Moon Valley Blog

Trees and Plants Can Prevent Soil Erosion

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 1/10/2018

rainfall_downpourWater, it's the primary cause of erosion, and when we get heavy rains in our area, the impact loosens the material bonding the topsoil together. And for homeowners with slopes and hillsides on their property, those hard rains running down the hillside can cause terrible mudslides to occur. In Southern California, the worst-case scenario recently became a reality, with torrential downpours following one of the worst fire seasons California has experienced in recent history.

Soil erosion is the loss of topsoil, which is the top layer of soil that also happens to contain the most organic and nutrient-rich material. The natural factors that contribute to this erosion include wind and water. Since areas in SoCal have been in a drought, vegetation has been depleted, which makes it easier for soil particles to get lifted by the rain – a sudden downpour can cause immense damage.

At one point during the recent downpour in parts of Southern California, more than 1.5-inches of rain fell in one hour. According to the National Weather Service, about a half inch of rainfall per hour is enough to start mudslides.

We can do some things that can prevent soil erosion from happening. Here’s what you can do: plant trees and other plants on hillsides, which can be an added benefit in the long run and help prepare your landscape for any future natural occurrences. Trees with hearty, deep roots are going to provide the most benefit as they tend to stabilize the soil and can help pull water out of an over-saturated ground. It’s also a good idea to plant shrubs and other plants so that they can help reduce runoff by holding soil in place with their root systems.

 

Here’s How Planting Trees Can Help Prevent Soil Erosion

 soil_erosion_tree_roots_help

  • Tree canopies can protect the soil from the impact of rain – canopies block the rain from reaching the soil
  • Transpire large amounts of water
  • Stems and leaves slow water down
  • Deep-rooted trees bind soil – tree roots can act like glue so that they can keep the soil intact and the minimize the amount of washed away soil
  • Trees with strong root systems thrive on hillsides and can help stabilize slopes

Planting the right trees on your hillside can do more than prevent soil erosion, they can also bring color, shade, and be a source of food. Be sure to select evergreen trees as these types of trees do not lose their leaves and keep their protective canopy so that they can help prevent too much rain from impacting the soil. Consider planting citrus trees on your hillside. Citrus trees will keep their glossy dark green leaves, bloom very fragrant flowers in the spring and start producing fruit early in the summer so that they can ripen in fall and winter.

Topics: Winter Planting, landscape tips, knowledge base

Quick Guide: Chill Hours

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 12/19/2017

stone_fruit_flowersStone fruit trees love cold weather. In fact, stone fruit trees will tend to produce the most fruit when it’s nice and chilly outside, with the right number of winter hours. Well, out here in the Southwest we don’t necessarily have too many cold days that get below 45 degrees, so we tend to miss out on being able to grow many stone fruit varieties. Here’s the good news. Moon Valley Nurseries only grows and uses the low chill fruit varieties that perform the best for our area based on overall fruit quality and chill hours required for the climate and zone. This way, you can enjoy the best tasting stone fruits such as apricots, plums, peaches and more, as well as the beautiful flower bouquets even in our mild weather!

 

What are Chill Hours?

Chill hours are the amount of time the fruit trees have spent below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Low chill fruit trees, such as stone fruit, as well as nut trees, require a specific number of hours each winter to regulate growth. So, what happens if the tree does not get enough chill hours in the winter? In a scenario such as this, a tree that doesn’t experience enough winter hours may have flower buds that will not open in spring, or they may open unevenly, which can affect the fruit production.

 

Popular Stone Fruits Available at Moon Valley Nurseriesstone_fruit_pit

Stone fruits include peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, and nectarines among others and these are fruits with a large “stone” or pit in the center of the fruit, with a seed inside the “stone.” At Moon Valley Nurseries we grow the juiciest, tastiest stone fruit anywhere, grown at the perfect number of chill hours. Other common low chill fruit trees are apples, and some of the best tasting, crispiest and juiciest apples are grown in our area!

 

Low Chill Fruit Trees We Sell

Moon Valley Nurries carries low chill fruit trees so that they’ll have good fruit production even in our mild climate. Stone fruit trees are beautiful even when they are not producing fruit. Many of these tree varieties will have showy flower bouquets before the fruit, with colors that range from light pink to purple and white! Contact your nearest Moon Valley Nurseries location to find what we have available. We have the perfect trees to choose from!

peachesPeach trees:

Grow the best-tasting safe and ready to eat sweet peaches! We have taken the guesswork out and only sell the best varieties meeting the chilling requirement for our area! Some of the types we sell include Desert gold, Florida Prince, May Pride and more! In addition to producing flavorful, tasty snacks, these are also attractive, easy to grow landscape trees.

 

Apricot trees:apricots

These are beautiful landscape trees, and we sell low chill fruit tree varieties that are the best for our area including Gold Kist and Katy apricots! Once ripe, these golden fruits are bursting with luscious flavor! Eat them whole, can them, or make dried apricot, either way, you can grow the best-tasting, safe to eat fruit in your yard! These trees are easy to grow and can thrive in a location with full sun exposure.

 

plumsPlum trees:

Guess what? One of the best tasting plum varieties also happens to be a low chill fruit tree that we grow and sell – the Santa Rosa Plum! In fact, these are the most popular plums in California and Arizona, and with just one bite of the juicy and flavorful fruit, it’s easy to see why! These easy to grow trees look great in any landscape with or without fruit! Enjoy the sight of the bouquet of white flowers of this self-fruitful tree.

 

Nectarine trees:nectarines

These small low chill fruit trees produce beautiful pinkish-white flowers in early spring before giving way to the juicy and delicious nectarine fruits! These attractive landscape trees add plenty of color to any landscape. We carry the best varieties for our areas such as Desert Delight and Double Delight. These trees are easy to grow and thrive in a location with full sun exposure.

 

Apple trees:apples

Yes, we can grow sweet, crisp and delicious apples in the Southwest! Low chill apple varieties we sell include Dorsett, Anna, Fuji, and Beverly Hills. These beautiful landscape trees are easy to grow and provide showy flowers in early spring. These trees do best when allowed to grow free form so that you can get the best bloom cycle.

 

Fig trees:fig

Eat them fresh or dried, either way, you get a healthy fruit that is an excellent source of fiber and potassium. Moon Valley Nurseries only carries the best varieties for our area including Brown Turkey, Mission, and Kadota. These trees look great in any landscape too and can also be a large shrub for use as a hedge, screen or espaliered as a vine. Fig trees thrive in a location with full sun exposure.

 

pomegranatePomegranate trees:

Technically pomegranates are berries but whatever you want to classify them as there is one thing they certainly are -full of disease-fighting antioxidants and perfect for juicing! Besides being able to produce a healthy snack, these wonderful landscape trees have beautiful, showy bright red flowers that enhance any landscape! These easy to grow trees thrive in a location that gets plenty of full sun exposure.

Free California Watering Basics Guide

Free Arizona/Nevada Watering Basics Guide

 

Topics: Insider, Expert, Winter Planting, knowledge base

The Best Trees of Winter

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 12/6/2017

 oak_install

Take Advantage of these Prime Planting Conditions!

Right now is the best time to plant the best trees of winter! Unlike much of the east coast, we get to experience mild weather, and since our soil does not freeze over, we have ideal conditions for beautifying our landscape with trees! In December, the soil can retain warmth even if the temperature outside starts to drop. And warmer soil is a boon for newly planted trees because it allows them to spend the winter months establishing their root system.

We recommend planting all kinds of trees and plants so that you can take advantage of the prime planting conditions this time of the year offers. With that said, we compiled a list of a few of our best trees of winter! 

 

Best Trees of Winter to Plant Now

Evergreens are the right choice for anyone looking to add a tree that can provide privacy as well as shade, all year long! And though the weather feels comfortable today, once spring and summer arrive and the temperatures start to soar, you’re really going to appreciate those evergreen trees you planted in the winter! Evergreen trees can produce more than their fair share of oxygen to help lower our carbon footprint, and they can be a stylish addition to any landscape. Moon Valley Nurseries has been growing trees for over 20 years with hundreds of varieties for our area to choose from! Here are a few of our best trees of winter that are sure to bring curb appeal!

Brazilian-PepperBrazilian Pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius): These evergreens can grow to be medium to large trees with an umbrella-shaped canopy that provides a perfect shady spot in any landscape! These are picturesque trees that bring out the festive mood in the winter when showy bright red berries appear, contrasting beautifully with the dark green foliage. This wintertime bloomer is an excellent tree any time of the year! We have them available in a single trunk or multiple trunk forms so visit your nearest Moon Valley Nurseries location to see these colorful evergreen trees for yourself!

 

fruitless_olive

Fruitless Olive (Olea europaea ‘Wilsonii'): Fruitless olive trees are perfect for adding interest to any landscape, and since they are fruitless, we can grow them in Arizona and Nevada too! These are medium-sized evergreens that can be used as a focal point in any landscape and with nighttime landscape lighting installed, you can highlight the structure of these trees often dubbed as “living sculptures.” Of course, if it’s shade you’re after, rest easy knowing that this Olive tree variety can bring plenty of shade to your landscape! And for our Southern California customers, we have beautiful fruitless and fruiting olive trees available right now!

 

live_oak

 

Live Oak (Quercus virginiana): These evergreen trees are native to the Western U.S. and are an excellent choice for landscapes throughout the Southwest! Live Oaks have a long-life span and attract small wildlife too, so if you love the sight of birds, we recommend installing bird feeders and owl boxes. We like to plant them in rows so that they can create a natural privacy screen! These trees are also hardy and able to tolerate extreme drought and windy conditions. Of course, it is also an excellent shade tree and one that is very clean and easy to maintain. This majestic beauty is considered by many to be the best oak for planting.

 

Palms to Plant Now   

Palm trees are trademarks of the Southwestern landscapes. They have often been seen lining boulevards, in luxury resorts and upscale shopping centers and helping to create a backyard retreat so that you can feel like you are getting away from it all without having to leave the comfort of your home! Can you imagine what our landscape would look like without palm trees? Yea, we couldn’t either! Good thing we don’t have to imagine that because Moon Valley Nurseries custom-grows the best specimens, from hard-to-find-palms to the more common ones! Plant palm trees and enjoy the sunset while it creates an awesome silhouette without blocking too much of your view!

windmill_palmWindmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei): This small to medium-sized palm brings a tropical appeal to any landscape and is one of the most cold hardy palms you can find! These palms have a neat and small-scale size that makes them an excellent choice for small patios, narrow spaces, gardens, side yards, near swimming pools, or as a standalone specimen. Plant them close together in groups so that you can create one of the lushest hedges you can find. Transform your yard into a resort-style property and enjoy the calming nature of a Windmill Palm.

mexican_blue_palm

 

Mexican Blue Palm (Brahea armata): Break up the greenery in your landscape with the stunning Mexican Blue Palm! This harder-to-find palm features dramatic silver-blue fronds all year long and creates flower plumes and golden braids of fruit in early summer that can make it a crowd pleaser in any landscape. We like to use them to create stunning vertical effects, and as one of the most impressive tropical hedges that you can find! If you’re looking for a palm that can add dramatic colors and textural color to yards, look no further than Brahea armata!

 

Yes, You Can Afford a Beautiful New Landscape!

It’s true! With easy financing available you can pay over time so that it cannot get any easier to replace the trees and plants the builders chose or create that private backyard retreat you have always dreamed of having! Have you tried our virtual landscape designer app? Give it a try, it’s fun, easy and a great way to visualize your new landscape with our premium quality trees and plants! Of course, you can always visit any of our nurseries and take advantage of our free landscape design consultations too. And with #freeplanting available on all box sized trees, you can relax while our professional planting crew does all the work. Come home to a beautiful new landscape today!

Click Here For Easy Financing!

Topics: Winter Planting, knowledge base

How to Properly Reseed for Winter Lawn in AZ/NV

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 9/21/2017

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The Southwest is a beautiful place, and though we live in an arid environment, we welcome any greenery, especially from our grass lawns. So whether we use lawns to practice a golf swing, toss the football around with our kids, or just like the way the green color contrasts with the natural scenery, keeping it lush and green all year long takes a little effort. Of course, rising to the challenge of keeping it green all year long brings many rewards, so keep on reading to know how to properly reseed for winter lawns so that you can achieve the best results!

reseed_for_winter_lawnFill in Areas That Were Damaged During Summer Months

Overseeding, we do it to help fill in those areas that were damaged during the summer months so that it can revive your lawn. Of course, many homeowners in our area keep their grass green all year long by planting Ryegrass in the fall and Bermuda grass in the spring. What is the best grass seed? One of the best methods to keeping a grass lawn green through the Southwest winter is overseeding with Perennial Ryegrass. Ryegrass is a beautiful dark green lawn, which is why many around here feel that winter lawns are much more attractive than summer lawns! So, when is the best time to reseed for winter lawn? In our area, the cool fall nights make for the perfect planting weather. In fact, once the temperatures in Arizona and Las Vegas get anywhere from the low to mid 60’s and into the 70’s, we can overseed! The reason you want to reseed when the temperatures are cooler is that the sun can bake the seedlings. The window of opportunity is small, so be sure to keep this in mind!

RESEED FOR WINTER LAWN: Step-by-Step!  

winter_lawn_beautiful

1. Scalp and dethatch: first things first, you need to cut that summer grass back and thin so that it allows room for your new grass to grow. The removal of thatch and leaf accumulation ensures that the seed gets down to the soil. Yes, you might have to mow your lawn two or three times to get the grass down to the preferred ¼-inch to ½-inch height, so if you have got children that want to earn some extra cash, this might be an excellent opportunity to instill some good work habits!

2. Seeding: once the grass is at the preferred height, you can start to spread the Ryegrass seed (our Moon Valley Nursery pros always recommend using Perennial Ryegrass because it is the best choice for Arizona and Nevada.) Spread the seeds half in one direction and the other half in a direction that is perpendicular to the first because doing this will minimize overlap and skips. For best results spread the seeds as evenly as you can.

3. Fertilize: before you turn on the water, be sure to fertilize. Feel free to speak with any of our in-house experts, and we will be glad to help you select the perfect fertilizer. We carry the perfect blends at any of nurseries for the best results!

mulching_winter_lawn_grass4. Mulching: we recommend applying mulch if you do not have a good irrigation system, if you do not have an easy way, such as a timer, that can water 4-5 times a day, or if the temperatures have cooled down too fast. A well-composted mulch (available at all of our nurseries) will help to retain moisture and heat, all things necessary for germinating perennial Ryegrass. Once you have spread the seed, you will want to spread the mulch evenly over the entire lawn and do it to 1/8-inch to ¼-inch thickness.

5. Water: when reseeding for a winter lawn it is critical that you water because maintaining a moist seedbed for 7 to 10 days will allow the seed to germinate. Water about four to five times a day but be sure not to leave any puddles or any dry spots. Don’t worry, once the seed has germinated and grown to a height of ¾-inch to 1-inch, you can reduce the watering to 2 to 3 times and day, and after 10 to 14 days, you will want to reduce watering to once a day. Once your new lawn is established, you can water every other day in the winter.

winter_lawn_grass_mowing6. Mowing: yep, your mower is getting some nice wintertime action! With your new beautiful winter lawn, the first mowing should happen at the 10th to 14th day after germination. To prevent pulling out your new young seedlings, never remove more than 30-percent of the leaf at one time. You will want your first cut to be at the height of about ¾-inch to 1-inch, of course, if you like a higher lawn then you ought to mow 14 to 21 days after germination.

7. Nutrition: winter lawns require feeding too, so be sure to ask any of our Moon Valley Nursery pros for the best fertilizer to feed your new lush and beautiful winter lawn!

Ratios:

                                         Seed (always lay a little more):Fertilize.png
                                         1 lb per 100 sq ft

Topper:
1 cu ft per 100 sq ft

Mulch:
2 cu ft per 100 sq ft

Starter Fertilizer:
1 lb per 200 sq ft

Moon Royale:
1 lb per 200 sq ft

Moon Green:
1 Gal per 500 sq ft

Topics: Insider, Winter Landscape Tips, Winter Planting, knowledge base

Top Trees To Plant In The Winter

Posted by Garrett Cleverly on 12/1/2016

The winter season is a fantastic season to plant in

Privet1.png

The winter season has finally arrived. It's time to dust off the Christmas lights, prepare your home for holiday visitors, and plant in your landscape..and yes, we're serious! Our region is unlike the majority of the country who face freezing temperatures which preventing planting. Because our soil does not freeze over we are still able to plant in ideal conditions. This is because the soil will retain warmth while the outside temperature plunges. With a warmer soil newly planted trees will spend the winter months establishing their root system before spring growth and especially those hot summer days. 

Take advantage of this ideal season to plant. Trees planted now will look fantastic in the spring and below are our top picks to plant during the winter months. 

Brazilian-Pepper-4.pngBrazilian Pepper
This evergreen tree may be native to Brazil, but it is right at home in our climate. This tree is one of the best water wise trees we carry at Moon Valley Nurseries and it just absolutely thrives in our sun and heat. It's lush and thick umbrella shaped canopy is supported by its dense branches that criss-cross and spread out from the main trunk. It produces white flowers in late spring and in the fall and winter it produces pinkish colored fruits in clusters. Many homeowners use these berries during the holidays for crafty displays. 

 

Cali-Pepper.pngCalifornia Pepper
Even though this tree has the name "pepper" in it, it is vastly different when compared to the Brazilian Pepper. The California Pepper is originally from South America, but it has found a home in our region. It is an evergreen tree that displays a weeping appearance that is graceful looking. It thrives in our sun and it produces a broad canopy of layered shade. It grows more upright than it does wide and it is supported by its strong trunk and branches. The California Pepper also produces red-colored berries in small and rounded clusters. It requires minimal water once established.


privet-japanese.pngJapanese Privet

The Japanese Privet is an ideal solution for those who want an evergreen, low maintenance tree for a small to medium sized area. The Japanese Privet, while commonly seen in large shrub or hedge applications, can also be grown easily as a small to medium tree as shown. Ideal for courtyards in smaller patio homes, Privet trees are even clean enough to plant near pools.  Plant in rows or groups for privacy at upper level of the tree with shade below.

 

 

Cypress-1.pngItalian Cypress
Sentinel of the Mediterranean, the Italian Cypress has announced formal entrances, borders and backdrops for the grandest properties in the most picturesque cities on Earth. Unmistakable with their lush green foliage and tall, narrow upright form, these long lived specimens of grandeur are well suited to modern living. Their natural ability to thrive in sunny climates on a minimal amount of water makes them a popular choice for just about any landscape.

 

 

Moon Valley Nurseries is your one stop shop for all your landscape needs. Our experts have decades worth of experience and they will be able to assist you with any projects or questions you may have. Remember to change your watering schedule as we enter the winter and be sure to map a Moon Valley Nurseries locations right here

CLICK FOR IMPORTANT INFO Your Free Winter Watering Guide!

Topics: Monthly Tips, Winter Landscape Tips, Winter Planting

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