DIY Yards and Health

DIY Yards and Health
Helping the Do It Yourself home owner in making themselves and surroundings healthy

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Killing year for trees

What is happening to the trees in Boise, Nampa and Meridian areas?
Trees are dying in our area due to several stress factors.
1. November's sudden 50 degree drop did not allow the time needed for decidua (leaf) trees to go through the process called reverse sink. This is very important for the trees ability to store sugars and nutrients in their root system needed in the spring. As they call upon these reserves, this spring, they do not have the ability to put on adequate foliage. Evergreens develop a type of anti-freeze in their sap to stay green all winter; again this was not ready for that sudden freeze so we see browned out needles.

2. This spring has added to the stress by being so warm so early without adequate rains. Our water has just come on and the trees are suffering from two months of inadequate water. Combine this with these hot dry winds, which is defoliating trees just starting to put new leaves on, and we have a nasty combination to kill trees this year.

What to do?
Trees do not do anything fast, so reacting too late will not save them. The best action you can take is to get water on them using deep soaker hoses - and do it today!
The next thing is to NOT fertilize them with nitrogen. Nitrogen is for growth and they can not take the stress of trying to grow at this time. Thrive or Save A Tree; which I do as a deep root injection for about $5 for a tree like the above, feeds the mycorrhiza  in the soil which then feeds the tree without putting stress on the trees.

DO NOT prune off what you think is dead at this time. It may still push out latent buds so you want to wait until June to make that decision.

Watch for insect attacks; insects attack weak trees to finish them off in a forest environment. But we want to save these trees, so if you feel sticky residue when walking under your trees (aphid indicator) or any other insect attack, let me know and we will address that immediately.

I am going as fast as I can to get the deep root injections done. The trees that we have been doing deep root tree care for three or more years now, show no signs of damage, because healthy trees were able to recover. You have to be pro-active to have healthy trees.

I am getting a lot of calls asking me to come out and look at their trees. Looking at them is not going to save them. The only options we have are the ones stated above. Get the water on them and use our watering information about trees that is on this blog. Then email me at to get on the deep root tree feed list (minimum stop $39). The rest is dependent on how healthy the tree was before this stress hit.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hydrate your trees now!

Very important to hydrate your trees well right now as the first heat in spring hits us.

Trees are now pushing everything upwards to get foliage started - this is a time they really need water to help that process and to hydrate those leaves so the young tissue is not burned by the sudden heat that they are not used to.

Deep water soak is the best using those black soaker hoses for 24 hours of slow drip. Even in the lawn this is important because the lawn itself is trying to grab that water first.

A deep root feed should be done now. NOT nitrogen but a organic product like Save A Tree to help introduce more nutrients and minors the leaves may need to formulate and develop.

Your garden should be flooded before you plant so the soil is hydrated well too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Gardening Check List

We all get impatient to get those seeds in the ground and get started. However it is important to take the time to make sure all aspects of the garden have been taken into account.

Last winter the garden was supposed to be put to bed with fertilizers giving them time to break down over the winter. If that wasn't done, you still need to add the fertilizers but they need to be well aged and organically broken down.

The next important step is to review the watering practice last year. Sprinklers often cause powdery mildew issues and weeds throughout the garden. Soakers, drips and flood can be better options and now is the time to see if there is a way to engineer those different processes.

Tilling the garden to create soil with lots of macro pores (nice word for airspace) creates the environment the seeds will germinate in well. This is part of the reason for the composted materials added at this time. I also include worm castings due to the high biological microorganisms (if is fresh) and the fact that what comes out of a worm is better than what goes in.

Soil temperature is important too. Seeds do not germinate until soils have reached enough heat. So checking that temperature will give you a better idea of when to plant.

How we plant will effect the rest of the season so take a little bit of time to plan the design and final harvest from the garden. This includes trellis for beans and even squash.

Planning is everything, with a good garden plan it will help insure you stick out the process for your own fresh food this year.