have had your tree for a year or more, there should be new growth appearing each year.
Check for Dead or Broken Branches: Since dead and broken branches invite insects and make the tree more susceptible to disease, they should be pruned off. Hint: If a branch is green underneath the bark when scraped with your fingernail, it is alive.
Check the Tree’s Bark: The bark should be intact. If it is loose or peeling, there is probably a problem. The truck should not have large cracks or holes and should be free of fungi.
Examine the Leaves: Leaves should be the appropriate color for the season. Wilting of the leaves indicate stress caused by too little or too much watering, or too much or too little sun. Evergreens should not have bare patches without needles, and deciduous trees should be full of leaves in the blooming season. Areas where leaves are missing can indicate damage or disease.
A proper tree care program will allow fluid growth patterns and wind penetration. This will condition your trees for long term healthy development. All of our pruning practices are based upon the International Society of Arboriculture industry standards.
Our Pacific Vista Landscape Service professionals will provide your property with a complete inventory of all trees and organize these trees on a multiple year tree care plan. We will place the trees on an appropriate plan to best suit a given species.
Contact us or call us today! 661-222-7525
Most of us learned in grade school about the origins of Thanksgiving. We donned Pilgrim hats, Indian headbands and turkey costumes to portray the historical beginnings of our popular holiday.
We learned that after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1621, they celebrated what became known as the first Thanksgiving with the friendly Indians who lived there. The celebration of the first successful harvest in the New World was a feast that lasted for three days, and included food traditional to the Pilgrims and also to the Indians. In 1789, George Washington announced that there would be a day of Thanksgiving to mark the end of the Revolutionary War.
It wasn’t until the 1800’s, however, that Thanksgiving became a true American tradition. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November. In l939, President Franklin Roosevelt changed the official date to the third Thursday in November.
Today, the holiday has become a fall festival for the celebration and gathering together of family and friends. Thanksgiving is a day of feasting, and is all about food. Being abundant in the earlier days of the celebration, the wild turkey became the icon of the holiday meal. Other meats, such as venison and pork were also probably on the menu. In addition to the traditional food offerings of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries and pies, homes are decorated in fall themes and colors.
Dressing up your Thanksgiving table with festive decorations is an important part of this holiday celebration. Traditional Thanksgiving decorations are inspired by the harvest, and are usually in colors of orange, red, yellows and browns.
Autumn leaves are festive and easy to find! Pumpkins and squashes hollowed out make great holders for flowers and candles. Try succulents in a pumpkin. Fruits such as apples, persimmons, oranges and cranberries can add wonderful, colorful accents. Corn comes in many colors and is another great decoration for the table. For a country flavor, try combining your flowers with fruits in Mason jars. Even throw some nuts and acorns around the center of the table! The ideas are endless, and it is much more fun and affordable to do your table decorations yourself!