Monthly Archives: October 2013

Happy Halloween – Plant and Critter of the Month

happy halloweenHappy Halloween from all of us at Goomdan’s! There is cooler weather just around the corner along with the trick or treaters. A fun pre-Halloween event is having a pumpkin carving party. Start with a family trip to your local pumpkin patch to pick out several pumpkins. Let your children draw a design, or trace stencils on the pumpkins as a guideline for carving. They can also scoop out the interiors and sort through the mess to pull out the seeds. The seeds then get washed and put on a tray for toasting in the oven. The seeds toast fairly quickly and can be used as a party snack. Leave the carving to the adults.

Texas Firecracker Bush (Hamelia patens) – Plant of the Month

Texas Firecracker BushThis lovely tropical plant blooms from spring to fall. As an added bonus when cooler fall temperatures prevail it’s normally bright green foliage gets a lovely bronzy tinge to it. As with all tropical type plants it will suffer damage if temperatures dip too low. Plant it in area that will get some respite from the sun in the afternoon hours when the sun is at it’s most intense. At maturity this shrub is about 3 to 4 feet high and wide. If you’ve planted it in an area where it’s size will be an asset, it will require little to no pruning. The flowers are tubular and do not open more than pictured at right. Humming- birds love this plant! It’s also rumored to have a some homeopathic properties. Click here for more information.

Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii) – Critter of the Month

Gregarious and social, Gambel’s quail form covey’s in the fall and winter to forage for seeds, grasses, fruits, berries, cacti and other herbaceous material. Population size is directly correlated to the amount of rainfall during the previous October through March. The more rainfall the higher the population. Makes sense right? The more rainfall, the more food available.

Gambel's QuailGambel’s breed in spring and early summer and chicks hatch, all in the same day, approximately 3 weeks after eggs are laid. Baby quail emerge at about 1 inch tall and are able to see, walk and eat soft vegetation immediately. As soon as the group has their strength, their parents lead them off to forage for more food. Although mortality rates for offspring are high, Gambel’s make up for it by laying between 10 to 12 eggs per nest.

Unlike other birds, Gambel’s love dry baths. Bath time consists of scratching and pecking to create loose soil. Then they hunker down in it, and quickly fluttering their wings to spread dirt throughout their feathers. When they emerge from their bath, they puff out all their feathers and shake vigorously sending dust and dirt flying. They may complete the entire cycle several times if undisturbed. If you live in an area they frequent and feel safe in, your flower beds and pots make an ideal bathing/snacking spot due to the looser and slightly moist soil and foliage. Inexperienced mother’s may even consider your pots or flower beds the ideal nesting/nursery.

Winter Flowers October Special From Goodman’s Landscape

Winter Flowers in Pots

If you haven’t already, it’s time to put your winter annuals in. What can we say about annuals that we haven’t said before? They are just fantastic, and bring that certain “Je ne sais quoi” to a property that nothing else can take the place of.

If you think of a particularly memorable spot, chances are flowers of some type were lurking nearby. In general, annuals are easy to care for, and are relatively inexpensive for the amount of “oomph!” they provide. Some of our customers purchase their own flowers, lay them out and have us install them, and others leave the choice, pick up, delivery, and design up to us. Either way, our customers reap the enjoyment and compliments from friends and families.

Always plant for a mature size, and pay attention to the flower’s label as to whether to plant in “full sun”, “part sun”, “part shade”, or “full shade” (although, very few flowers require full shade). In pots, taller flowers should be planted Flowers by Fountainin the center, medium-sized next, and then short or trailing flowers. For beds, taller flowers should be planted in the back, then medium-sized, and finally short or trailing flowers should be planted at the front edge of the bed. You can also alternate tall and medium as shown in the fountain picture to the right. To reduce cost, pick up a few perennials for pot centers, or to intersperse in larger flower beds.

October Promotion (expires 11/30/2013):

Never had flower beds or pots installed before? Hire Goodman’s to design and install your beds and/or pots, and we’ll install a full flat of flowers for FREE! This is a $65.00 value. There is a two flat minimum to qualify for a third free flat and you property must be within our service area. This offer can’t be combined with any other coupons. Please call us to take advantage of this one-time special promotion to make your landscape even more beautiful.

The Benefits of Lawn Aeration in Phoenix, AZ

scottsdale lawn aeration

Lawn aeration is the best way to facilitate gas/air exchange and water/nutrient absorption. Soil compaction and other soil conditions that occur naturally over time can make it hard for your lawn to thrive without periodic aeration.

To compound the problem, thatch buildup can act as a barrier preventing water and other crucial nutrients from penetrating to the lawn’s root zone.

Aeration works best when a machine specially designed for this task is used (a mechanical core aerator). The machine removes small plugs of soil and places them on top of your lawn, leaving holes that allow nutrients and water to reach the root system.

The process strengthens and invigorates the roots, resulting in a thicker, healthier lawn. While some of our customers request that the plugs be removed, we do not recommend it. The soil from the plugs contain beneficial fungi and bacteria that aid in the decomposition of the thatch layer and are considered a valuable top dressing for your lawn.

grass aeration scottsdale

How do you know if you need to aerate your lawn? Well, the obvious answer is that if you notice that your lawn isn’t in tip top shape. Another method is to dig up a section of your grass with a shovel to about 5 or 6 inches deep to see if the grass roots are further than 2 inches deep into the soil. If they don’t, then your lawn would benefit from lawn aeration. It is common for grass areas that are exposed to a lot of foot or vehicle traffic to need aeration more than other areas because it is more likely to become more compacted. It isn’t recommended to aerate a lawn that has been sodded or seeded within the last year of planting.

Water your lawn thoroughly for one or two days before you plan on aerating in order to help the aerator penetrate the soil more easily. Make sure you mark various sprinkler heads and other objects that might get in the way of the aeration. You only need to go over your lawn one time with the aerator.

For Arizona residents, aerating winter grass in September to October is a good time because it allows your grass to break dormancy and the grass is actively growing. For summer lawns, it is good to aerate around the months of May and June.

Let Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance help you with your lawn and grass aeration this winter. Call today to learn more about our various Paradise Valley, Phoenix, and Scottsdale landscape maintenance options.