cimhoffChris Imhoff

All articles by cimhoff

 

The Wars of the Roses!

To keep or not to keep? That is the question!

As more and more people convert their yards into a sustainable landscape, some are torn by their love of their favorites – such as hybrid roses – that are not “low” water- use plants. This doesn’t have to be a war of the roses!

The answer is to hydrozone your plants.

Hydrozoning is the practice of grouping plants by their similar water and sun needs.  By grouping plants into zones, it helps in your overall maintenance—watering appropriately, ensuring healthy plants, and allowing you to keep your more “moderate” or “high” water-use plants.… Read more >>

 

Keep Your Tools Clean = Keep Your Plants Healthy!

If you like to trim in your garden, there is nothing like a new pair of pruners when cutting flowers and pruning trees and shrubs.  They are so clean, sharp, and cut like butter!

Oftentimes we don’t take care of our gardening tools—letting them get rusty, dull, and clogged with sap and sawdust, making you and your plants unhappy.  It comes as no surprise to find that one of the most popular topics at our Sustainable Landscape Maintenance workshops are the guidelines and demonstration on how to clean and maintain your garden tools.… Read more >>

 

Never Leave a Stub Behind!

Never Leave a Stub Behind!

Seriously! Stubs- whether on a tree or shrub- should never be left when pruning.  Their unsightly appearance aside, they are potentially harmful to the plant, promising dead, diseased branch ends and/or sprouts of weakly-attached growth.

People heal, plants seal

When people are cut or injured, our bodies heal. We replace damaged cells with new cells. In contrast, when woody plants, such as trees and shrubs, are cut or injured, their cell tissues are permanently destroyed. Instead of creating new cells, they grow over the cut to seal it off, creating a protective barrier of wound wood to the outside and barrier walls to the inside – to compartmentalize the wounded area.… Read more >>

 

Winter is Here – It’s Time to Plant!

 

Southern California winter months are the ideal time to install native and climate-appropriate non-native plants into your landscape.

 

 

In Southern California, it rains in late fall, winter and spring with almost no rain in the summer. Rainfall in December is around 1.75 – 2” increasing to 2.75” in January and then begins to decrease after April.  Now is the best time to get plants in the ground ahead of, and during, the early part of the season to give them a chance to use the cooler weather and rain to begin developing deep root systems, and become established.… Read more >>

 

Soil Maintenance – the Secret to Healthy Plants!

One of the keys to maintaining native and climate-appropriate plants in your sustainable landscape is the health of the soil.  Plant roots utilize and store nutrients in the soil environment, so it is essential that the soil contains what the roots need!   

Can’t I Just Add Fertilizer?

It is not necessary to spend your money on chemical fertilizers to ensure healthy plants. Besides, chemical fertilizers are not good for the water cycle.  When they get washed off into storm drains and then flow to the ocean, these nitrogen-rich fertilizers cause a rapid growth in algae that negatively affect fish and other aquatic life.  Read more >>

 

Sustainable Gardening- A New Maintenance Reality

As more Angelenos convert their yards from traditional gardens of thirsty plants and lawns to more sustainable landscapes, they are seeing some welcome bonuses. For one thing, weekly, lawn mowing, and hedge trimming can now be a thing of the past!

Believe it or not, traditional yards take up more time and resources than those covered with mulch and climate-appropriate and native plants. Embracing sustainable landscapes will not only help to decrease your water use and the amount of green waste you create, but also decrease the time it takes to maintain your yard.… Read more >>

 

Sunburned This Summer? So Are the Trees!

Driving around LA you may have noticed trees and plants all over town with entire areas across their canopy covered with dried, brown leaves. This sunburned effect can be caused by a combination of the angle of the sun and extreme heat, burning some, but not all the leaves.   

This unusual combination occurred when record-breaking temperatures over the course of two days – July 6 and 7 – hit 108° in the downtown area, and rose to 117° in the valley.Read more >>

 

5 Ways to Be Cool This Summer – The TreePeople Way!

The hot, dry days of summer are here!

As much as an air-conditioned building may seem like a great escape, there are some other ways to stay cool that are not only good for you and the environment but can also help you be cool – the TreePeople way.

#1  Spend Some Time Under the Shade of Trees

Throw down a yoga mat, blanket, or hang a hammock to enjoy the canopy of shade provided by trees. This is not only a great way to stay cool, but healthy too!Read more >>

 

The 4 D’s: Dead, Diseased, Damaged, or Deranged!

Dead, diseased, damaged, or deranged – think this is not the description of a horror film character? Guess again!

At TreePeople, and in the field of arboriculture, they are known as the 4 D’s. It is the simple way to remember what to prune out of a tree to help ensure it is happy and healthy!

To Prune or Not to Prune

More often than not, trees are over-pruned. Unfortunately, most people believe that a tree must be pruned every year – like getting a haircut.Read more >>

 

Time to Plan, Not to Plant!

Are you thinking about finally getting around to replacing that brown lawn in your front yard?  

Thinking of taking advantage of LADWP’s Cash for Grass rebate?  

Envious of your neighbor that already has a climate-ready garden?

Well, take a breath… the hot, rainless months of summer are coming, and they are not the best time to plant. Instead, it is a great time to plan the garden you’ve always dreamed of!

Do Your Homework

Before you start designing your garden, follow these four steps to get to know your landscape a little better:

  1. Determine your climate zone.
Read more >>  

The Spirit of Place

Working at TreePeople, if I am going to talk the talk, I felt I needed to walk the walk.

Some years ago I began converting my traditional lawn-covered yard into a more sustainable, climate-ready version. My husband was game, thrilled that he would not have to mow anymore! In addition to removing the lawn, we also redirected our existing garage downspout into a front yard rain garden to capture precious rainwater, planted natives and other low-water-use plants, and added fruit trees (yum!).… Read more >>

 

The Shape of the Landscape

As of the end of January, LA had seen just 28% of its average precipitation since October – the official beginning of our region’s rainy season. On the heels of another incredibly dry winter, 22% of California is still in “severe drought” – so doing what we can in our yards is essential!

Mother Nature Knows Best

In natural areas, the landscape is perfectly laid out to reap all the benefits of rainwater. During storms, rain falls to the ground and flows through the hills and valleys of the land allowing it to slow down, spread out, and then sink into the soil.Read more >>

 

Cause a Chain Reaction: How To Install a Rain Chain

As we all wait patiently for winter rains, installing a rain chain will add a fun, new aesthetic to your garden to make stormy days a little more fun. Wildflowers popping up from the warmth of the spring will love them too!

Install a rain chain!

Rain chains are functional, beautiful alternatives to downspouts. Instead of the tinny sound of water rushing through enclosed metal in a downspout, rain chains softly direct rainwater down creating a lovely feature for your garden, and a soothing sound in the process!Read more >>

 

7 Perfect Native Additions to Your Garden

What’s your favorite California native plant?

If you’re drawing a blank, then this blog is for you. Not only are these native plants a beautiful addition to any garden, they provide a sense of place.

California natives are perfectly suited to our Mediterranean climate. They thrive in the cool, wet winters and dry summers– making them a water-wise gardener’s best friend. What really makes native plants such a lovely addition is their ability to connect us to the land– to the smells, textures and beauty of the surrounding mountains and open spaces that are “native” to our area.Read more >>

 

4 Gardening Tips to Fight Runoff

Water is precious.

Especially as temperatures rise and the rainy season takes a vacation. Often in the grips of the summer heat, people will douse their lawns with their sprinklers causing “dry-weather runoff” to rush onto the pavement, into the street sweeping up pollutants along the way, into stormdrains to be dumped in the ocean.

Want to learn how you can make a difference? Follow these climate-ready solutions to keep any runoff out of the street and help water your plants and trees all summer long instead.Read more >>

 

4 Tips for Your Climate-Ready Yard

Do you feel the following symptoms?

  • Constant urge to be outside
  • An itch to dig in the soil
  • A need for a garden that turns heads?

If so, you could be suffering from Spring Fever!

Now is a great time to get out into your yard and plant! But before you get your hands dirty, watch this video and check out these four tips to grow the climate-ready garden of your dreams:

Buy native and/or climate-appropriate plants

Native plants are indigenous and support our local wildlife.Read more >>