Water With Purpose

water   WATER !   W A T E R!!

It is thee hot topic on television and in the newspapers these days.  Appropriate water application has been the central topic of Moller’s newsletters for several years now.  If you have been following our general water instructions, it will be difficult to cut down on your water use any further and still maintain the health of you plant material.  (Turf, grass, lawns and seasonal flowerbeds not included.)  Our suggested watering methods are meant to ensure proper irrigation to allow for healthy growth and established plant material.  Well rooted plants require less water than shallow rooted plants because deep roots do not dry out as quickly.  MAKE YOUR WATER TIME COUNT!

Just a few bullet point reminders for your summer watering.

  • water in the cool of the day; do not water at night (sundown to midnight)
  • water application should be enough to fully saturate plant material roots
  • remember that water is measured in gallons, not time.
  • skip a day’s watering when temperatures drop or humidity rises

A word about night watering; in theory, it is a good idea — in theory.  The thought is water does not evaporate as quickly if you water at night.  ‘Night watering’ generally refers to application from sundown to midnight.  The problem is plant material is at rest when the sun is down and does not use water at night.  Plants need the sun as part of the whole photosynthesis thing.  Night watering leaves your tree and shrub roots sitting in water which can lead to root rot during cooler months.  Soil density and gravity forces the water to percolate through the soil before the plant has the opportunity to effectively absorb the water.  This drought is serious business and we take it seriously at Moller’s.  We also take the health of your garden seriously.  Proper water use is key to sustaining healthy trees and shrubs.  Weakened plant material falls prey to insects and disease.  Our goal is to provide valid information to allow you to make informed decisions when it comes to watering your garden.

IT IS CRUCIAL TO WATER WITH PURPOSE

May Day Gardening Tips
This is the time of year many of you are putting your gardens to rest for the summer.  Others are changing out summer color to enjoy the quieter time of year in the Desert.  Either way, we offer a few ideas to ready the garden so it stays healthy through the next several months.

  • check your irrigation system to be sure everything is working properly
  • be sure the backup battery in your time clock is up to date
  • fertilize; we like DR EARTH products
  • lay down a thick layer of mulch throughout the garden to hold moisture in; this can also help prevent invasion of weeds; we like HARVEST SUPREME
  • prune your shrubs and trees for shape; this will give them the summer to grow so the fall pruning can be a little less aggressive; properly pruned plants use less water than overgrown plant material

Ants in your Plants
Have you been noticing ants in your potted plants?  In bedding areas?  Shrub planters?  On tree trunks headed up the tree?  The assumption is the ants are eating plants but in reality they are feasting on the bounties of other pests already in residence.  Ants are secondary pests when mealy bug, scale and aphids – among others –  are present.  Treatment is twofold.  First, determine which host pest has taken up residence and invite them to leave immediately.  It is important to correctly identify, then treat for the host.  Pesticides are not a one size fits all business.  Once the primary pest has been eradicated, the ants should move on.  Ants can be controlled by applying AMDRO Fire Ant Bait.  Please follow all application instructions carefully.

White Fly Plague
Last year Palm Springs caught the brunt of the white fly infestation.  The plague is making its way east and we are now finding white fly in Palm Desert and Indian Wells.  There is a certain strain particularly fond of the ficus tree—a very well represented plant used throughout the Coachella Valley. You will see white fly like insects flee from ficus foliage when the tree is disturbed.  The insect eventually causes the tree to defoliate.  White fly is a very resilient pest and one we really need to stay on top of.  Treatment is simple enough.  Spray the affected plant material with BAYER ADVANCED COMPLETE INSECT KILLER, being sure to follow instructions carefully.  The problem may require several applications.  If you continue to see fly activity after a few applications, change the spray formula to MALATHION.  Repeat multiple applications, following instructions carefully.

In tandem with the spray, soak the tree with BONIDE TREE & SHRUB INSECT CONTROL.  This kills from the inside out.  This one-two punch is an effective deterrent to the very tenacious white fly!

We thank you for another great season this year.  As always, we appreciate your business.  We are here all summer to help with any questions or concerns.  There is still plenty of planting time left before the real summer heat hits. Just THREE Sundays left before our summer hours begin.  We wish you all the best in your summer adventures.

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