BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Storm-proof your Landscape

Dolly Parton claims that “Storms make trees take deeper roots.” That’s country music for you - “three chords and the truth.” In order to keep your trees strong during the storms, your plant material must be healthy. The number one ingredient missing this summer was rain and the number one way to keep your plants healthy is adequate irrigation. Before you tuck your plants in for the winter, make sure you give them a good drenching. And if you use an irrigation system, hold off on winterizing for another few weeks. We are still due for some Indian summer weather. A note to protect your irrigation system - cover the backflow preventer (the brass fitting attached to your house) with a blanket during any cold snaps (i.e., in the 20’s).

If we experience a heavy rain event in the next few days, the majority of this precipitation never makes it into the ground. Slow, steady rain is ideal. So don’t assume these heavy rain events provide adequate moisture for your plants. It goes deeper than that. Check the soil conditions over the next few weeks. This is the most critical time to balance soil moisture; before the ground freezes. Extremely dry soil conditions that prevail into the winter expose plant material to stress conditions. Everything may look good on the surface but it really hasn’t penetrated to those deeper roots. Even after plants drop their leaves, there is still a fair amount of root growth and activity.

The muted fall foliage this season is an indicator of the moisture stress that many trees and shrubs have experienced from this summer’s hot, dry weather. Take a close look; dig a 12” hole and inspect your actual soil conditions. After last week’s rain event, many soils are still powder dry a few inches below the surface. We aren’t out of the woods yet. Now is the best time to make sure your plants have sufficient moisture before the winter. Get your trees, shrubs and plants storm-proofed.

Above image from the Internet
Above quote by Harlan Howard. "Country music is three chords and the truth."

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)