Always start your preventive maintenance with trees and your tallest shrubs. They are the largest landscape elements and potentially pose the most problems. An improperly pruned (including unpruned) tree is a likely candidate to be damaged during a storm, with the possibility for property damage increasing with tree size. Prune out deadwood, weak or diseased branches and keep the height of your trees under control to maintain a healthy tree.
Planting beds, foundation shrubs and flowering plants also require attention. Prune carefully to remove damaged or weak stems and branches, dead flowers or seed parts and branches that have overgrown their originally intended space. Plants prefer your artistic pruning to amputation by wind. Don’t be afraid to prune or pinch — the plant will grow back!
Standing water in the garden, originating from low spots, poor grading or lack of proper drainage can create breeding spots for disease in your garden, but may also find its way into your home.
Raise low areas that collect water next to your house and garden areas and add subsurface drainage to evacuate unwanted water. Finally, keep a watchful eye on slope areas, particularly those with “thin” landscaping. In severe cases, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified soils engineer.
Although rain often delays landscape and garden projects, it certainly is good for the quality of my life. The pitter-patter of rain ensures a good night’s sleep.
Laguna appears fresh and clean the morning after a gentle rain and the view is limitless from our home. And, as Buster and Blondie know, everything seems possible again.
See you next time.
STEVE KAWARATANI is happily married to award winning writer Catharine Cooper and has four dogs. He can be reached at (949) 497-8168, or e-mail to email@example.com.