Winter drought will take a toll on your landscape

A winter watering program will save your trees & shrubs

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, if the snow levels continue at this rate, it will be the driest four-year period since 1990-92. Warm winters without snow appeal to people, but cause harmful winter drought. Specifically, the lack of soil moisture and atmospheric humidity can damage tree and plant root systems unless they receive supplemental water on a regular basis. This can trigger a cascade of effects on overall tree and overall landscape health. By reducing a plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients, particularly during spring bud break, winter root damage limits subsequent stem and branch growth in summer. In turn, this can contribute to tree mortality and may even explain pockets of dead trees.

You see, trees may look inactive going into winter but the fact is they continue to regulate their metabolism and only slow down some physiological activities. This decrease in photosynthesis and transpiration begins a tree’s dormant phase. Trees still continue to slowly grow roots, respire and take in water and nutrients.

help-trees-survive-the-drought

A simple & visual guide to watering your trees during the winter drought

Why this matters now

Your tree & plant roots suffer from weeks of zero moisture.

Weaker trees and plants are more susceptible to outside pests and disease.

Plants will put energy into rebuilding the damaged root structures before flourishing in the springtime.

 

Contact Christina, your Customer Service Diva today to set up a winter watering program to ensure the health and vitality of your landscape investment this year.

Call: (775) 857-4333
Email: info@siglands.com

 

Learn more about our winter drought conditions from the media:

  • KTVN Channel 2 News: http://www.ktvn.com/story/24360015/drought-continues-into-new-year
  • KTVN Channel 2 News: http://www.ktvn.com/story/24420480/federal-water-master-says-drought-taking-its-toll-on-rivers-and-streams
  • RGJ.com: http://www.rgj.com/article/20140113/NEWS1801/301130022/Waiting-more-white-stuff-Snow-still-rare-resorts-retailers-challenging-season

 

April showers, May flowers and June tomato towers

With water resources looking to be tight throughout much of northern Nevada, many of us are wondering what we should plant in our gardens this year – or should we plant at all.

If there are no April showers, should we scratch the May flowers?  Should we grow tomatoes or corn or petunias?  Mr. Vegetable, where are you?

Nasturtium

Nasturtium – colorful and edible.

First things first… get the garden off to a good and healthy start.  

  • Clean out the debris like leaves and dead plants that has collected over the winter.
  • Till the garden by double digging or even consider the new trend which is triple digging.  You have to dig down to the third shovel depth to till. This is done in Africa with amazing results in production.
  • Add compost.  Tilling plus adding compost will improve soil quality and help it hold more water.
  • Use mulch this season because it keeps more water in the soil and lowers evaporation.  Wood mulch, straw and even newspapers and grass clippings all do the job.

Be sustainable in your plant choices and practices.

Growing food is not a waste of water – it puts the most locally-grown food possible on your table.  Just do it wisely.

Here are some tips:

  • Grow more edibles than ornamentals.  Tomatoes have many uses on the menu and are easily consumed.  Pumpkins, on the other hand, are generally more ornamental and tend to overrun your garden if you’re not careful.  Scale back on the pumpkin patch and devote more resources to food crops.
  • Dress up your edible garden with companion flowers.  Nasturtium aren’t just pretty, they taste good in a salad.  Marigolds help deter pests.  Using dual purpose flowers like these in your garden gives more bang for your water buck.
  • Plant in blocks, rather than in rows.  Putting plants closer together creates shade that holds in moisture.
  • Control weeds.  They will suck up moisture your veggies need.
  • Use containers to grow some herbs, veggies and summer annual flowers.  Potted plants generally need less water than those planted in the soil.  Containers can also be watered efficiently with drip irrigation.
  • Recycle water from the kitchen.  After swishing a head of lettuce in a big bowl of water to clean it, pour the water on the pot of herbs outside.  It’s a few more steps, but the effort reminds us how precious our water is and that we need to use it wisely and even “twicely” whenever we can.

Productive landscapes add value to our lives and are a responsible use of resources.  This year, plan ahead and water wisely.

Environmental ROI

Is your landscaping worth it?

Water and maintenance used to keep landscapes healthy don’t go down the drain

  • Just one average tree absorbs 26 lbs. of carbon dioxide from the air each year. That is enough to negate 11,000 miles of car emissions. (Hug your tree!)
  • Lawns act as a filter to purify water passing through the root zone. The front lawns of just eight houses provide the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning. That’s amazing when you consider that the AC unit at the average home has a 3- or 4-ton capacity. (Love your lawn!)

Landscaping cuts energy costs

  • Carefully selected and placed trees around a home can cut energy costs as much as 25%.
  • Shading the AC unit can increase its effectiveness 10%.
  • Planting ground covers, shrubs and lawns reduces heat reflected off the ground and onto walls and windows. That helps cool the indoors and saves energy dollars.

Growing veggies is a healthy pastime that saves money.

  • Working in your garden 45 minutes burns off as many calories as 30 minutes of aerobics.
  • Weeding for an hour burns 300 calories.
  • The cash spent to grow a garden will return 7 to 10 times your initial investment in the value of your produce.  In other words, $50 spent on a garden will give you at least $350 worth of produce you would otherwise buy.  You won’t get that rate of return in your savings account.
  • There’s no produce more sustainable than what you grow yourself or more fresh than what you bring to the table within minutes of picking.  You also know where it was grown and how it was grown.  Those health benefits are priceless.

 

These great tips were brought to you by the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Plants can be toxic to dogs

Know which plants are toxic.

Many dogs will eat grass and other plants, so it’s good to know which plants are toxic or might be harmful otherwise.

  • Wild mushrooms often grow in the early summer in moist places in the lawn, on tree trunks and on firewood. Don’t rake or mow them as that spreads spores to grow more ‘shrooms. Wear a glove or a baggie, pick them and put them in the trash. No, they are NOT for the compost bin.
  • Weeds – Since some weeds like purslane are toxic to pets, there’s another good reason to keep your yard weed free.
  • Foxglove digitalis – can cause heart failure.
  • Lilies – cause GI upset and day lilies can cause renal failure in cats.
  • Bulbs – most spring-blooming bulbs like tulips and daffodils are toxic if the dog digs them and chews them up. It’s the same for the rhizomes of iris plants.
  • Tall ornamental grasses – if dogs ingest these plants, the sharp grass blades can cut their stomachs and create serious medical issues.
  • Toxic fruits and veggies include: plants in the onion family, rhubarb, chamomile, grapes (including raisins) and the seeds of stone fruits.

If you have a concern about some of the plants in your yard, call us and we can help you identify the safe steps to removing or replacing your plants for a pet-safe landscape. If your pet has become sick or injured, click to visit a local veterinarian to receive immediate medical assistance.


Click for list of Reno veterinarians