Home > Newsletter Archives > October, 2010
Garden View Logo & Website Header
October Newsletter

Fall is here and it is usually one of the most pleasant months of the year. Almost all horticulturists agree that fall is the best time of year to plant. We need less water to get plants established; roots grow most in the fall and winter so they are established for flush spring growth.

Our sale at the Nursery is almost over. We have moved enough inventory to make way for the Southern California Edison Company to install the new towers and cables for the Tehachapi wind power project. The last day of the sale will be October 24th.

At the end of this newsletter there is a coupon for an additional 10% off the discounted price. We have been doing very little production (moving plants into larger containers) so most of our plants are very large for their container size. Everything we grow and many other items that we did not grow are discounted between 20% to 70%. This is your last chance to get a great deal on a large trees and plants at size and prices that we will probably never offer again.

Mark Meahl (President Garden View Inc.)

Pasadena Project

This beautiful award winning project is on approximately 2 acres in Pasadena. There are paths surrounding the property, seating area, eating and dining spots extensive lawns and probably about 100 mature palms.

The property has been used in filming of CSI Miami, Shark, Dexter, and other television shows, and the Govenator has used the property to tape campaign commercials.

The owner is a good, effective, and fair businessman whom is a pleasure to work with. On such a large project working quality, quantity, materials, and cost effectiveness takes team work and lots of give and take. The owner, Richard Reidel (Garden View Designer), Mark Meahl, and all the crews worked very well together to produce a spectacular project that won the best Estate Landscaping Award from the California Landscape Contractors Association.

This project also won an award for best Estate Landscape Maintenance from the California Landscape Contractors Association. Ofelio Luviano is the Garden View Landscape Maintenance Forman of the crew that does a great job here and on all of their accounts.

Late Summer / Early Fall Garden Tips

Cut hard now to increase bloom and have a compact plant for the winter.

AGAPANTHUS Lily of the Nile (LEFT)
This is one of southern California's favorite plants. It is a nice attractive strap leaf shrub most of the year with beautiful flowers in late spring and early summer and it is relatively water wise. In the full sun and extreme heat the leaves will often show some signs of fading or scorching especially where the leaves are bending. Not much can be done about this and it lasts only a month or two. Many FLAXES -Phormium (RIGHT) will also have the same reaction to extreme heat. It is best to leave the scorched leaves until the heat has passed as they are protecting the leaves underneath. Remove the dead leaves at the bottom of the plant as you would normally.

Raccoons, skunks, and other animals can be a considerable nuisance when they roll up freshly laid sod in search of earthworms and grubs. They may return repeatedly and roll up extensive areas of sod on successive nights. This behavior is particularly common in mid- to late summer as young raccoons are learning to forage for themselves, and during periods of dry weather when other food sources may be less available. Garden View Gardeners have also observed that this problem is much more severe when sod is new and being watered excessively. The grubs come to the surface and the animals find them easy prey, Garden View Landscapers have found that soil drenching insect killers like Merit, Bayer's Advanced Season Lawn Grub control or Bayer's Advanced complete insect killer for lawn and soil helps. Turning down the water also makes a big difference.

LAVANDULA - Lavender (Right):
These plants prefer well drained soil and very little or no fertilizer. To keep the plants neat and compact shear back 1/3 to of the plant immediately after bloom. If the plant becomes woody remove a few of the oldest branches, remove more when new growth comes. If this does not work remove and replace the plant. This plant does best if compost is not put around it. Gravel works good though.

Stop pruning now so that they are hardened off for winter frost and better blooms next spring. If you have to, give it one more slight pruning now but stop after that for the winter. Garden View gardeners have observed that over fertilized and overwatered Hibiscus are more susceptible to white fly problems.

Don't prune in Fall. This plant has magnificent blooms in Spring trimming in fall will reduce the abundance of blooms. This is an easy to maintain, low water need plant. Best if grown in well draining soil. Watch that they don't get overwatered in clay soil as they may get a root rot.

LONICERA SEMPERVIRENS -Honeysuckle (left):
blooms from late spring through much of the summer, prune heavy in early spring and again at end of flowering in September.

Feed with a well diluted liquid fertilizer.

It is a good time to dig up and split overgrown perennials that grow in clumps such as Clivia, Iris, Agapanthus, Gingers, Daylilies, Bird of Paradise, etc.

Cut to 4", fertilize and put in snail bait.

BIRD OF PARADISE - Strelitzia reginae (left):
remove stems after flowers have faded. With some care you can split and plant new clumps.

IVY GERANIUM (right) responds well to some trimming this month. Feed with a balanced fertilizer. Continue to progressively prune on all types of Geranium. Cut back Geranium sanguin if you have not done it yet.

Set out soon, calendulas, pansies, Iceland poppies, and primroses could be blooming for the holidays. Also look for these in cell-packs or 4 inch pots; bedding begonias, candytuft, Chrysanthemum multicaule, C. paludosum, delphinium, dianthus, foxglove, lobelia, penstemon, phlox, snapdragon, stock, pansy and viola. Along the coast, include calceolaria, cineraria, nemesia, and schizanthus.

SANTA BARBARA DAISY - Erigeron karvinskianus (right):
Cut back and fertilize it after it finishes blooming. Garden View Crews usually do this twice a year. This is a great low growing creeping ground cover that is water wise.

COOL SEASON LAWNS (like Marathon or other hybrid fescues) can be cut shorter now. In the winter we usually fertilize cool season lawns with a complete fertilizer that includes some calcium nitrate for a quick green up since it takes so long in the winter for fertilizer to green up the grass. Though there are companies that fertilize lawns on a schedule at Garden View we think it is more appropriate to fertilize on an "as needed" basis when the grass is telling us it needs it.

Warm season lawns (Bermuda, St Augustine, and Kikuya) will stay green longer into the winter if fertilized in October.

Overseeding of Bermuda can take place this month and next. We recommend a perennial rye grass for this because it germinates quickly and doesn't get slime mold like annual Rye grass does. Annual Rye grass uses more water; it is also much more difficult to mow.

St Augustine may survive overseeding though we do not recommend it. In shade the St Augustine may not grow back in spring. If overseeding is done dethatching of the St Augustine should be done first.

Garden View Crews will be overseeding this month and next on most Fescue (Marathon) lawns that have common Bermuda invading them. The crews usually seed the section that has the infestation only. It is very difficult to eliminate Bermuda infestations. There are chemicals that minimally help controlling it but once it is in your lawn the cost/ benefit in time, money and effort is usually not worth the energy to try and eliminate it. Sometimes we will spray the infested area with Round Up prior to reseeding. This helps keep the Bermuda in check but inevitably the Bermuda comes back anyways. In smaller infestations good horticultural practices to keep it in check is usually the best answer.

Impatiens are generally treated as warm season annuals in Southern California. Trimming Impatiens down to 3"-4" above the ground while the weather is still warm may help impatiens survive or look better during winter months. Impatiens will often survive through the winter in protected areas but even if they survive they usually become leggy and unattractive, showing a lot of stem and very little leaf and flower. The cold weather usually kills the layer of leaf on top of the already leggy plant, this exposes just bare stems. By trimming the impatiens before the cold winter hits the plant sends out a new flush of leaves that are more resistant to the cold and have more layers, so if one layer of leaves gets damaged from frost the next layer still looks acceptable. The trimming may make the impatiens unattractive for a short time but the longer life of the plant should make this short inconvenience worthwhile.

DO NOT FERTILIZE OR PRUNE (any more than necessary) frost-tender plants like bougainvillea, citrus, hibiscus, natal plum (right), and thevetia unless the plants look pale or yellowish. Doing so now would stimulate new growth too close to winter.

Train a central leader when angel's trumpet is young if you would like to grow it in tree form.

The Brugmansia Growers International advises: "The best time to trim your plant is in the fall. Always keep at least 6-10 nodes on the branches above the Y for flowers the following year. It is the branches that are above the Y which will produce next year's flowers."

You don't really need to prune angel's trumpet at all unless it is getting in the way.

Click Here to Read the Rest of this Article!

Click Here to Read/Print the Article in Spanish!

Water-Wise Tips
Micro Spray - The Good and Bad of Drip Systems

Drip systems have long been touted as a great way to reduce irrigation waste because the water is slowly placed near the plant. In many situations drip systems do exactly that. We use drip systems extensively in our nursery. They work great in pots and small planters and in situations where the trees or shrubs are placed without a lot of other plants around them such as a fruit tree grove.

Drip systems need maintenance and regular inspections and they are not appropriate in a lot of places many of us try to use them. If you are using drip sprinklers on trees you should move the drips outward and add emitters as the tree matures because the most active roots are near the drip line. If there are many plants that you are needing to water in a planter it is better to saturate all the soil in the planter; most types of drip systems will not do this. In this situation a leaky type pipe placed 12-18" apart (depending on soil type) or try using micro sprays that water similar to a conventional sprinkler but only spray a few feet.

On a slope where you are trying to encourage root growth for soil stabilization a conventional sprinkler system is probably better. The roots are going to follow the water and if the drip system is not saturating the whole slope the roots are not going to grow where there is no water.

Click Here to Read More on this Topic!

In the Dirt
with Julie Meahl

Julie MeahlAs the hot summer sun comes to a close, we're happy to look forward to the transition this fall season brings us: the beauty of fall foliage, orange pumpkins, cooler days, and the smell of the season's first fire. This transition is inevitable so let's welcome Mother Nature's surprises!

It seems like stress is in everyone's lives. This is the time of year to stroll through your landscape and relieve some of it. Look at your trees... The reds, oranges, purples, and yellows in the leaves are being exposed. If your landscape does not have any of these beautiful colors, do not stress. It is not too late to plant them!

At Garden View Nursery we have some great remedies to lack of fall color:
Pomegranates - Back in the 20th century most of the pomegranates ended up in centerpieces and cornucopias, but never eaten. Now that we are in the 21st century, pomegranates are all about antioxidants. This tree also has the fall vibrant colors. I call that a "two-for-one."

Persimmon Trees - This deciduous Japanese tree gives you fruit for fresh eating and baking. It grows 25-30 feet tall and as wide. This is one of the best ornamental fruit trees and it can also be used as a small shade tree. In fall the leaves turn yellow, orange, and red. After the leaves drop the orange fruit stays on the tree until they are picked. If not harvested, of course, they will drop. Also a "two-for-one."

Tip: Fall is the best time to plant. After the leaves drop you can cut back on the watering. Give these trees plenty of sun and always plant with compost.

Thank you Mother Nature. Now you're in the dirt!

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

Blake's Landscape Maintenance Blog

I recently had a client, with whom I believed everything was going famously, issue a 30 day notice to cancel our services. When I received this letter I was perplexed and could not understand what would be the motive. After tracking down the client it became clear that the problems were a shear matter of communication. This particular property has preferred a different, more aggressive, style of trimming on many plants than we had been doing for years at this and all of our other properties. They were probably fuming for years and cursing my name when all it would have taken is a simple call or email to me.

Now, I understand it can be intimidating opening up a line of communication with the world renowned columnist for Garden View's newsletter but I really am just a normal, everyday guy. HOWEVER, I keep hearing my 7 figure salary does seem to have a negative impact on the company's finances. I would not suggest taking up too much of my time or Mark might raise your price to cover how bad I am gouging him. But hey, I'm worth it.

P.S. the client chose to keep our 16 year relationship going and is by all accounts very happy now. And yes, my 7 figure salary is paid in pesos, it's how I get all the chicks.

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

Garden View crews are instructed to try trimming shrubs so they do not look too crisp. They should look neat but not sheared; somewhat natural but not wild. We try to open the plants up so light shines inside allowing growth from the interior of the plant therefore not only from the outside tip of the branches. There are situations and plant varieties however, for which this is not possible.

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.)

Offer Expires: 10/24/2010. Not Valid with Other Offers
12901 Lower Azusa Road, Irwindale, CA
Garden View, Inc. | 114 E Railroad Ave. | Monrovia | CA | 91016