This is the second blog for The Golden Gecko Garden Center. Our first blog “The Blogging Nurseryman” has become my way to address issues in the nursery business as well as other odds and ends I want to talk about. That being said we felt that we needed a new blog to discuss with you our reader our ideas about gardens and gardening in northern California. This will be that space. No discussions about the nursery industry here.
To get started lets discuss what I believe is one of the most important practices for planting in the summer in hot climate conditions. Mulching. The placement of bark or other top dressing around the base of the plants for water conservation. Make no doubt, if you plant in the summer, in the full sun a 2 to 3 inch layer of bark or compost will make the difference between life and death for the plants.
A newly planted shrub or tree has been watered on a daily basis at the nursery. When you plant the top of the rootball is at the soil level. When the sun shines down it will dry the top layer of soil out before you can get water to it. Small roots die and the plant goes into stress. The mulch acts as a insulator or “sunblock” for the ground. The sun hits the mulch, and doesn’t dry out the rootball.
I like to add fresh mulch every year to compensate for decomposition and loss. keep the mulch away from the trunk of the plant by a few inches. From there extend the mulch out beyond the outermost branches (dripline).
Here is short video we made on mulching. Enjoy.