Here in the Bay Area, the end of a recurring drought in California is nowhere in sight. As a result, every resident, business, and government organization is now challenged with reducing water use.
And for Bay Area Landscape Professionals, conserving precious water resources should now be a top priority.
Drought symptoms you can’t ignore
Plants that do not receive enough water due to drought or governmental restrictions aimed at water conservation will eventually show signs of stress.
According to guidelines published by the University of Davis, plants vary in the amount of water they require for optimal growth and development. And most exhibit characteristic symptoms when they are in need of water.
Because plants need to be watered at an early stage of water deficit to prevent irreversible damage, it’s crucial to check plants regularly for symptoms of drought. The telltale signs are most evident during the afternoon and they include:
- | wilting or drooping leaves that do not return to normal by evening
- | curled or yellow leaves that may fold or drop
- | foliage that becomes grayish and loses its green luster
- | new leaves that are smaller or stem sections that are closer together than normal
If reduced water usage is making you thirst for a solution to keep your client’s new or existing landscape installation beautiful, don’t despair. Because helping a landscape thrive under drought or water restrictions don’t have to be stressful for you.
Time to get dirtyThere’s no better way to conserve water and support the investments that your clients are making in their landscape than by using mulch. This effective solution offers so many great benefits including:
- | Retaining soil moisture
- | Protection from drying out
- | Cooling roots cool in hot summer temperatures
- | Moderating soil temperature fluctuations
- | Inhibiting weed germination + growth
- | Preventing weeds from stealing valuable nutrients
- | Adding nutrition to the soil as it breaks down
- | Prevention from frost-heaving— plants pushed out of ground by natural expansion + contraction of soil
The best mulch to use depends on your site, soil condition, and your preferred method of irrigation.
Don’t be stingy—or too generous
Consider that nature covers bare ground over a few years with organic material (mulch) from surrounding shrubs and trees. Your goal should be to aid mother nature by covering the ground with mulch in the areas that are the most exposed.
Mulch, placed on top of the ground is what native plants prefer. But be advised, using the wrong mulch or a cheap substitute is asking for trouble. Lawn clippings, manure, or straw are not good mulches for native or drought-tolerant plants.
It’s also not a good idea to spread mulch too thin to make it cover more area. The benefits of mulch work best if you have at least 2-3 inches on the landscape. If you just can’t cover all the plants with a tight budget, use a wheelbarrow load around each plant.
Overdoing it isn’t a good choice either. Because if you use more than 6 inches, you’ll smother your plants.
From Walt Whitman mulch to Fir Bark our blended mulches and soil amendments are specially made for Bay Area installations including residential gardens, structural planting, rooftop gardens, and more.
Our mulches are conveniently packaged in 2 cubic ft. bags for easy loading and transportation. And they’re ready for immediate pick-up right in our Colma growing grounds. We can even deliver them right to your job site with your Plant Material Order.
To get a plant material Estimate or to place an Order, just click on over to use our ONLINE ESTIMATE | ORDER FORM.
As President of Pacific Nurseries, Don Baldocchi gets satisfaction knowing the Bay Area is greener and more beautiful by helping landscape professionals succeed. Email Don or give him a call at 650.755.2330.