Tag Archives: #gardening

Oh, The Summer Heat!

I think we are all struggling to ruff it out with the heat that this sunshine brought, but that doesn’t mean we need to stay inside all day! Whether it’s getting up early to beat the baking sun, or heading outside at dusk, there are plenty of ways to get your bones buried this time of year. Add in that the kiddos are now out of school and I get my friends to play with all day long, I know its hard to get a bite into any yard improvements that may have been planned.

There are plenty of plants that actually enjoy this heat too, woof who would do that? Some of my favorites are Hibiscus and Marigolds! They make great accents to the yard and bring a nice POP of color too. Like Marigolds, Hibiscus actually come in a range of colors as well. The most common that you will see is the bright pink, but there is gold, white and even blue if you are lucky enough to find it! That said, like my bones buried in the yard, blue Hibiscus are actually a different family of plant but is so similar it joined the group. Marigolds, while still all fall into the orange/yellow family can throw a nice twist on you with different levels of reds and oranges mixed into their peddles. Coneflowers also really enjoy the summer heat, being apart of the daisy family they tend to look like giant ones! If these aren’t enjoy for you to bark at, how about something like a citrus tree! Lemons and Oranges do well with the heat if they get partial shade during the day, usually better for the later half of the afternoon rather than the morning if my paws don’t get in your way of the planning!

Don’t want a flowering plant or a fruit tree? Japanese Maple trees enjoy our climates if they can get some shade as well! So if you’ve got a part of your yard that gets shaded in the afternoon by other trees or your house, this would be a WOOFING spot for a Japanese Maple! This will also help ADD shade to your yard as well once it gets put in, which not only would be great for my paws, but also gives more room for plants that need partial shade as well! It would be a win-win for me and the yard!

All of these plants, and if we aren’t kidding ourselves me too, will thrive using Planter’s Mix! It is a great sand loam blend that helps keep the plants happy and hydrated without getting too compact that I wouldn’t be able to dig a new hole in, I mean.. it helps keep the roots aerated! Happy roots make for happy plants!

If all of that doesn’t wag your tail, you can never go wrong with a beach or pool day! Even a little kiddie pool adds to the joy of a yard for a pooch like myself! If you want to put down a bigger above ground pool, using a base like the Mason sand would be great! It would help prevent the ground under the pool becoming a total mud pit from me jumping in and out, not to mention my tail shaking with excitement!

Explain the Madness

Yes, it is true, every year at this time we go into shenanigans mode. Whether it is sports, gardening, cleaning and clearing or just a general change. A change in season brings a change of actions! With the ground soil warming up and the plants reaching toward the sun everything is in full swing now! The warm weather brings out all the flowers and the excitement of the sunny days ahead. We got a LOT of rain this winter season which means not only are the wild plants in full swing, but it is a perfect time to get your garden back to full color again.

It’s also a great time to get those veggie gardens ready and going! Our Growers Blend is high in nitrogen to help out with growth and production of the plants. Whether you buy already sprouted plants or you grab some seed to start yourself, the Growers Blend is the best go-to for your veggie gardens!

As far as your plants and trees are concerned, pick up some Planters Mix to refresh your soil or even start new plants! Our Planters Mix is an awesome all around planting soil that you can plant all your hearts desires into! With the Planters being a sandy loam, it will stay light and airy for those finicky plants BUT you can also work on packing it down if you need it to be more sturdy for those hardy saplings!

Planting an assortment of flowers, veggies and trees will not only liven up your life and yard, but it will also be beneficial to nature around you! Watch the bees find your yard and propagate your plants and help spread the pollen for you, and even watch the hummingbirds discover the assortment of buffet options you have provided them with. Did you know that hummingbirds need to feed all day? Often visiting 1,000-2,000 flowers/plants a day to feed, and get an early start of just before sunrise. Like any of us, it’s nice to have a selection of food to pick from, don’t you think? So, while you might be lounging by the pool enjoying the sun, the nature around you is in full swing to keep your yard looking bright and beautiful!

Adding a fountain can also help liven up the space too! You can even set up a fountain to be pond-less which takes away any concern for mosquitos setting up shop directly in your yard. This provides not only a beautiful accent to your own space but water for the animals and nature helping you silently. For a pond-less fountain the Mexican Pebbles make a great accent to the base of the fountain and work wonders on hiding any plumbing you install to keep the water flowing.

Spring is Around The Corner!

With all the storms and rain we have had hit this winter its hard to not be hopeful for spring to show up! I know in California we can all appreciate that we had a pretty mild “Fire season” and that we always need the rain, but its okay to want sunshine too! Our paws getting muddy just walking out the front door is only fun for so long, right?

Get yourself ready for some spring planting, replanting, and total yard makeovers! There are designers ready to help you out to plan your revamp too if you hit a loss of what would work or even simply just look pawtastic. Cindy at Blooming Gardens or Margaret, with A Wylder Design is mighty handy with turning a boring backyard into a picturesque space to make all your neighbors envious! Whether you want a balance between hardscape and keeping it natural, they will bring your imagination to life! Nothing makes new landscape happy than good soil, like the Planter’s Mix. This soil is your all around and go to planting mix. Whether you are putting down seed for your lawn, a full replace of sod, fresh plants/trees/flowers, this soil won’t disappoint! It is a sandy loam, which will be perfect to get my paws in and help you dig out any old plants or soil you want to remove.

Remember to make a big woofing note about your soils too! Plants will utilize the nutrients within whatever soil you plant them in, which in turn means they can take a nice rich soil into something that has a hard time letting plants thrive in. Adding Organic Compost to your existing soil will act as an amendment to what I have already buried bones in, to a thriving soil once again! Nothing will bark “healthy plants!” like good, fresh, nutritional soil.

Are you wanting to build a pathway around your new thriving garden or yard? Take your paws no further than Decomposed Granite (DG)! Not only does the tan/gold color mix well with greenery or even hardscapes, but it will compact and almost harden under all of our paws with a little water and time! Don’t bark up the wrong tree and think its like cement or concrete though! It will chip and crumble like any compacted ground would if you dig into it. All that woofing about it though is not for nothing! A level walking path or even open space for a little sitting area in your yard would be the perfect accent with DG. Easy to maintain, and I won’t be able to get my teeth into it like I might try with a bark path. You can even take this bone one step further and place flagstone on top to make a stone pathway or even just stepping stone style.

Boulders might just be the new chew toy to talk about! They make great accents around your garden or even your pathway. Want to be even more of a bone-a-fied trend setter? Try and find one that has a flat enough surface to place a pot on top! I’ve gotten my paws on some pots that have a center drain hole on the bottom as well as smaller ones around that, and that center hole can be utilized with a bolt and a washer to secure that pot to a post/boulder or stand too! No worrying about those wild winds like we have had so far this February.

Get a Jump on FUN!

We all can appreciate a little rain here in California, but we definitely love having our sunshine to put our paws up in too! This type of weather is the pawfict time to dig up all my bones in the backyard to do a handful of projects! From getting the old soil refreshed with some more nutrients, getting ready for some fresh bark, laying down a paver or concrete pad/patio, or even adding an outdoor living kit.

There are so many ways to get our backyard to become the prime hangout spot for all of our friends, both human and dog! The most common backyard designs listed for this year are outdoor living and “gothic”. This really means, people and pets want to have an enjoyable backyard that is both great to dig in and look at but also comfortable! Too many family members with dogs for your small house? Set up the backyard as an extension, if not a standalone, to your dining/living rooms! Basalite offers many different options to build kits to set up your area to be the perfect host! Whether you want a standalone fireplace to add to your yard, or if you want a whole kitchen set up, they have options for every kind of backyard. One of their pieces will definitely give your friends and family something to bark about!

The gothic style of landscaping really means a lot of dark plants, flowers, and accents! Think of those old Victorian movies who have blood red flowers out front and dark leaved plants accented with thick shrubbery. This kind of landscaping gives me plenty of bone hiding places as well as gives a ethereal look to your property! There are plenty of tall flowering bushes too that can be used as privacy walls if you’ve got those no good nosey neighbors keeping tabs on all my dig spots too! Adding an archway wrapped in vines is a great statement piece, or even some casual lighting to help me keep my paws on the right tack at night! You definitely want to let me help you dig some holes in our existing soil and for sure let me get my paws on mixing in some new soil to make the job go by faster! Nothing says “good dog!” like putting in some hours digging up soil!

Whatever you chose to do with your backyard, make sure you check plants out for being pet safe so I don’t have to pick a bone with you later! Adding statement pieces, whether that’s with planets or fixtures, will always help to make the yard a much more pleasant place to spend your time and disconnect a bit. All of us dogs know how hard it is for you humans to unplug sometimes, but take 5 minutes enjoying the sunlight and plants to recoup from all the screen time. I know I will definitely be enjoying my time more if I got to bark around with you in the yard more often!

Has Spring Already Sprung?

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.

Happy Digging!

 

How I Love the Sun

Every year is different for all of us. And 2020 is no exception!  We have been blessed with such beautiful days and cool nights.  For me as a dog, basking in the sun is my main objective.  And of course watching you humans labor along is my other.  So how about laboring in the garden?

  •  Time to plant and refresh.  Yes, I said plant!  The better the product, the better the return.  And yes it is true.  Just ask my humans.  Every year they use #growersblend for their garden, and by golly it does work.  This rich soil is a blessing, and to think it is available at #valleyrock.  The proof is in the pudding, but in this case, in the lemons, in the tomatoes, you get the message.
  • Did you say refresh……Refresh the soil under your plants, refresh the bark on the ground, refresh the rock around your home.  It all matters.  My humans are experts at figuring out what you need.  They love to help.  Help you with measurements, help you with product selection, help you with setting up deliveries.  Just reach a paw out….
  • Design? Yes we can help with that.  We love measurements, pictures, and drawings.  My humans love all this.  Just bring it in or email it over.  Oh yeah their is always facebook (or should it be dogbook?).
  • It starts with just a corner.  Happy Digging!

 

And the April showers ~it never changes…

April Showers, I can mark my paw with that event.  Every year they come and every year we are surprised.  But what the rain does for us is amazing! So what to do in April?
* Planning ~ April Showers or not, you will have to calculate the amount of you soil require.  Just do that length times width, that will give you the square footage.  Determine how deep you want the soil to be (the depth garden box / planting area).  These numbers will give you the cubic yardage required.
Now here is your math lesson of the day from you friendly neighborhood dog ~ a garden box 4’x8′ (32sqft) , at 12″ deep will require one cubic yard of material.  That wasn’t too painful, was it?
* Planting ~ oh how our plants and veggies love the good fresh soils.  If you can get some soil down before the rain, the plants will dance.  Enhanced your soil with our Growers Blend (recommended for gardens), Planters Mix (recommended for landscaping) or Organic compost (always a recommended addition), thus providing your yard with what it needs.
* Protecting ~ Your veggies are in, your shrubs are planted, how about protecting the roots and soil?  Top your garden with one of our barks.  Walk On bark or Shredded Cedar are two of my favorites.  But my master has others to choose from.  Create a walking area around your boxes with Decomposed Granite, 1/2 crushed rock, or another rock of your choosing.  A nice neat garden makes for a happy gardener (and dog).
*Purchasing ~ Call us!, send us a message through valleyrock.com, or good ole’ fashion way, stop it!
Happy Digging.