Watering Starts Early & TMWA Water Restrictions Too!

Prepare Landscape for Spring

The Truckee Meadow’s temperatures are going up as we’re just a few days away from the first day of spring. Find out why it’s important to start watering your lawn early and what water restrictions we can expect this summer. Signature crews have been busy all around town prepping people’s homes for the spring and summer months.

 

Channel2cpKTVN News Channel 2 interviews our own Steve Fine and Cesar Marin to learn what we need to do to prepare for the upcoming spring… as well as getting ready for the drought conditions sure to hit this summer.

 

If you have thoughts or concerns on how best to prepare a watering program for your landscape this spring, call Tim at Signature to receive a free consultation on steps to take.

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Landscaping During Changing Weather

Late Winter Lawn Care

Yards are trying to turn green, trees are budding and if your yard is like Erin’s, daffodils are coming up confusingly early. Our warmer weather is challenging the plants around the yard. Our best advice is to water the trees but let the lawns stay dormant until things warm up a little more.


Here’s a link to the original piece by KTVN:
http://www.ktvn.com/story/28192449/with-lawn-care-watch-the-timing

Pre-season garden work that pays off

‘Dirt’ ~ ‘Soil’ ~ ‘Mother Earth’ ~ Whatever you call it, some of us like to dig in with our own hands and others would rather have someone else do the digging. Either way, if you want a great garden this year, it’s best to get the soil in order before someone starts digging.

February is an ideal time to apply compost, regardless of the weather. That means you can even toss it on top of the snow!

  • Need help getting compost into your garden? Signature Landscapes’ lawn and garden pros can can help you identify the right mix of compost and soil to help your garden grow.

Why compost?
Compost on its own is low in nutrient value. It’s not valuable for what it is, so much as what it does – and the doing takes time. Even if you are not able to till compost into the soil when you apply it, an early application gives the compost adequate time to do its work.

Why winter composting is good
Compost needs time to mellow or break down and that’s why a winter-time application is beneficial, even if it is not tilled into the soil. Compost creates a homogeneous soil mixture ripe with microbial activity. This process does not add many nutrients to the soil, but improves the soil’s capacity to hold onto both nutrients and water. It improves the root zone. That is why compost is so good for the garden and of course, the plants grown there.

How to shop for compost
Shop for compost that is well-aged and low in salt. Also, look for varieties that have little or no fillers. Compost by nature is all organic, so composts that are labeled “mixes” that contain sand or other inorganic fillers are generally less than optimal.

How much should I buy?
Applying 1 cubic yard of compost per 100 square feet of garden is the rule of thumb. However, if your soil has been well amended in the past, you can use less. The best value is in bulk purchases, so if you have 100 square feet of garden or more, a pick-up load might be the most cost effective. Most pick-ups hold 1 ½ to 2 cubic yards. If you order bulk delivery from a supplier, the minimum order is usually 5 or more cubic yards.

Reminder: Compost is about more than growing good veggies. It’s a key ingredient when establishing a healthy, low-water lawn and for all the other plants in your landscape.

 

Let’s get planting!

At last, spring really is just around the corner and it’s about time to plant the first seeds of this year’s garden.

Depending on the altitude and whether you have a warm southern exposure, you could get outside and plant as early as next weekend

Here’s what you need:

  • Soil that’s warm enough to till – such as a southern exposure. The south side of a building that provides reflected heat will warm up for planting sooner than other areas of a yard.
  • A cultivating tool to even out the soil.
  • Soil that was composted and tilled last fall – or compost to till in now to prep the soil.
  • Seed packets or seed tape which is a strip of paper with seeds placed along along it. Using the tape guarantees a straight row of plants.

What can you plant early?

  • Green Onions
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Carrotts
  • Peas

Once planted, all of these seeds will stay in the soil quietly waiting to germinate. Some will germinate at a soil temp of about 40-45 degrees and others may need a bit warmer temperature. The good news is that the seeds can sit still in the soil until conditions are right.

Snow and frost shouldn’t bother them and snow will give the soil needed moisture. If there’s no precipitation after planting, watch the soil and if it dries out, be ready to water.

If you’d like to add improvements to your garden irrigation system, call Tina, our Installation Coordinator to schedule a free consultation. We’ll make sure your garden will grow healthy and hearty with a simple to manage watering system. Call Tina at (775) 857-4333.

Vegetable-GardeningDepending on the weather, your veggies should be ready to harvest sometime between the end of April and early May. Then it will almost be time to plant the warmer season crops.

If you want to extend the growing season, you can do what commercial growers do and place strips of black plastic about 18 inches wide on top of the soil. On sunny days, the plastic will absorb heat and bring up the soil temperature faster than if left alone. At higher altitudes where the growing season is even shorter than along the Sierra, this procedure can give an earlier start to the growing season.

When it’s time to plant, simply poke holes in the plastic and install the plants. This procedure is especially good for warm season crops like tomatoes, egg plant and peppers. Using walls of water – the plastic towers filled with water – around plants will also add to the warmth and help protect tender plants against frost damage.

Garden clean-up in fall pays off in the spring

If you’re tired of outdoor chores, it’s tempting to walk away from the garden with a plan to clean it up next spring. But if you want a great veggie garden next year, you’ll be wise to take advantage of this warm weekend by doing some fall clean-up.

Why can’t you just wait until spring? Leaving leaves and debris in the garden gives diseases, fungus and pests a nice place overwinter and come back with a vengeance next spring. A garden that goes to sleep all cleaned up for the winter will wake up healthier in the springtime. There will also be less need to treat for pests and disease.

Need help with fall landscape chores? Contacting a landscape clean up pros at Signature Landscapes is as easy as clicking on our service request form, or calling (775) 857-4333.

Take these steps before you begin the clean-up:

  • Harvest root crops like carrots or potatoes that are still in the ground.
  • Make a sketch of this year’s garden, before removing any plant debris, that shows what was planted where. Having a sketch of this year’s garden will help you rotate placement of next season’s crops – like tomatoes – that do best when not grown in the same place each year.
  • Plant herbs, that will not overwinter outdoors, in containers to bring inside.

Tips for the clean-up

  • Remove all old veggies, vines, leaves and other debris from the garden. If leaves from trees blow in, keep them cleaned up as well. All of this decaying plant material makes a nice winter home for insects and disease.
  • Remove the weeds, too.
  • Most greens, leaves and small plants are fine to pitch in the compost pile. But leave out the weeds whose seeds will get back in the garden when you spread the compost. Also leave out tomato plants as they often carry disease, and large-stemmed vines such as pumpkin as they take too long to decompose.

When the garden is clean, do one last chore that will pay off next spring: work compost into the soil. You can also add straw mulch or grass clippings as mulch on top. Now your garden is nicely tucked in for its long winter’s nap.

 

Live Music, Art Auction, Landscapes And Family Headline Sparks’ Arts In Bloom Festival

Brian Dean and a guest enjoy the Arts in Bloom festival

Moms will be treated to a special day under the sun for this spring’s Arts in Bloom celebration at the Sparks Marina Park. The event, an inspirational art festival featuring the region’s top artists will feature music from American Idol finalist, Elliot Yamin, host a popular celebrity plate-painting auction and new this year, showcase informational landscaping sessions from title sponsor, Signature Landscapes (formerly Reno Lawn & Landscape). These free events have been brought together this Mother’s Day to support the Northern Nevada affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Signature Landscapes spared no expense on their display. The 400 square-foot landscaping space will highlight a variety of project ideas to help motivate your creative side. But if you’re looking for a pleasing landscape and have a limited budget, they’ve also priced out a number of attractive and simple enhancements to accent your current yard, most priced near or under $800 installed.

“Our goal this year was to help customers visualize the landscape features and then have the price right there in front of them,” said Robert Jenne, Residential Sales Estimator for the company. “In this tight economy, we believe the best strategy is to make sure the customers know all the details at the beginning of the project. This keeps the customer in the driver’s seat while we’re there to help along the way.”

Beside the free gear giveaways for adults and kids, there will be landscaping discussions all throughout the day to help guide attendees toward their next successful project.

“Even if you’re just planning on adding some simple, cost-effective features to beautify your current yard, Signature Landscapes professional team will be on hand to answer any questions,” Jenne said.

“Have a honey-do list for your yard? Bring it!” says Jenne. “Take advantage of our free sessions and the chance to talk to the pros. We’ll walk you through it.”

Featured Landscape displays and discussion topics include:

  1. Simple water-features.
  2. Vegetable garden ideas.
  3. Turf – costs and expectations.
  4. Enhancing your plant palette.
  5. Raised flower bed/planter ideas.
  6. Flag stone paths vs. pavers.

What better way to spend your Mother’s Day Sunday? Be sure to catch American Idol finalist, Elliot Yamin at 1:00 p.m. and then watch local musicians Lorentzen Family Singers and Escalade.Enjoy some great food and bask in the sun at the first outdoor arts festival of the year.

  • Event schedule is as follows:
  • 10:00 a.m. – Live musical entertainment, Art vendors, food & beverage sales and landscape sessions begin
  • 12:00 noon – Celebrity painted-plate auction
  • 1:00 p.m. – Live musical entertainment and landscape sessions continue

If you have any questions about the event, Google ARTS IN BLOOM and click on the top result.