Tree Planting is ideal now that the rains have started

Fall planting of trees is on a lot of people's minds.  We had a couple of rains that took away the dusty dry feel of everyone's yards. Lots of people are getting trees tagged to plant asap so the roots have time to get established before summer comes.  Even though it rains in the winter here (we hope) you will still have to keep a good eye on the watering needs of freshly planted trees.  A nice simple drip system will cut down on water and time but still needs to be watched for irrigation snafus. Pictured is a low branching Coast Live Oak.  It is evergreen and keeps leaves on through the winter.  It can give you shade, privacy and wildlife too!  It is very easy to grow and likes a lot of different terrains.

Citrus need some help with frost

Citrus trees and bushes get a fabric tent to keep them a little warmer on the frosty nights here in north Napa.  It is a chore to keep them on and keep the trees happy under the covers but having the fresh citrus is worth the extra work.  We use the fruit fresh and preserved.  This frost cover can give about 5 degrees of protection. The mandarins will be ripe soon! 

Plant Trees in a drought?

Saving water in California is on everyone's mind, we hope.  Putting in drip irrigation and using lots of water-conserving techniques is no longer an option—it is a necessity.  Good old Ruth Stout's heavy mulching strategies will save much of what would evaporate without it.  Using gray water is now legal in California and just in time!  Our dear planet needs all the green we can plant, for keeping our CO2 levels from going even higher.  Plant trees and perennials whenever possible.  Green plants help the planet.  Shade from trees cools our homes, schools, animals and us.