Whats in your Garden?
I thought this information would be important to you and so here it is. Any Questions you can email me and I will answer in next blog
In Case you haven’t notice, 2013 in California was the driest year on record with last year being really low also. What does this mean to us herein Malibu? Well, unless we get a good soaking soon, the subsoil will start to dry and when all the moisture is gone it will become hard as a rock! What this means is no nutrients (no air, no bacteria) will reach the tree’s root system which will die off and then the tree dies also. This effects smaller trees that are not as well established with deep roots that are reaching under ground water sources that are deep. This really effect Citrus and most fruit trees as they do not have these deep roots for many reasons one of which is the way it is being watered. Watering for a few minutes or even 15 min every few days, the tree will never get a deep root system and once hard pan hits it is gone.
Here is what you can do to protect not just the trees but your whole property.
Place Tree Vents (Clay Drain pipes called Wine Bottle holders by the folks at Bourget Bros In Santa Monica), these are 4 inches wide and 12 inches deep. You also should get plastic green cover crate that covers it. You bury these out a few feet from the tree with 4 placed all the way around. Run a drip line and place 2 gallon per hour drip head so that it drips into the tree vent. Use the cover to attach the drip head.
In the tree vent you should place the follow mixture
Small amount of organic fertilizers with bacteria, micros etc.
The drip should be on for 1 or 2 hours per week depending on condition of soil, etc.
In some case, you can get away with once every other week.
How can you tell if you think you have hard pan?
Get one of the clay drain pipes, bury it where you think you have hard pan, even with top of soil. Pour water into the vent and watch for the water to drain down. It should drain while you are looking at it. If it does not drain right away and if you come back in an hour and it still has not drained then you have hard pan.
If this is the case you should install the pipes in out of the way places with the drip.
You can do one of two things:
You can individually place said mixture above into each pipe and make sure the drip is working. Turn it on and wait to see how long it takes for the drip to fill the vent and then make sure the timer runs that long. You should be able over time to inquire the amount as it starts to drain. The compost will help to break up the hard pan along with rock dust ( your local source of this is Anwalt Lumber..see gypsum). Another choice is to set up a fertigation unit which will feed thru the lines. The use Nitron-A35 which is excellent for this..see nitron.com).
Please email me your garden questions and I will answer in my next column. I am also open to suggestions on topics important to you in Malibu.
Happy New Year
Dont Panic Its Organic!