Felipe has been working in the Nursery and Garden center for many years and bring extensive knowledge to trees, plants, and landscape design.
One of the best seasons in Southern California is right around the corner – Summer! But first, we have the month of May, and with it comes the need to prepare our landscape to enjoy the glorious SoCal sunshine. Yep, the weather is getting warmer, and we are starting to make plans so that we can host family get-togethers and barbecues in our yard. We are going to want to show off our beautiful yards! The good news is that we can plant the trees and flowers that create shade and add colors to our landscape. It's still spring, and the weather is great, so keep planting!
Let’s get ready to hang out outdoors with our family and friends. It can get hot and sunny in SoCal, so we are going to want to find ways to keep cool outdoors. Shade trees can come to the rescue, providing a comfortable spot in your yard for picnicking and catching up with friends and family. One of the best shade trees is also one of the prettiest – Tipuana tipu. Tipu trees have a canopy that can provide massive amounts of shade. With proper planting in your property, shade trees can also help lower the temperature on the sunnier side of a home.
Maintaining a healthy and beautiful garden in Southern California has plenty of rewards. We asked our nursery pros for tips, and we compiled the tasks so that we can keep our landscape bursting with colors, shade, and beauty. Read all about it below!
How to Maintain a Healthy Landscape
How to Water: Keep a close eye on our yard’s watering schedule. The temperatures are going to warm up soon, and this can affect how often and how much to water. One of the best things we can do is to water slowly and deeply. If you plan to seed Bermuda and warm-season grasses, apply one inch of water per week. If you have deciduous fruit trees, be sure to keep them well-watered. If you want more information, click here for our informative watering guide.
How to Fertilize: We are early in the month of May, which means this is an excellent time to fertilize our landscape plants. You may have noticed your winter lawn dying out. There is no need to worry because our summer lawn is starting to take over so we can keep walking barefoot in the grass. Fertilize warm-season grasses now. Keep fertilizing rose bushes, too. We recommend adding liquid fertilizers to rose bushes every two weeks. This is also the time to keep fertilizing our vegetable and herb gardens as needed.
How to Protect Trees: Trees can get sunburned, too. It’s true, but unlike people, lathering up tree trunks with sunscreen will do no good. Young trees are susceptible to sunburn and need protection when the temperatures rise. When it gets too hot and bright outside, we can protect the trunk of a new tree with a Protective Tree Wrap. Another beneficial thing we can do is to stake both new and old trees. Once the Santa Ana winds arrive, staking the trees can help. We love our fruit trees, so do birds! We can cover up fruit trees with netting to protect fruit trees from bird damage. When it gets too hot and sunny, we can place a shade cloth over tomatoes to protect them.
How to Control Weeds: It seems like controlling weeds is a never-ending task. Sure, pulling weeds is good exercise, but do we really want to spend our free time removing pesky weeds? Of course, we don’t. That said, we need to stick to our weed prevention plan. You can find all the things you need for controlling weeds at any of our nurseries.
How to Mulch: Mulching is going to benefit our landscape during the next few months. We are going to want to mulch around heat sensitive plants, and doing this can keep the roots cool and prevent water evaporation. We also recommend mulching around areas that receive direct sunlight on the dirt.
What to Prune: Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased portions of the plant. Continue removing spent stalks of aloes, agaves, and other succulents in the garden. Newly planted annuals and perennials can develop more flowers if we pinch back the growth. Cutting off the old blossoms can prolong the flowering season of spring annuals.
Vegetable Garden: Growing vegetables in our garden is rewarding. May is an ideal time to plant warm-season vegetables such as okra and sweet potatoes. It is also an excellent time to plant pumpkin, cantaloupe, winter squash, and sunflowers. Adding a shade cloth to the vegetable garden can protect homegrown veggies.
9 Ways to Get Your Dream Garden Ready
Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana): These are some of the most elegant palms in the world. These beautiful palms feature an attractive trunk and deep green palm fronds that arch outward to create a tropical canopy. Kentia Palms grow tall and narrow, so they are a perfect fit for tight spaces. Plant them in clusters, and they can add shade as well as block unwanted views. Use them in a wide range of landscape applications. A must-have in any tropical retreat! They are one of the cleanest palms you can find.
Piru Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana 'Piru'): Bring an instant tropical look to any SoCal landscape. The ‘Piru’ Queen Palm is an improvement over other queen palms because of their superior durability and exquisite appearance. Their classic feather palm appearance makes them a perfect focal point in the front yard. Create a tropical paradise, and you may never want to leave your yard. Our Piru Queen Palm is custom-grown to be extra hardy in heat or cold.
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia): Colorful and stylish – the perfect tree for SoCal yards! We carry a few different varieties, and they are all beautiful, smaller sized trees that can produce an explosion of vibrant colors when the heat arrives. Plant them in your yard, and when the summer comes, they can decorate your yard in shades of red, white, purple, and pink. This ornamental small to medium-size tree can provide shade and bring instant curb appeal. Bonus points for drought tolerance and mildew resistance.
Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia): Once in bloom, this lovely tree is covered in beautiful lavender purple blooms. They thrive in SoCal and can create a scene that looks as if it’s straight out of a fairy tale. Jacarandas can bring the color to any water-wise landscape! Bright green pinnate foliage and a broad canopy can provide dappled shade that is ideal for patios, courtyards, and decks. Plant one as a flowering specimen for the front yard and add instant curb appeal.
Tipu Tree (Tipuana tipu): If you are looking for a beautiful tree that can provide a massive amount of shade, look no further than the Tipu tree! From late spring to early summer a coat of golden blooms covers the tree, contrasting beautifully with its feathery, bright bluish-green foliage. This showy tree creates a picturesque landscape scene all year long. Homeowners and landscapers alike are finding that this tree is quite useful for a wide range of landscape designs.
Desert Museum Palo Verde (Cercidium x 'Desert Museum'): This hybrid is one of the most gorgeous trees you will find anywhere! They can bloom a dazzling display of large yellow blossoms in spring. It’s deciduous, and when the foliage falls, it reveals the beautiful green trunk and stems. They are water-wise, too, so they are ideal for SoCal landscapes.
Arizona Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans v. angustata): These shrubs can grow tall and wide, making them an excellent plant for fences and borderlines. They can light up your yard when the trumpet-shaped lemon-yellow flowers appear from spring to fall. Plant them in a spot that gets plenty of full sun exposure and let them grow – this is a colorful, low-maintenance shrub ideal for yards in SoCal!
Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides 'Veitchii'): You know when Gardenias are in bloom because the air is filled with the sweet aroma of the fragrant flowers. These low to medium-sized mounding shrubs are a favorite for yards with limited space. Plant them close to outdoor living spaces and enjoy the sweet scent!
Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis): Bring a lush look to the coast! These vines feature brightly colored, orange-red, trumpet-shaped flowers that are sure to catch all the right attention. They have many landscape uses including hedge, mass planting, creating a privacy screen, and are suitable for erosion control.