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Archives for July 29, 2017

11 Ingenious (and Organic) Gardening Tips

Credit: houselogic.com

Article source: http://www.nextavenue.org/slideshow/ingenious-organic-gardening-tips/

This weeks gardening tips: ginger plant support, blackberry canes, and more

Pictured above: Red Tower Ginger

Some of the taller gingers, such as hedychium, alpinia and costus, may get top heavy when they bloom. A little graceful leaning is generally not an issue, but consider supporting the shoots if they fall over too much or lean on nearby plants. Also, each shoot only blooms once. After a shoot blooms, cut it down to the ground to help manage the plant.

 

 

 

Article source: http://www.nola.com/homegarden/index.ssf/2017/07/this_weeks_gardening_tips_ging.html

Gardening Tips: July 29, 2017

The yards are very dry and crunchy due to the lack of rain this summer. Earl May’s Mark Thoms has some tips on how to revitalize your yard.

  1. Mowing: Mow grass to a high of 2.5″ to 3″. This will help the grass retain moisture.
  2. Watering: Water your grass two times a week, each area for 30 minutes. Grass needs 1″ of water a week.
  3. Grub Control: Spread a grub control and water in to prevent future bug problems.
  4. Fertilize: Apply on application of summer fertilizer, which is low in nitrogen, to feed your yard.
  5. Planning for Fall: Start planning your overseeding plan for the Fall.

Article source: http://whotv.com/2017/07/29/gardening-tips-july-29-2017/

Master Gardeners: Tips for using perennials in your garden

“As young gardeners, we are enchanted with zinnias and marigolds. They last only one summer, but that satisfies us — until we discover that there are other flowers that don’t have to be planted year after year. These flowers appear on their own every year. These flowers appear — perennially.”

— garden writer Marty Wingate

Perennials are soft-stemmed plants that live for more than three years. They are very valuable in the garden and play a major role, as most of them are relatively cheap, grow quickly and can be increased easily. Like trees and shrubs, some perennials may live for many years. In addition, most of them are herbaceous, as they have soft stems that die back in the fall and grow again the following spring.

Since perennials are a permanent addition to the garden, you must select where you place them with great care. When planning your border or flowerbed, choose a location that gets plenty of sunshine and is well-drained. Begin in the spring; turn the soil over to a depth of 9 to 10 inches. Mix in organic material such as compost and enrich the soil so that its pH is between 6.0 and 6.8.

Herbaceous perennials may be used in a variety of ways. If space exists, whole borders or beds may be developed with them. An open, sunny position is best, since this environment will work for the majority of plants.

Most herbaceous plants flower for only three or four weeks each year; so, to stay interesting, plants with different flowering periods must be chosen. As a rule, taller plants should be placed at the back of the border, with the shorter ones in front or around the edge.

Many plants will suit a sunny border and a well-drained, slightly alkaline soil. Among the taller varieties are phlox, hollyhock, mallow, bee balm, coneflowers, upright fuchsias (which may even be used as hedges), coreopsis and lavender. Some of the beautiful shorter perennials are bellflowers, asters, lady’s mantle, pinks, hardy geraniums and coral bells.

Don’t forget the perennial grasses. These come in a wide variety of colors, textures and heights.

One thing you must keep reminding yourself is that plants will grow. Just when you think all your plants are in perfect proportion to one another, they go and grow up on you. Pretty soon, everything looks overcrowded. What do I do? Divide it. Move it.

When choosing perennials, it’s also important to consider blooming time, flower color, foliage, light requirements and which plants grow best in our area. It’s fortunate that most of our gardens include so many different microclimates and soil conditions that we can find a place for a wide range of plants. Remember, a tall maple tree can provide enough shade to allow you to plant that favorite shade-loving hosta underneath. This past spring, we took down a mock orange tree. The sunshine poured in, and we are now able to plant the coreopsis we love so much.

There’s no denying that most of us go to a nursery, fall in love with a plant, plop down our money, and then takr it home and try to find a spot for it. Eventually maybe I’ll get to the point where I begin choosing plants by matching how their characteristics will fit in my garden.

Every garden needs perennial evergreen shrubs and small trees. Why? Because they add variety in color and texture. They allow you to have something to add interest to your winter garden after all those herbaceous perennials die back. A few possibilities are barberry, skimmia, daphnes, camellias, and yellow- and red-twig dogwood.

Don’t hesitate to ask a staff person at your favorite nursery for help. Most are extremely knowledgeable. If a plant doesn’t work where it is planted — either because it is not doing well or you decide you don’t like the color of the flowers or the foliage — move it! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different plant combinations.

Kathy Eko, who lives south of Elma, has been a WSU Master Gardener since 2010.

Article source: http://www.thedailyworld.com/life/master-gardeners-tips-for-using-perennials-in-your-garden/

Flooded garden? Tips on safely using its produce

Manitowoc County has seen higher-than-normal rainfalls this summer, much like other parts of Wisconsin. Luckily, we have not experienced large flooding — but many areas in the county have experienced standing water and isolated flooding issues.

After flooding, gardeners often raise questions about the safety of consuming produce from gardens that were under water for a day or two. How concerned gardeners have to be about using garden produce after a flood depends, to a large degree, on how “clean” the flood water was or whether it was likely to have been contaminated with sewage, river or creek water, farm runoff or industrial pollutants.

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The most conservative answer — one that eliminates any and all risks — is that gardeners should discard all produce that was touched by flood water.

However, if flooding occurs early, there will typically be weeks left in the growing season, and gardeners will likely wish to salvage some crops.

The following are tips for considering what can be salvaged and what must be discarded from a flooded garden:

 Produce can be cooked to ensure safety. This is the best choice if anything that was touched by flood water will be served to those most at risk for serious consequences from microbial food-borne illnesses: young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.

Note: cooking will not eliminate the risk posed by industrial pollutants.

 Discard all produce that is normally consumed uncooked (raw), including all leafy vegetables such as lettuce or spinach, regardless of how mature the plants are. It is not possible to clean these crops, as they have many ridges and crevices that could contain contaminated silt or bacteria.

 All soft fruits that are ready to harvest, such as strawberries or raspberries, should also be discarded unless they can be cooked; they, too, are impossible to thoroughly clean and cannot be safely consumed raw.

 Other produce may be salvaged depending on the crop and how far along it is in the growing season.

In general, any produce where the edible part was directly touched by flood water presents a potential risk to health if consumed. This includes produce that was submerged or splashed by flood water.

The ability to salvage crops that will be eaten raw with minimal risk depends on the source of the flood water, time to harvest, and whether potential contamination will have been internalized into the plant tissue.

One starting point for evaluating the safety of produce from flooded gardens is the National Organic Program guidance to farmers wishing to harvest produce from soil fertilized with non-composted manure. The NOP requires a 90-day period before harvesting edible material from plants grown in soil fertilized with non-composted manure, but where the manure has not come in contact with the edible material.

NOP standards require a 120-day period before harvest of edible plant material that had direct contact with non-composted manure.

Research suggests that contamination from non-composted manure should present a more significant health risk than contamination from flood waters.

 Early season crops that are to be harvested within a few weeks after a flood, and that remain above flood waters, should be safe to eat if cooked or peeled.

Examine any produce carefully before harvest. If it is soft, cracked, bruised or has open fissures where contamination might have entered, throw it out.

Intact produce can be eaten, but should be rinsed with clear tap water (DO NOT use soap) followed by a brief soak (2 minutes) in a weak chlorine solution of 2 tablespoons bleach in a gallon of water. Finally, rinse the produce in cool, clean tap water.

Peel or cook these items thoroughly before eating. Take care to prevent cross contamination in the kitchen. Change the bleach solution if the water is no longer clean.

 Plants where fruits have set (tomatoes) or where flowers are evident (broccoli/cauliflower) at the time of flooding present an undefined risk.

Before consuming these crops raw, consider the source of the flood water, the time since contamination and the health of the tissue.

Always discard any tissue that is bruised, cracked or otherwise blemished.

Washing fresh produce with clear water, followed by a brief soak in a dilute bleach solution (see above) and then rinsing before eating or peeling will help to reduce any remaining risk.

Underground vegetables such as beets, carrots and potatoes that are still early in their growth (at least four to eight weeks from harvest) should be safe if allowed to grow to maturity.

Root crops (i.e. new potatoes) that will be consumed within a month after flooding should be washed, rinsed and sanitized as directed above before cooking thoroughly.

Note that beets may be peeled after cooking, if desired.

Melons and other fruits that will be eaten raw should not be consumed. Recent food-borne illness outbreaks linked to melons suggest that these low-acid fruits may not be safe even if surface sanitized.

Late-season vegetables that result from flowers produced on growth that develops after flood waters subside should be safe. This group of vegetables includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, cucumbers and other similar vegetables.

To increase safety, cook these vegetables thoroughly, or at least wash them well and peel them, if possible, before eating.

Flood-damaged garden produce that is otherwise unfit for eating should not be canned or otherwise preserved.

Garden produce that would be safe to consume after washing, sanitizing and cooking (see above) may be safely canned.

Because the low temperature of home dehydrators does not destroy high numbers of bacteria, do not attempt to dehydrate produce from flooded gardens.

Never sell produce from a flood-damaged garden at a farm market or farm stand until you are sure all contamination has been removed from the garden, usually a period of at least one month after the last incidence of flooding.

Check with the Division of Food Safety of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection at 608-224-4665 if you have questions about market sales of garden-flooded produce.

Barbara Ingham and Steve Ingham are with UW-Food Science and Kya Diehl is Manitowoc County UW Extension Family Living Educator.

Article source: http://www.htrnews.com/story/life/2017/07/29/flooded-garden-tips-safely-using-its-produce/521305001/

YARD AND GARDEN: Tips on how to water wisely – Journal Gazette and Times

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Article source: http://jg-tc.com/lifestyles/yard-and-garden-tips-on-how-to-water-wisely/article_db87f0cd-a557-5a9a-b642-fb787e4ad457.html

The real dirt: Is the garden ready for planting? – Chico Enterprise


Plants are placed after all the infrastructure is in place.

Plants are placed after all the infrastructure is in place.
Submitted photo by Eve Werner







Our conclusion to this series on garden design basics leads you through the final steps needed to create your new landscape. Eager as you may be to get your plants into the ground, this ultimate preparation phase is as important as all of the others. To save time and money, we recommend that the last thing you do is go shopping for plants.

Timing: The time of year you plant affects plant success. Most natives, in fact most plants in general, thrive best when planted in our cool seasons, fall through early spring. Milder temperatures and (fingers crossed) rain, allow them to establish sturdy root systems that will help them tolerate the summer heat. Plants that are completely cold-hardy in our area can be planted at any time during our cool seasons. For plants that are marginally hardy, install in early fall as very cold temperatures may stress these new plants.

Bulbs, in particular iris, are an exception to the cool-season planting rule, as they do best when divided and replanted in late July or early August.

Infrastructure: Before digging any holes for plants, complete the installation of your infrastructure, including all hardscape, irrigation lines and drainage facilities. Build berms, install focal point(s), pour concrete, place landscape rocks; all of this comes before the living elements are added. Planting beds can be outlined with rocks at the same time as planting, if the rocks are relatively small and placing them will not disturb the plants.

Irrigation: Before planting is also the ideal time to test your newly installed or revamped irrigation system: make sure that flow and volume are correct, and that emitters for hydrozones (if included in your design) are properly sized. Resources for learning more about drip irrigation include the Butte County Master Gardener website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/.

Soil Preparation: Critical to plant survival and success is the health of your soil. We touched on soil structure and type briefly in part one of this series. The ideal soil ratio is 25 percent air, 25 percent water, 5 percent organic matter, and 45 percent mineral matter.

Now it is time to consider soil tilth, which means the physical condition of the soil, especially in relation to its suitability for growing plants. In its ideal healthiest state, soil is alive with millions of organisms per teaspoon. Within that teaspoon live 100 million to 1 billion bacteria, several yards of fungal filaments, several thousand protozoa, and from 10 to several hundred nematodes.

Our job as gardeners is to ensure that the inhabitants of the soil food web are fed and cared for. Their needs are the same as those of any living being: air, food, water and protection from abuse.

Air: Compaction is the bane of healthy soil. It reduces space for air and water movement and creates anaerobic conditions, which in turn attract and feed detrimental bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Try to protect your soil from heavy foot traffic and heavy equipment during hardscape installation. Lay down wide boards to distribute the weight more evenly in areas that experience a lot of foot and wheelbarrow traffic. Keep heavy equipment use to a minimal, restricted area if possible.

Food: Organic compost and mulch provide nutrients to soil. Nutrients from organic mulches are leached into the soil through rains and irrigation, while organic composts are manually incorporated into the soil itself. Composted organic materials improve air and water movement, improve soil structure, reduce surface crusting and soil erosion, and increase water absorption and infiltration. Organic mulches reduce soil erosion, reduce annual weeds, and reduce evaporation and runoff.

Good examples of organic mulches include leaves and the various sizes of wood chips.

Water: The texture of soil directly affects its ability to hold or shed water. Soils with a high proportion of clay drain poorly, creating waterlogged environments low in oxygen. This is hard on the roots of most plants and on the organisms which thrive in healthy soil.

Soils that are too sandy allow water to leach nutrients below the root zone and have a low water holding capacity allowing moisture stress to occur more quickly.

Amending either soil type with compost can help: adding compost to clay soil increases aeration and water infiltration; adding compost to sandy soil increases its water and nutrient holding capacity.

Protection from abuse: Compaction is not the only form of soil misuse. Erosion is a culprit as well: Overwatering bare soil can cause runoff and reduce the nutrients in the soil. Applying mulches and/or incorporating groundcover plants can protect soil from eroding on a slope. Create mini-berms around plants on slopes, and add terraces to steep yards during the hardscape phase of garden preparation.

Neglect is another form of abuse. Check plants on a regular basis to catch pest infestations or signs of stress. Irrigation systems need regular check-ups too, as small rodents and problems with water pressure can wreak havoc on water lines and emitters.

Weed Control: After hardscape installation and before planting, consider sheet mulching, an effective and long-lasting method to control weeds, particularly in a new landscape. Details are available here: http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/Blog/ (enter sheet mulching as your search term).

In sheet mulching, layers of newspaper and/or cardboard are covered with a thick layer of shredded or chipped bark, suffocating even the most persistent weeds. Plant holes are then dug into the covered area per your garden design.

In general, applying mulch at a recommended depth of four to six inches will help control weeds. Hand pulling weeds, early and often before they seed, will save you time and grief down the road.

Now you can go shopping. Happy Gardening!

This series of Real Dirt articles summarizes the presentation Butte County Master Gardener Eve Werner created for the Butte County Master Gardeners Spring 2017 Workshop Series. Please watch our website for our Fall 2017 Workshop Series. For more information about the Butte County Master Gardener Program, please visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/

Article source: http://www.chicoer.com/article/NA/20170727/FEATURES/170729748

Design a fall garden for all of your senses

Fall, or “second summer” in the Pacific Northwest, is the perfect time for planting. Plants have time to get their roots established before the heat of the next summer. Plus the lingering sunshine and balmy temperature into late November are perfect for enjoying a resurgence of flowers and plants in your yard.

Whether you want an ornamental garden showpiece in the front yard or a peaceful patio respite, there are plenty of fall flowers, plants and shrubs, even espaliered fruit trees, that provide vibrant color as well as interesting smells, textures and tastes.

Here’s your guide to designing a fall garden for all of your senses:

Lay the groundwork for a five-senses garden

Now is the time to start laying the groundwork for a fall five-senses garden. While shrubs and flowers can be planted after your summer garden fades, vegetables are a different story. Starters for kale, colorful peppers and fragrant herbs all need to go in the ground at the beginning of August so they’ll take root while the ground is still plenty warm at night.

The key to planning for any garden is to start with strong basic structure of evergreen trees and shrubs that will last year-round. Juniper, huckleberry and Oregon grape all produce interesting berries to add texture to your garden and also attract birds. Brandywine blooms with white flowers in spring that become clusters of vibrant pink and blue berries in fall.

Low-maintenance, high-sensory appeal

Ground cover that begs to be touched, smelled and even eaten can be easy to maintain and keep blooming well into the fall. Mint, lemon balm, creeping thyme and rosemary are all excellent choices for fragrant, textured ground cover that will help keep weeds from sprouting.

The caveat is that, like most ground cover, these will all spread quickly and aggressively. There’s no need to worry with thick-rooted perennials, but more fragile herbs and annuals are better off in above-ground pots or planters that can be embedded in the ground.

A cornucopia of tastes and smells

A raised vegetable garden filled with vines of pumpkin and squash, fresh lettuce, radishes and carrots can provide fall delights for all of your senses – as well as your dinner table. But the varied textures and fragrances of vegetables and herbs can enhance any garden.

Try adding soothing lavender and mint to pots on your patio or deck – ideally, near a favorite comfortable chair where you like to read or sip a glass of wine in the evening.

Mustard greens, chard, red and green peppers, sage and rosemary will also spice up your planters, along with colorful fall favorites such as mums and cyclamen.

Attracting songbirds to your garden

Satisfying your sense of hearing in your garden may be as simple as enjoying the peaceful silence. If you long for nature’s symphony, try installing a stone birdbath and fill bird feeders with sunflower seeds.

Fall birds are attracted by shrubs and trees with berries, including elderberry, crabapple, holly and viburnum. If you want to provide a home for songbirds, plant hawthorn or another thorny tree. They also seek shelter in piles of brush, leaves and branches, where it’s easy to find worms, spiders and other insects to feast on.

Attracting butterflies

Butterflies can be seen in western Washington well into November, so don’t neglect to include colorful, sweet-smelling flowers in your fall landscape design. Here are some favorite resting spots for butterflies that bloom throughout fall:

  • Container plants: fuchsia, dianthus, marigolds, lavender.
  • Along a walkway or patio border: pansies or impatiens in vibrant colors (pink, red, yellow, orange, purple).
  • In your vegetable garden: mint, sage, parsley, coriander, dill.
  • Other fall bloomers: Pink and purple asters, salvia, lantana, Dark Knight bluebeard.

Veggies with eye appeal

These colorful vegetables will please your taste buds and eyes alike during the summer and fall:

  • Scarlet runner beans: climbing vines of green leaves and flaming red pods.
  • Lemon squash: small, bright yellow, and delicious on the grill!
  • Swiss chard: thick, veiny leaves with accents of red, orange, yellow and purple.
  • Hyacinth beans: lavender flowers that bloom into deep purple pods that will brighten up your garden and your frying pan.
  • “Explosive Embers”: Purple-tinted green foliage and white flowers that explode into purple, red and orange hot peppers.
  • Purple basil: deep purple spiky leaves that are a sumptuous addition to pasta, eggs and salad.

Uyeta Landscape Maintenance has been family owned since 1967. Our caring and knowledgeable team has over 50 years’ experience combining art and science into landscape environments that leave clients and communities with a sense of pride and place.

 

 

 

Article source: http://www.seattletimes.com/sponsored/design-a-fall-garden-for-all-of-your-senses/

Gil Rosenthal, longtime Port resident and Japanese-garden designer, passes away at 82

Gil Rosenthal, a resident of Port Washington for more than 50 years, passed away at North Shore University Hospital Wednesday morning, July 26, from pneumonia, a complication of his decade-long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Rosenthal was known locally for his design of Japanese Gardens, many of which adorn homes in Port, Manhasset, and Great Neck, as well as in brownstones in Brooklyn. His work was also frequently featured at the Sands Point Preserve Designer Showcase.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Rosenthal fell in love with the tranquility of Japanese Gardens during an elementary school trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Despite that he lived in a part of the city with few green spaces, the experience spurred a life-long interest in horticulture and garden design. He moved with his family to Lynbrook on Long Island’s south shore when he was 15 and graduated from Lynbrook High School in 1952 and Hofstra College (now University) in 1956. Also in 1956, he married his childhood sweetheart, Annette Feldman, who survives him.

He is also survived by their children, Deborah Mastrocinque of Port Washington, and Robert Rosenthal and his wife, Kristen Simone, of Manhattan; and grandchildren Jaclyn Mastrocinque, Andrew Mastrocinque, and Jared Rosenthal.

His funeral will be held Friday, July 28, at the Community Synagogue in Port Washington. Donations in Mr. Rosenthal’s memory may be made to the Community Synagogue or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

More from Port Washington Patch


Article source: https://patch.com/new-york/portwashington/gil-rosenthal-longtime-port-resident-japanese-garden-designer-passes-away-82

Protect your home from wildfire – before it’s too late

Want to save your home from wildfire? Think like a firefighter.

Look for places flames can catch. Clear space that sparks can’t jump.

When protecting property from fast-moving blazes, it’s all about creating defensible space. And the time to do that is before your home sweet home is turned to ashes.

For the people who fight California wildfires, this summer already has turned into a red-hot nightmare with dozens of homes and other structures destroyed.

Statistics provide a snapshot of just how bad this wildfire season already has become, said Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean.

“At this time last year, we had recorded 2,480 fires and about 32,000 acres burned to date,” he said. “From Jan. 1 to July 15 this year, we’ve had 3,222 fires and more than 113,000 acres burned in California. That’s an almost four fold increase in acres burned – and we’re just starting our wildfire season.”

Our wet winter may have ended California’s epic drought, but it also brought an abundance of new fuel for fires.

“The aftermath of the rain was no reward,” McLean said. “It just produced growth exponentially in grasses and brush. Grass is like a fuse, igniting the rest.”

Add to that an estimated 102 million trees that died during the drought but still stand in California’s forests, just waiting to burn or fall over.

To help homeowners cope, Cal Fire – the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – created a new website and downloadable app that debuted this wildfire season. ReadyforWildfire.org puts a wealth of wildfire information at your fingertips including maps, text alerts, evacuation information and more. It also provides handy checklists on what to do before, during and after a wildfire breaks out within 30 miles of your home.

“We’re really trying to educate the public,” McLean said. “People need to think about increasing their defensible space.”

Firefighting philosophy has evolved with experience, he noted.

“We used to recommend that you have a 30-foot clearance around your house,” he explained. “That moved up to a recommendation of 100-foot clearance, but use that as your base. If your home is surrounded by heavy vegetation, go further out with your clearance. If your home is mid-slope, you need more than 100 feet of clearance below you because fire can move uphill rapidly.”

Although its crucial for property protection, few homeowners focus on wildfire safety when landscaping, say experts.

“Over the years, I’ve received very few requests for wildfire-safe landscaping, and I’ve been a landscape designer for over 14 years,” said Cheryl Buckwalter of Landscape Liaisons.

Buckwalter lives in the community of Auburn Lake Trails near Cool in the Sierra foothills. Wildfire is a constant threat.

“Each year, we have fire inspections in which we have to have created defensible spaces on our property, according to Cal Fire specifications, including cutting back tree branches that hang over or touch roof lines, don’t have tall shrubs right next to decks, remove dead plants, branches, brush,” Buckwalter explained. “I personally spent seven hours weed-eating our property so that any weeds were no taller than a couple of inches.”

Buckwalter did her weed-whacking early in the morning when the weather was cool – and watched out for sparks.

Specifically, Cal Fire recommends keeping grass under 4 inches tall.

“At that limit, it will burn more slowly,” McLean said. “It’s not that it won’t catch fire. I’ve seen green lawns burn.”

Instead of wood chips or other popular mulches, Cal Fire recommends using gravel or decomposed granite around trees and other plants.

“Embers can get into mulch, sit there and fester,” McLean said. “Suddenly, you’ve got more fire. You’re safer with gravel or hardscape.”

Density of vegetation is important for fire prevention, he added.

“You don’t want shrubs right next to trees,” McLean said. “You want to keep them separated. You want to trim limbs 6 to 10 feet off the ground, depending on the size of the tree. You don’t want to create ways where fire can easily climb up into trees or onto roofs.”

In fire-prone areas, Buckwalter incorporates wildfire safety ideas into her landscapes that are also watershed friendly. That includes creating shallow swales or terraces on slopes that slow water down and let it percolate into the soil. Healthy hydrated plants tend to be more fire resistant.

As a buffer against fire, she recommends creating space between plantings.

“I like to have meandering paths, about 4 feet wide between plant groups,” she said. “The paths can be a variety of permeable materials – allowing water to soak into the soil – such as decomposed granite, path gravel, flagstone pavers and other non-combustible materials.”

Plant choice is important, too. Some oily trees such as eucalyptus tend to burn faster and hotter than others.

Buckwalter has a long list of wildfire-resistant alternatives. “Some of my favorite fire-resistant plants – because many are evergreen and provide year-round interest – include coffeeberry, hollyleaf cherry, creeping mahonia, creeping barberry, western redbud, manzanita, chaparral currant, magenta rockrose, ‘Moonshine’ yarrow, strawberry tree, California fuchsia, toyon and California pipevine.”

Even if fire resistant, those shrubs can create a fuel source if too close together, McLean said. “You don’t want heavy patches of manzanita or other brush. That’s one reason the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County has been so bad. There’s just acres and acres and acres of brush all linked together.”

Knowing these tips is important in saving not only your home but your neighbors’ property, said Buckwalter. She tries to incorporate that advice into her river-friendly education programs and landscaping work – requested or not.

“We need for us all to be consistent, responsible stewards of our homes and environment,” Buckwalter said. “The smallest mistake can quickly risk the lives of our families and wildlife, and the health of our forests and air quality – the quality of our lives.”

More help against wildfires

Get more tips and other useful information on how to protect your home against wildfires at ReadyforWildfire.org, the new website and app created by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The site also includes a fire situation room with updates on current hot spots and evacuation orders.

The free app is available from both the Apple Store and Google Play. Besides handy checklists, the app allows homeowners to sign up for wildfire alerts and other customized notifications plus provides wildfire maps and incident reports.

Article source: http://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/living/home-garden/article163342918.html