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October Newsletter

Fall is a wonderful time of year; cooler but not cold weather, crisp air, fall color on many trees and of course Halloween and Thanksgiving. One of the benefits of living in Southern California is that we get to plant all year round, though most horticulturists agree that fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. We need less water to get plants established; roots grow most in the fall and winter so they are established for flush spring growth.

Native plants should be planted in fall or winter.

Those of you with sewer or drain problems have probably noticed that it is usually in fall and winter that you have to de-root your pipes. Spring and summer we get top growth; fall and winter we get root growth. This is the time to train your lawn, ground covers, shrubs and trees roots to grow deep by watering less often but deeper. The best way is through multiple watering cycles the same day.

Mark Meahl (President Garden View Inc.)

Monrovia Project

This project included outdoor kitchen, pool remodel, arbors, patio, lighting, and extensive interlocking paver installation. The arbors are strategically placed to provide reflective beauty off the water of the pool. Though concrete has it place functionally and in design; in many cases interlocking Pavers have many advantages over concrete. The pavers do not fissure and crack. They stay looking good and rich forever especially if a sealer is put on them occasionally. If you need to repair a spot or something under the paver they can be removed and replaced without a scar. Garden View installs pavers for a very competitive price. Most people are surprised at how reasonable the cost is.

October and November Gardening Tips

The most important task in fall per Esteban Casimiro (Garden View Landscape Maintenance Supervisor) is to prepare for the rainy season; 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 all sump pumps, gutters, and drains.

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.

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 trim until after their spring blooms. Most varieties of these low water need, disease and pest resistant plants are compact growers needing little pruning.

JERUSALEM SAGE -Phlomis fruticosa (left):
about half in fall to keep them compact. This plant will produce waves of color in spring and summer if cut back lightly after each flowering.

When plants have finished blooming, cut them back to within 6 or 8 inches of the ground. If plants are overcrowded, this would be a good time to divide them. Lift clumps, cut roots into pieces, and discard old or woody centers. Replant remaining pieces.

The best time to fertilize your annual flowers is when planting them. Garden View Crews sprinkle some fertilizer underneath the plant when planting. The reason is that Phosphorus and Potassium which contribute most to flower production do not leach through the soil so putting the fertilizer on the top of the soil doesn't feed the plant near as well as putting the fertilizer in the hole next to the roots. Click Here to Read Our Article on Fertilizer!

TRIM GRASSES LIKE PENISETUM SETACEUM 'RUBRUM' (right) when they are starting to go brown. Cut down the whole plant (which is all leaves). Garden View crews cut to approximately 4" above the soil. If you do no do this the plant will be extremely unattractive all winter and will be much too large next spring and summer.

NIGHT BLOOMING JESSAMINE -Cestrum nocturnum (left):
This fast growing, arching plant responds well to frequent pruning and a severe pruning in fall. This plants summer flowers are powerfully fragrant at night--too much for some people.

DO NOT PRUNE CALIFORNIA LIVE OAK TREES until next summer; the tip mildew or "witches broom" disease of the California Live Oak trees is increased by early spring pruning and fertilization.

PINE TREES (right):
Prune Pine trees and other conifers now through February.

DON'T PANIC IF EVERGREENS (Pine trees and other conifers) continue to show some browning or yellowing of needles this month and next. The oldest, innermost ones typically shed after a few years on the tree.

Pine needles can be used as mulch for acid loving plants like Azalea, Camellia, and Blueberries or to cover informal woodland or vegetable garden paths.

stop watering once rain arrives; many varieties need protection from frost.

BERRIES (right):
Prune cane berries other than low-chill raspberries.

Give one last deep watering to grapevines and deciduous trees but discontinue feeding. This will begin hardening them off for cold weather. You want to discourage new growth that will be tender and susceptible to damage.

Cut back top heavy shrubs open up small trees. This is a fast growing, low water need plant. Most varieties have origins in Australia and southern Africa and most have yellow to gold flowers which bloom in late winter or early spring. These plants that are often listed as brittle and short lived (15 years) may have there life extended considerably by not overwatering and proper pruning.   


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In the Dirt
with Julie Meahl (Garden View Nursery)
Julie Meahl

Reality television shows are so popular now. "All the Drama." You should take a break and look out your window. You will see nature's most beautiful season. The colors are bright, bold, and diverse. You can create your own drama with landscaping!

For contrast combine light and dark colors to create a dramatic visual effect. Most of the trees and shrubs that change color for fall are deciduous. For consistency you will also need the evergreens.

Here are a few suggestions, and they are all in stock at Garden View Nursery. Perhaps you have a drab corner of your house. Depending on space and light there are many good choices. Acer palmatum "Sango Kaku" has beautiful fall colors of red and yellow. We have great plantings for under your trees such as Loropetalum "Razzleberri" which has a rich plum color. You can also try red and green textures, such as mixing Japanese Blood Grass and Phormium. Festuca glauca brings in a neutral gray color. Once you have your color pallet just repeat the plants effectively.

Other plants with great fall color are:  

-Acer Autumn Fantasy
-Acer October Glory
-Chinese Pistache
-Chinese Flame
-Crape Myrtle

Right now our fig trees are full of fruit: Black Mission, Black Jack, Brown Turkey, and Osborne Prolific to name a few. Figs are versatile; eat them fresh, grill on the BBQ, stuff with almonds and blue cheese, or broil with honey.

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

(Julie Meahl is the Retail Manager and Vice President of Garden View, Inc.)
Water-Wise Tips
Planting with California Natives

California Native PlantingsIt is the time of year to start planting California Native Plants. Most California Natives should be planted in fall and winter. Planting at other times is made complicated by the fact that native plants, like most plants, needs a fair amount of water to get established. Watering in the warmer months is not healthy for most native plants.

Most of us choose native plants because they conserve on water. Though most native plants do conserve water some are thirsty. So pick and place the right plants wisely. Native plants should be planted together and segregated from plants that need more water or summer water. Grouping plants of similar water needs together and providing isolated irrigation to them is one of the essentials of "Water Wise 101."

Blake's Landscape Maintenance Blog

The Lean Mean Seeding Machine

You know what's the worst?? It's Saturday, the perfect day out, takin' a ride on the old steel horse with the lady on the back. You take the long way home through the nice neighborhood, a real treat. Then all of the sudden you smell poo. Poo everywhere. First you think maybe you stepped in something? No. My girlfriend wreaks, bad? Nope, and now she's ticked because she has been accused. OHH!!! Its lawn seeding season and those clowns are still using steer manure!!!! Then you return home to Highland Park where it smells like feral cat piss and feces all the time anyway, so much for a breath of fresh air.

As I imagine most readers already know, that is the process of seeding lawns with an Annual Rye seed topped by steer manure. The idea behind seeding in fall is that grassy weeds, particularly Bermuda Grass (which is invasive and almost impossible to eliminate from good lawns), is that they appear healthy and attractive in warmer months but go dormant in the winter and in turn need covering up. So, with leaves falling and temperatures dropping, we also have the best sun/temperature conditions for bringing up new grass.

This Annual Rye-steer manure tradition is one I think should have run its course a long time ago; it stinks, its messy, it is no fun to maintain and the quality of grass that is yielded is crap! Annual Rye is watery, light green and as the name indicates, it is annual. Here at Garden View we use a high quality Tall Fescue and/or Perennial Rye designed for sports fields; it is much darker, more attractive and comes back next season. On top of that, we use a machine called a "slit seeder -renovator" to install the seed. This machine has vertical blades that slice the seed into the soil while dethatching (the process of removing the dead spongy layer of grass) the lawn which has multiple benefits. With the seed physically in the soil, not just on top, we need less water to germinate the seeds, less time for them to come up AND a better germination percentage. Oh, and did I mention no cost/smell from sacks of $#!%??


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

The Truth About Evergreens 

California Native Plantings
Did you know that most leafy evergreens lose as many leaves (or more) in a year as deciduous trees? Evergreen trees are losing their leaves all year round; deciduous trees lose most of their leaves all at once. Most local pine trees shed their needles over the course of two or more years.

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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