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February Newsletter

Yea! It has been raining and there is snow on the mountains. If you have not been skiing at Mount Baldy in a few years you should try it; there is lots of snow and they have new grooming and snow making equipment.

It may be wet and muddy but we still have lots to do in the garden to get ready for spring. Please read my article on frost protection. Be prepared especially if you have frost tender plants and succulents.

If you want to get a new pool installed or your old pool remodeled by summer you better hurry up. It takes time to design and bid the projects but the most time consuming part is the permit process. It seems that many cities and county offices are making work for themselves and it is taking longer now than when the economy was booming.

Mark Meahl (President Garden View Inc.)

San Marino Project Before & After

February Garden Tips
This is often our rainiest month, but don't complain! We need all the wet stuff we can get. Rain waters trees and shrubs deeply and pushes harmful mineral salts down through the soil. If rains don't materialize, irrigate deeply, though sprinklers are never as thorough as soaking rains. Days are still short and nights often cold, but you can smell the first blossoms of spring.

At Garden View Landscape Maintenance we trim large shrubs that bloom from the end of their new growth this month. We cut back Oleander (left) very far so that it does not need trimming again for most of the year. (When you trim Oleander you cut off all the flowers). For the same reason we usually trim mature Bougainvilleas (right) very hard late in the month (after chance of frost has past). Our customers are sometimes shocked at the temporarily sparse looking plant but the prolonged bloom is worth it.

If you have not trimmed your Salvias (left) yet it is a good time to do it.

Prune old flower heads off Hydrangeas (right). Remove the upper third of each stem, but not any lower for the largest blooms this spring. The best blooms come from growth from last years healthy stems. To get the largest blooms reduce the number of flower stems. Otherwise you will get many blooms of smaller size.

Prune Tagetes lucida - Mexican Marigold (left) this time of month. Generally we cut in half.

Pittosporum tobira (right) takes well to trimming this month as well. This is a good plant to trim inside out and let a little light inside.

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Click Here to Read/Print this Article in Spanish!

Frost Protection
Covering plants with frost cloth is one of the best solutions but usually not feasible.

As weird as this may sound it is probably better to water during a freeze. The theory behind that is that the chemical reaction & movement of the water raises the temperature slightly and may help protect the plants. The Plants are damaged when the cells in the leaves (and sometimes the stems and roots) freeze and expand and burst. Different plants have different tolerances as to how cold they will get before the cell burst. Often times the freeze will just hurt some outer layer of leaves, it's usually when the stems freeze or a large portion of the plant freezes that the plant dies.

Also the new water on the leaves is washing off the frost. The water in the pipes is coming out warmer than the air (or it would be frozen in the pipe). It also is delaying the freeze in the leaves by creating another layer for the air to freeze before starting the freeze on the leaves and the chemical reaction of freezing actually raises the surface temperature temporarily. IF ICE FORMS ON THE PLANT OR SOIL THE IRRIGATION WATER MUST STAY ON OR BE TURNED BACK ON TO WASH OFF THE ICE.

At Garden View Nursery we have a program set to water each station for 5 minutes with 6 start times (cycles) starting at 1:00 AM. We will switch our controllers to this program if frost is predicted. Copying this idea may be your easiest solution.

Root Guards
This is the best month for root pruning and Installing root guards.

If you have a tree that has roots that are starting to or are going to cause problems to your paving, then this is a good month to prune the roots and install root guards.

Deciduous trees will not be affected as much by root pruning because the roots are not trying to support all of the leaves. Be careful though not to cut too much root... you don't want to destabilize the tree.

Root guards can also help contain those pesky Bamboo runners.  This is the month to cut any bamboo runners that may be trying to grow over the barrier (see this month's garden tips).

We sell root guards at Garden View Nursery.

Water-Wise Tips

Keep your irrigation controller off for as long as reasonable after the rain. Let Nature do its thing. The recent rains have watered our landscapes deeply. The roots are still growing this time of year and we want to encourage them to grow deep. Overwatering encourages the roots to grow to the surface. As the ground starts to dry out the roots will be encouraged to grow downward looking for moisture.

In the Dirt
with Julie Meahl

Julie Meahl This February, 2010, we will all be seeing red. Red represents love, passion, respect, and courage. This month has been titled "Heart Health Month" for women. February also honors our Presidents, Valentines, and Olympians.

To honor our presidents, Garden View Nursery has the Mister Lincoln rose bush. A velvety deep red hybrid tea rose. A historic American red rose, with a strong damask rose fragrance.

For our U.S. Olympians, we have the Olympiad hybrid tea rose bush. Like a finely toned athlete, this reddest-of-red rose will continue to win medals for many years to come. The fragrance is light and fruity.

Valentines should have the gift that keeps giving. Garden View Nursery has the Chrysler Imperial rose bush. A velvety dark red hybrid tea rose. This rose is vigorous and loves hot temperatures, with a strong damask rose fragrance.

To keep our women healthy and strong, Garden View Nursery has the Heritage Red Raspberry plant. These are sweet, juicy, and high in dietary fiber and nutrients.

Are you seeing red yet? To sum up February, give her red flowers, feed her red fruits, and get some exercise by walking through Garden View Nursery's 13 acres like an Olympian!

Tip: When planting roses mix some peat moss with your planting mix. They love the acid. Also use an acid based fertilizer. Raspberries should be planted 3 feet apart. Be sure you have full access to both sides of the bed, so you can pick and prune easily.

Now you're in the dirt!

(Julie Meahl is the Retail Manager and Vice President of Garden View, Inc.)

Blake's Landscape Maintenance Blog

Blake Being a natural born business entrepreneur and having an uncanny sense of all things "cool" and "fashionable," I realized that I will have to retire my position here at Garden View for bigger and better things. That's right, I am going to have my very own TV show on MTV. Given the overwhelming success of their show "pimp my ride," where they renovate teenager's beat up old Honda Civics and install bowling ball polishers and skate board ramps, they decided to capitalize.

After a nationwide search for the landscape company with the "pimpest" gardening trucks (stunning good looks didn't hurt either) they found their host: yours truly. The show will be called "Un-suck your truck" and I am certain it will be a national phenomenon.

Check out a couple of pictures of our trucks that we have built up. The goal with how we set up our trucks is simple; efficiency. All of our trucks are equipped with all the machines and tools necessary to take care of jobs of almost any proportion and with limited downtime. The tools are self enclosed in the trucks so that there is no time wasted loading equipment in or out at the start and finish of the day. Large deck zero turn lawn mowers are driven up into the trucks and racking systems keep everything organized. All common irrigation parts are stocked on trucks to avoid time spent mobilizing to purchase materials as needed. What it comes down to is that more efficient crews mean more productivity and thus better value to our clients.

The crews have requested regulation size soccer goals to pop out the side and fully stocked bars on every truck but I'm gonna save that for the show...

(Blake Meahl is the Operations Manager for Garden View's Maintenance Division.)

If you have any suggestions on articles you would like to see in our newsletter or suggestions for improvement please let us know.
-Tyler Meahl (Technical Manager and Special Projects Coordinator for Garden View Inc.)

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Garden View, Inc. | 114 E Railroad Ave. | Monrovia | CA | 91016