by Charlene Burgi
Last week I mentioned the need to water plants due to severe dry wind conditions. Wind, like intense heat, can be a water robber that saps life-sustaining moisture from plants. Both elements can have the same ill effect: Plants are unable to transpire fast enough, causing the tips and edges of the leaves to dry up. Intense heat can be corrected by proper mulch and irrigating during the wee hours. However, wind must be treated in a different manner.
What can you do if wind is a problem in your garden? First, reflect on various types of wind screens that will protect plants. You can construct fencing or use plant material to achieve this goal. Our gut instinct is to put up a solid fence to protect the area. However, take note if you are attempting to create a wind block. A solid fence acts to wind just as a low-lying wall acts with ocean wave. The wind or wave action rides up on the barrier and slams down on the opposite side, creating more damage than anticipated. Design the fence so the wind has the ability to move through the fence rather than meet a solid board wall. Similarly, if you use plants for screening, plant various types and heights to create multiple layers allowing the wind to be diffused.
Implementing these methods will allow you to experience a gentle breeze rather than gale forces that are hard on plants and make it difficult for you to enjoy your garden!
Nominate a Garden
We’re looking for beautiful and inspiring home gardens to feature on next spring’s Bay-Friendly Garden Tour scheduled for Saturday, May 19, 2012. This is the first time Marin County will be participating in this 9th annual Bay Area event (which takes the place of our previous annual tour known as the Eco-Friendly Garden Tour). Home gardeners and landscape professionals alike are welcome to nominate a garden for the tour. We’re looking for gardens that incorporate sustainable elements such as low-water-use or native plants, urban food growing, permaculture, rain and stormwater catchment, composting, lawn conversions, graywater systems and more. To nominate a garden, contact Elena at (415) 945-1164 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, November 22. Garden selections will be finalized before the end of 2011.
Mark Your Calendars!
Speaking of Bay-Friendly, we are approaching time of year to register for the landscape professional certification program, which starts February 1. If you are a landscape professional or know a landscape professional who would benefit from this seven-week program, click here for more information.
And for homeowners, we also have a series of workshops coming up that can assist you with great ideas for becoming more water efficient. Have you considered installing a rainwater catchment system? Would you like to know more about laundry-to-landscape graywater systems? How would you like to learn more about composting the Bay-Friendly way? This FREE workshop series, co-sponsored by The Urban Farmer Store, begins December 10. Click here for more information.