The hot weather is finally behind us, cool nights are creeping in. We have been cooped up inside for so long to avoid the heat, we are finally starting to make our way back outside. My humans have started planning for fall planting. They stopped by Valley Rock and picked up Grower’s blend to put some nutrients back into the soil from all the summer planting. They also got shredded cedar to mulch the top of the garden beds to help with moisture retention, insulating the roots of the plants, and to keep me from digging. We live in Zone 9 for planting so all the goodies we are planting are Broccoli, Corn, Spinach, Lettuce, and Cabbage. It will be a real treat.
Once Memorial Day comes around, our summer pattern begins to set in with longer days and warmer nights. The end of May is also the time to hit what I call the 3 ‘Ps’. Pruning, Preserving and of course Partying. You can’t do the last one, till the 1st two are complete!
Prune – Get your tools and green waste can out. Once your shrubs are done blooming, deadhead and trim. Next add a layer of top dressing. Our recommendation is to top dress with Grower’s Blend (it contains yummy organic manner).
Preserve – by preserve, I mean water. Test and check your irrigation system. Check for time of day, duration, broken lines and valves. The next best preservation step is to add a layer of bark 2″ to 3″. The bark will not all retain moisture, but also help with weed control. The nice polished look of fresh bark is a bonus!
Party – Now this is my favorite PART of all. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Whether you are celebrating a graduation, Father’s Day, or just another beautiful day, your yard will be ready. Your home will reward you, both visually and spiritually!
We always get the showers in April and the may flowers are bound to follow.
Here are a few key steps my masters do to make sure there are veggies o’ plenty for the year.
When it comes to gardening you need a plan, starting off with what you are going to be growing your garden in! My masters go to is using Tarter Stock tanks for a raised garden. They love how easy it is to start planting and there is way less prep work versus traditional garden boxes.
The next step and the most important is soil. Although I don’t think it was all that fair that they get to play in the dirt and when I do it, they don’t like it. Every year we make sure our plants have the best nutrients in the soil. When we first started our raised garden beds my master brought in so Growers Blend (recommended for gardens) and for all the flowers they brought in Planters Mix (recommended for general planting). These days we normally just add extra nutrients soil with Organic compost (amendment).
The last step is making sure those veggies and flowers are protected. This can be done by adding a shredded bark on top. This helps with pests, weed, and retaining moisture to keep the plants cool all summer long.
As always the staff at Valley Rock is always there to help with finding the amount of product you need!
It is only the beginning of February and I am already wanting to wade in water. But what does this do to my friend Mother Earth and her plants? According to my elder friend Farmer Almanac, he says that California will be mild and dry this winter. So that’s what we are going with – mild and dry.
For the next 45 days my masters are focusing on two main items ~ which always begin with a PLAN!
Spend some time on your irrigation~ with water being such a precious product, we all want to make sure it is used to the utmost efficiency. Broken lines, rerouting lines and testing your system should be key. Draw your garden area out to include irrigation plans. Set your timers and valves correctly. It will save you time (and $) in the long run.
Devising ways to hold back your soil ~ You know, a way to contain your moist fresh soil! You don’t want that good Growers Blend spilling out of it’s area. Whether it is a full grown planter bed make with block or an edging made with moss rock, a method of retention is needed. When you measure, allow for areas to walk, note where the sunny spots will be, and don’t forget about our friend irrigation. And again it all plays back into your Plan. Most of all by defining planting areas, I will know where the good soil is to lay in!
Option B for planting ~ just purchase one of our Tarter Stock Tanks. We have oval and round, with multiple sizes to choose from. I know that it is not easy for me to dig in, but easier for my masters to manage.
I don’t really love the rain… my humans don’t like to take me on very many walks, my paws are always wet, and my favorite toys get covered in mud!
What I do love about the rain is my humans are home more (which means more belly rubs for me!) The rain always makes the house cold, so my humans use Black Walnut Hardwood to heat up the house! I LOVE curling up in my dog bed next to the fire, and this stuff really warms me up! The Black Walnut Hardwood burns so hot and for such a long time!
My humans keep talking about how convenient it was to pick up since it was available in full pallets, half pallets and by the bundle! There is no dirt, no bark, which means less mess! (Although who doesn’t love to BARK) They even purchase the smaller pieces sometimes which I think makes for a rather great stick to chew on!
Ahhhhh September, cool nights and warm days- it’s the best. My Owners love that pumpkin spice stuff, to me it’s just OK. Did you know that September is the 2nd most patriotic month of the year?
With Patriot Day (9/11), Constitution Day (9/17). International Peace Day (9/21) all happening this month, that’s a lot of honor in one month! Not to mention that FALL begins.
So on to Fall projects-
Create defensible space ~ Any type of hardscape; rock, flagstone, pavers and walls. This project is the most important of all. You can create a barrier and beautify your home. Always start with measurements. We can assist you with your ideas and dreams!
Clean up ~ All I can say is buy dirt. Deadhead and trim. Then top dress with fresh planters mix or growers blend. Your plants will thank you with fresh foliage. You can pick up a small amount or we can deliver a larger amount.
Invite Friends Over ~ Enjoy the space you have created! Us dogs love company and affection. Happy Digging!
As the main defender of my home, I know how important it is to keep my masters safe, but there’s one thing I can’t protect against…wildfires.
California now requires 100 feet of defensible space around the 8 million homes and business like mine that are in high risk burn areas. The most important defense zone is within 10 feet of the structure, walk with me and I’ll share my tips for a fire protected landscape. That’s where I hang out, and I love my tail!
Known as the ember resistant zone, it should be designed to keep embers from igniting fuel that can spread the fire to your home. Adding pavers to your walkways (I love Calstone products) and patio spaces are excellent hardscape options.
Lean, Green & Clean- Keeping your plants and trees trimmed, distanced, and healthy is vital in preventing a fire or embers from reaching your structures. Now is the perfect time of year to add an extra layer of soil to your planted areas to keep them green, (and me digging).
Imagine your side yard pathway flourishing with vegetable planted water wise stock tanks surrounded by a stylish and functional pebble. Please visit the official Cal Fire website (fire.ca.gov) to learn more about creating a defensible space.
Summer has always been my favorite. My kid friends are out of school and my days consist of swimming, eating and sleeping. Now as far as the garden goes, there is always work to be done.
Plan & Plant – We are always planning. but now is the time to plan your spring bulbs. And at the same time plant your summer color (marigolds and zinnias are some of my favs). Our Planters Mix is the best choice for your summer color. To add art to your yard, with a stock tank container (I love the round one). It is easy to move and place in your design.
Maintain – Mulch/Bark your area around your garden ( I prefer walk-on bark for my paws). This will keep moisture in, roots cool and dust down. Plus it will look amazing. We have many varieties and colors to choose from.
Be sure to check your watering schedule as our temperature creeps up. And don’t forget your hand watering containers.
Pinch off your herbs so they will keep producing. Check your feeding schedule for your strawberries. We all love shortcake!
Harvest – It is about that time. Morning is the best time to pick that yummy food. Keep your eye out for rodents and the pesky snakes, they may like the morning too. Clean up any fallen fruit to avoid the rodent and squirrel issue. Make up a feast with your tomatoes, peppers and basil – my mouth is drooling already.
And as always – Happy Digging!