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January/February Newsletter

I have moisture sensors that measure the moisture at the root zone (where the water is actually needed). The moisture sensor overrides the signal from the sprinkler controller (if the ground is too wet) so that the valve in that area will not turn on. This Saturday was the first time since early December's rain and over three weeks since our last rain that my sensors have allowed anything to be irrigated.

The ground has been saturated since our historic December rains. You would think that the ground would dry from the top down but obviously there is also a capillary or wicking action going on.

My moisture sensor system or "root zone water management system" is working fabulously and saving water, money and the reduced "just in time watering" is much better for the plants trees and grass.

We will have more on moisture sensor or "root zone irrigation management" in future newsletters. The point of most of this newsletter is that you do not need advanced tools like I have in my yard to gain the same benefits. Reducing how often you are watering and watering deeply when you do at this time of year is better for the plants and can actually save you money and water the rest of the year because you are training your roots to tap water from deeper in the soil.

Mark Meahl (President Garden View Inc.)

West Covina Project

This project has an obviously beautiful view with an infinity edge pool. You walk up the stone steps to the spa and a seating area with a fire pit where you can enjoy the remarkable view of the city and mountains. The large beach entry (shallow pool area--approx. 1 foot deep) provides a great place for kids to play or to put a lounge chair in water and relax in your own back yard paradise. The lights are made by Stone Manor Lighting.

New Year's Garden Tips 

Check swales on hills, clean obstructions, and check drains. Protect hillsides and use common sense to check for issues that may create slope erosion. Check any sump pumps, gutters, and drains.

Cyclamen is a great for cool season winter blooms; it can bloom into the summer (with light shade, cool spot and some luck). The plants are expensive but generally worth it. Don't overwater Cyclamen they can wilt. You can tell if wilting results from overwatering by checking the stems. If the stems are soft and wet you have overwatered conversely if the stems are dry, crisp and firm and leaves wilted you have under watered. Do not clip faded blooms - this can lead to rot - pull them off with a quick downward yank. Fertilize regularly with a complete fertilizer.

AZALEAS AND CAMELLIAS (right) - Plant Transplant and Rejuvenate:
Azaleas and Camellias are at their peak now. Shop for the colors and forms that you want plant right away. Now is also the time to move established plants. Esteban (Garden View Maintenance Supervisor) says that struggling older azaleas can be rejuvenated by digging around the old root ball and adding sufficient quantities of peat moss in the soil.

Nursery supplies of the following cool weather flowers are still good; Calendula, Cineraria, Dianthus, English daisies, Iceland poppies, Pansies, Primroses, Ranunculus, Snapdragons, Stock, Sweet alyssum, and Violets. Water to settle soil, then water twice weekly unless rains are sufficient.

GRAPES (right):
Grape vines need pruning about this time in order to get good fruit. Grapes are either "cane" or "spur" pruned.

Some think this is the best month to plant California natives. It's also a good time to sow seeds of California wildflowers. Scatter and water them in, or wait to sow in February, when rain ought to sprout them naturally.

Begin pruning dormant fruit and shade trees, roses, grapes, and vines. Delay pruning of spring-flowering shrubs and vines until after their flower show is over.

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Click Here to Read/Print this Article in Spanish!

Water-Wise Tips
Protect our Resources and Your Water Bill

Develop deep roots by training your plants. This is the time of the year to water seldom but deeply and only when needed. Do not water every day. The plants will not develop deep roots because they don't have to and because there is no oxygen and bio activity in the ground because it is too wet. Deep roots and reduced watering help prevent trees from falling over and reduce weed growth also.

Click here to read our article on deep watering!

In the Dirt
with Julie Meahl

Julie MeahlWishing everyone a healthy and happy new year!
Before ringing in the new year, we all make our new year's resolutions. After polls taken, sixty percent of the population wants a healthier and happier lifestyle. Garden View Nursery can help achieve these goals!
1. A handful of almonds a day can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Garden View Nursery has the all-in-one almond tree.
2. An apple a day can help keep the flu away. We have a new apple variety: "Pink Lady." Blushing pink skin over green snappy tartness balanced with a touch of crisp sweet flavor. Great for our warm climate.
3. Vitamin C helps our immune systems. For this, Garden View Nursery has the Valencia Orange tree. Traditionally used for juicing, this orange is also great for eating. This tree's fruit stores well into Fall, actually improving in quality.
4. Emotional Health. Do you have the 'blahs' after putting all your holiday decorations away? Boost your spirit with an indoor Kentia Palm. One of our specials right now is 40% off all Kentia Palms.
5. Exercise. Garden view Nursery has 13 acres to help your cardiovascular health. So come on out and walk or jog, and see all of our new varieties of trees and shrubs!

At Garden View Nursery we are excited about our new variety of rose. Fragrant Plum is a vigorous tall rose that provides many long elegant buds atop premium length cutting stems. It is a beautiful plum colored grandiflora rose with a strong fruity fragrance.


Tip: I always say, "Once the Rose floats have gone down Colorado Blvd. it's time to cut your roses back!"

Congratulations to all Garden View employees for all their hard work. We are now in compliance with So Cal Edison's Tehachapi wind power project, and waiting for them to put in their new towers.

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

Blake's Landscape Maintenance Blog

I have been receiving calls and emails from some of our clients just terrified about the how little water we have been applying at their properties. They insist that they can see dry soil on the surface and that I must have a personal vendetta against them and their landscape. It's not that I have anything against them personally it's just that I really want to destroy their plants! I have my fingers crossed that any minute their shrubs and lawns are just going to spontaneously combust; I just hope no one gets hurt!

The truth is, the top layer of your soil may look dry but that is not where your plants are drawing their water from. The roots are not on the surface lapping up everything around them; they are underground, and the deeper we can encourage them to grow the better. If you are still convinced you are living in the Sahara grab a trowel and see what is happening just a few inches below the surface. If you are still finding bone dry soil then proceed to scream "Blake you @$$#%7$!!" and turn on your sprinklers.

The idea behind holding off on the watering during this season, especially after that long beautiful soak that we had a few weeks ago, is that the water has so deeply penetrated the soil that we force plants to grow deeper roots seeking moisture. With the combination of cooler weather, lower plant necessity, and hydrostatic pressure drawing water closer to the surface, we really can and should cut back on our irrigating. By always keeping water on the surface of the soil the roots will never seek hydration below that well saturated layer that you create. Not only are you using less water now by limiting your irrigation, but more importantly you are developing a root structure that will be able to endure more heat with less water when that time comes.

Plant roots are kinda like the drunk guy in your family; most of the year throwing 'em back all the time works out. He can make it out of bed, even out of the house... But at some point every year, sometime around winter and the holidays, he is going to freak out unless he gets cut off. You know, that plastered call in the middle of the night asking "What happened between us? OH! So you think you're better than me?? Can I borrow $1000?" Don't you wish capping his bottle was as easy as turning off your timer?

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

It is warm out right now but this is the season for frost and freezing temperatures and our weather can change quite quickly. There are things we can do to mitigate frost and freeze damage.

See our article on Frost and Freeze Protection

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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