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Al's Hints & Tips

Welcome to our blog!

 

We love to give to our customers, and one way we can do that is by providing you with helpful tricks to maintain your yard!

By Cheyenne Wiscovitch, Apr 18 2015 06:47PM

Happy April (or mid-April)! I know we missed March’s post and I apologize for that. We were very busy with a bike race that we put on locally. Now that the race has passed, I can spend time discussing my favorite topic: The top plants for California!


There are two trees that I would like to mention. The first is called a Bailey Acacia. In full bloom, this tree has a beautiful yellow-cotton ball-like flower. When it is not in bloom, the leaves look like beautiful green, evergreen leaves. The great thing about this tree is it offers great shade and it grows to be a fully mature tree in only a few years! It loves to be in direct sunlight, and only requires frequent watering when first growing. This tree is very drought resistant (score!)

The second tree is called a Crape Myrtle. Talk about a beautiful tree! This tree will change colors throughout the year, with its peak season in summer. In autumn the tree brings us colors of yellow, orange or red. They also LOVE the sun. Perfect companion for living in So-Cal! These trees can be a single trunk or a multiple trunk. The single trunk creates more of a vase shape and the multiple trunks creates more of a broader canopy.

Let me quickly mention a shrub called New Zealand Tea Tree. I know, some of you may be thinking, tree?! I thought she just said shrub! I did. This shrub is called a tea tree because the thicker trunks can be pruned to look like a tree. The flowers on this shrub appear in spring and summer. This shrub loves to bask in the sun. They can grow up to eight feet tall and five feet wide!

I am going to jump over to perennials. What’s that you may ask? Plants that are in full bloom-ALL YEAR ROUND! Spectacular, right? The first perennial on my list is called a Border Penstemon. This beautiful purple flower loves to let hummingbirds feed from it, and absolutely loves its sunlight. It does enjoy shade, but prefers to be in direct sunlight. Be careful not to place it in a location where the soil gets soggy. This can be fatal for Border Penstemons.

Another perennial worth mentioning is the Daylily. These beautiful flowers are available year-round and unlike other perennials, it does enjoy some shade. It enjoys summers full sun, but where the summer is long and hot, it will ask that it receives a little bit of shade. Daylilys range in size, typically, from 2 ½ to 4 feet.

My personal favorite perennial is Sage. The colors of these plants are just beautiful. Sage doesn’t require a lot of watering, making it easy on your checkbook! In fact, regular watering may cause the Mexican Sage to become brittle. This perennial will be happy in sunlight, but does need shade.

Fountain Grass is a type of Ornamental Grass that produces a flower plume. This flower plume appears in summer and continues into fall. It loves to be in the sun and is extremely drought tolerant (yay!).

Giant Feather Grass is a beautiful Ornamental Grass that can get up to three feet in height. When the Giant Feather Grass becomes fully mature and is in full bloom, it produces a grassy presence with a cluster of golden flowers at the top. It prefers to be planted in a sunny location. It doesn’t require a ton of watering after its first year or two.

All of these plants that I have mentioned above, have great drought tolerant tendencies. They don’t require a ton of watering, and can save you lots of money in the end. We are booming with drought tolerant jobs right now, so don’t hesitate to give us a call today! If we don’t answer, we will call you back!


Al’s Helpful Tip of the Month!

Did you know?

By mulching your planters you can save up to 30% on your water! There are many types of mulches available today as recycling has become very fashionable. Recycled mulches tend to be of local plant, trees materials. They have a very small percentage of nitrohumus is added to also provide some additional nutrients to help support healthy growth for plant material. As the drought continues here in Southern California, mulching becomes a more logical approach to conserving water. As Cheyenne mentioned last month, drip systems and mulching are becoming the solution for conservation. In your future planning I would strongly advise that you consider these tips as a means to contributing to finding a solution to our drought problems.



Giant Feather Grass
Giant Feather Grass
Fountain Grass
Fountain Grass
Sage
Sage
DayLily
DayLily
Border Penstemon
Border Penstemon
New Zealand Tea Tree
New Zealand Tea Tree
Crape Myrtle
Crape Myrtle
Bailey Acacia
Bailey Acacia

By Cheyenne Wiscovitch, Feb 13 2015 07:07AM

Happy February! This is the one month a year that there is the extra spirit of love in the air. Which is exactly why you are going to “extra love” the information I am about to share with you. Do you feel guilty when it is raining and your sprinklers over-water your lawn? Or do you get frustrated when your grass starts to go brown because you forget to set your sprinkler system to run? Trust me, I know the feeling! Thankfully, with today’s technology we can rest assured that your grass is getting the proper TLC it needs.


The first type of controller is called a RainBird SST Smart Series. All you have to do is turn it on and it does the rest for you! It is very easy to manage with its bright back light, large control handle, and easy programing. All you need to provide is your zip code, allowed watering days in your city, the type of soil in specific zones, landscape slope, and how much sun is exposed in that region. My personal favorite feature that the RainBird SST Smart Series contains is the ability to measure how much water has fallen. It adjusts the sprinkler system’s running time based on how much water the grass has already gotten. Another neat feature that the RainBird Smart Series has is you are able to pre-set a specific date, up to a year in advance! This way the system won’t water your grass and guests at your daughter’s graduation party! The RainBird Smart Series also claims it will save you as much as 20% water every month.

Another smart controller is a Rachio, Iro. This type of controller is very similar to the RainBird Smart Series. It is able to save you water, which in turn saves you money. It also tracks your local weather, adjusting itself as needed. The Iro also can adjust the watering level according to the specific region type. My favorite part of the Iro, smart irrigation control is the ability to control it anywhere you go. It runs off of WIFI so if you are on vacation and forgot to fix something on the schedule, don’t worry! Just by downloading the app, you are able to have complete control over the irrigation system controller. The other neat thing about this controller is you can get your analytics month to month.


The last type of Smart Controller is made by Weathermatic. Just as Rainbird and Rachio have other controllers they make, Weathermatic also has other controllers. The one I am going to focus on is called Proline. It can water as little as 4 zones and up to 24 different stations it can be set up to water in your yard! That’s right, 24! It also detects rain and snow causing it to shut off when it has exceeded the amount of water your yard needs. It has a large backlight so you are able to see it nice and easily. The neatest part of this controller is its ability to locate a lost valve. Often times grass or bushes will grow over the valve lines. Well with this great new technology, the Weathermatic Proline controller system is able to send a signal to the missing valve. Which eliminates the hassle to go out and get a valve locator which costs lots of $$$. (I’m talking a couple thousand) The last feature I would like to mention is the ability to control the irrigation system with your phone with a program called Smartlink.


These irrigation system controllers are very modern, up to date, and easy to manage! I would look into getting an advanced system controller, especially if you like to save lots of mula ($$$)!


Al’s Helpful Tip of the Month!

Did you know?

In order to achieve the full potential of your irrigation smart system controller is to install a raincheck or a weather station to complement your irrigation system controller. Al feels that it would be unfair for him to voice which controller is best out there, well simply because they are all great! His advice would be to speak to your local professionals, let them know your needs, and allow them help you make your decision!



By Cheyenne Wiscovitch, Jan 8 2015 02:00AM

Happy New Year! We are wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. First I would like to apologize to my readers. I realize I didn’t write a blog for the month of December. We were extremely busy beautifying the churches and homes for the holiday season. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed good company.

This month, I decided to inform all of you about berries! These yummy treats are extremely easy to grow, Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Boysenberries.

Blackberries are best grown when they are planted in the months of January, February, and March. They love moist soils and a regular watering. However, be careful not to overwater your berries because too much water on the leaves can lead to mold on the berries. These berries also need support to grow on, such as a stick, or a trellis. Basically something that will hold the berry vine upwards. A nice thing about this specific type of berries is they are very heat tolerant. So if you live in Southern California, these are the best type of berries for your garden!

Blueberries are a little bit different, in that they prefer to have a more acidic soil. These berries can be planted in a container or in a garden. They also must have a proper drainage system. They love, love, love sun, to be kept moist, and cross pollination! The best tasting blueberries are seen right before they fall off the vine. They should have a nice dark blue coloring to them. Now humans are not the only ones who love blueberries. Can you guess who else loves blueberries? Yes, birds! They absolutely LOVE to eat the berries off your vines. They won’t even wait for them to ripen. So a way to protect your sacred berries is to place netting over the berry bush. Be sure there is plenty of sun and air access.

Strawberries are my personal favorite. They may also be considered to be the hardest type to grow. These berries also prefer to have a more acidic soil. You can grow these berries in the ground, containers, or in a hanging basket. Just be sure that they have a good drainage system. Full exposure to sunlight is a must. However, when planting strawberries, you have to be careful not to dry out the berries as well as planting them too deep. Most strawberries that we eat are “June-bearing”. This specific type should be planted in late summer-early fall in regions with mild winters. They should be ready to enjoy by the following spring-time!

Boysenberries are most commonly known as a cross between loganberries, blackberries, and raspberries. If you have ever been to Knots Berry Farm, you have probably heard about this berry. If you have ever been lucky enough to try a boysenberry or boysenberry jam, then you would understand how delightful they are. They are not as cold tolerant as raspberries are, but they love warm climates! As long as you keep them in the sun, rich soil, and water regularly…you’re in business! Another nice thing about boysenberries is you don’t have to always water them!


Al’s Helpful Tip of the Month!

Did you know?

This time of year it is good to run your sprinkler system at least once a week in order to keep your equipment running and in good shape. You don’t have to run your normal time cycle. It needs to be at least two minutes per station. This will help to keep the valves and sprinkler heads from becoming plugged up.



By Cheyenne Wiscovitch, Nov 18 2014 01:17AM

We hope all of you are enjoying this cool brisk weather we are currently experiencing in Southern California! I don’t know about all of you, but I was ready for a break from the heat!


Today I am hoping to inform my readers of the seriousness of this drought and ways we can help save water with drought tolerant landscapes. According to USGS, 2013 was the driest California has been in 119 years. Governor Jerry Brown called for a state of emergency in the state of California due to little access to water. Lack of water obviously causes the land to be drier than usual. We have been experiencing those repercussions in wildfires in California.


I bet you didn’t know that 70% of our water is used in suburban areas to water our garden. Can you believe that? That is a lot of water being used for gardening! We could be conserving that water for other important things like showering, cooking, and cleaning.


On the contrary, we want our home to look inviting. I get it, I don’t want my grass dead and flowers drooping. But who says I can’t have a beautiful looking garden AND save water? Here are some different flowers and plants that you could easily grow in your Southern California lawn!

The first one is our state flower; California Poppy (Eschscholiza californica). It is native to California land and doesn’t need ANY irrigation once it is emerged from the soil. Colors include orange, red, pink and cream. Most common is orange.

The second on is a shrub; India Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica). It doesn’t require much water and blooms in winter when most plants are dormant. It also doesn’t attract disease or pests! Colors include pink and white.

The third one is a shrub; Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii). This is another native to California shrub that doesn’t require a lot of water. All it needs is lots of sunshine! Colors include purple and deep blue.

The fourth one is a flower; Chocolate Flower (Berlandiera lyrata). This is exactly what it sounds like! This flower is a yellow daisy that produces a coca scent by morning. It also loves the sunshine and needs very little water! Colors include yellow and orange/yellow.

The fifth one is a flower; Timeless Beauty Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis ‘Monhews’). This is another native flower and requires very little water. It needs to be out in full sun and attracts hummingbirds! Colors include pink.

All of these flowers and shrubs are very easy to maintain and very drought tolerant. They require hardly any water and lots of sunlight! Which is perfect because California is in a major drought right now and we always have sunshine! If you would like more information or plants that are drought tolerant check out http://www.ci.glendora.ca.us/departments-services/planning/environmental-services/drought-tolerant-landscaping.

Al’s Helpful Tip of the Month!


Did you know?


Drip systems are very water efficient! They are not like your traditional sprinkler systems. They are actually considered micro watering admitters. This type of irrigation is proving to be the most effective and least expensive way to water your modern landscapes today. Micro admitters can easily be installed to your existing watering systems. This would normally be considered a retro-fitting. In most cases all that needs to be done is removal of your traditional spray head sprinklers and fitted with your micro admitters.


Eschscholiza californica (California Poppy)
Eschscholiza californica (California Poppy)
Rhaphiolepis indica (India Hawthorn or Spring Time)
Rhaphiolepis indica (India Hawthorn or Spring Time)
Salvia clevelandii (Cleveland Sage)
Salvia clevelandii (Cleveland Sage)
Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate Flower)
Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate Flower)
Chilopsis linearis ‘Monhews’ (Timeless Beauty Desert Willow)
Chilopsis linearis ‘Monhews’ (Timeless Beauty Desert Willow)

By Cheyenne Wiscovitch, Oct 24 2014 10:09PM

Hello and welcome to the A.W. Professional Gardening and Landscaping Blog!


As you may have read, we are a landscaping business and have been servicing homes in the San Gabriel Valley for over 30 years. Our passion is to make homes and businesses look beautiful. Have you ever heard the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? Here at A.W. Professional Gardening and Landscaping, we know that what one customer finds beautiful may be different from what another customer finds beautiful. That is why we are so dedicated to making your home look exactly the way you want it to. Our team is knowledgeable in knowing which flowers go with specific shrubs or which tree would look best next to the color of your house. Hey, you may even want to go eco-friendly and design a desert landscape! Whatever the case may be, we will design something that you will love!


Did you know?

If you have roses in your yard or garden, in November, you should cut them back. Now when we say “cut them back” we don’t mean to cut the stems on every rose and leave only the root in the ground. No, by cutting roses back we mean clip the last few roses you have sprouting and trim the branches a little bit. Why do we do this? Because in November, roses become dormant. The weather becomes colder (at least in Southern California) and the roses will not start to grow back until early Spring.

Check back with us next month to get Al’s Helpful Tip of the month!



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