Monthly Archives: December 2013

December Plant and Critter of the Month

Plant of the Month – Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgessil)

Christmas Cactus bloomingThis tropical hybrid traces it’s heritage back to the coastal regions of Brazil, where it’s parent’s are found growing between large tree limbs or in steep rock crevices that have collected debris.

Available in a wide variety of colors they come in red, purple, orange, pink, fuschia, cream as well as other colors.

Christmas Cactus FlowerThis plant requires indirect light (direct light will harm the plant), well drained soil and humidity to thrive. For the best results, place it where it will receive indirect light, but no light during the night (not even artificial light). Select a spot that meets its needs, and it will reward you for years to come!

planter bucketProper potting is similar to Orchids. The inner basket should be a type that allows the soil to absorb water from all sides (as pictured to the left) and allow for excellent drainage. The outer pot should be water tight, and allow some space around the inner pot. Put about 1 inch or more gravel or rock at the bottom of the outer pot so that the inner basket is not sitting directly on the bottom of the outer pot. To generate humidity, add water to about 1/2 the depth of the rock in the outer pot periodically. Use your finger to guage your watering schedule. If the top 1 inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water again. Do not water from the top, remove the inner pot and soak the plant so water absorbs evenly through soil.

In the right environment this tropical beauty can flower several times a year, but the key to getting it to bloom during the holiday season is to water less frequently. Also make sure it gets at least 12 hours of darkness (that means no natural or artificial light), and locate it in coolest spot in your home, but not near entry doors or where vents blow directly on it.

Christmas CactiAfter the holidays let it rest for about 30 days. Keep it in cooler temperatures, limit its water and make sure it gets its dark time. It is ok if it appears weak and loses a few leaves or joints during this period. Do not pinch back or shape until March or early April. Repot every 2 to 3 years in Feb, March or April, like it’s parents, this plant does the best growing in a confined space with good drainage. With proper care, this plant is long lived and can be handed down from generation to generation.

Critter of the Month – Northern Cardinal

Male Cardinalfemale cardinalThese birds do not migrate, and the female cardinal is one of the few female North American birds who actually vocalize in song. Most female North American birds do not sing. Their main food source is seeds and fruit, however they do supplement their diet with insects. The male is extremely territorial, but never more so then during mating time. He will even fight his reflection in a window for hours on end! The most common sound Cardinals are identified by is a metallic sounding “chip”. However, if you listen, you may also be privileged to hear clear, slurred whistled phrases of several phrase types which male and female combine into different songs.

Happy Holidays and Charity Promotion

Happy Holidays Phoenix

One of the real joys for the holiday season is the opportunity to tell you how much we appreciate your business, to convey our heartfelt thanks and to wish you and your family the very best in the coming new year!

With gratitude from the entire Goodman’s team, Season’s greetings and Happy New Year!

December Charity Discount and Donation

Purchase any service from Goodman’s this month with a subtotal of $300 or more and we’ll deduct and donate 10%* of your subtotal to the charity of your choice, or one of the top 10 ranked charities.

Top 10 Ranking info obtained from Charity Navigator at http://www.charitynavigator.org. You must be in our service area. Coupon value up to $500. May not be combined with other coupons. Expires 1/31/14

How to Prevent Frost Damage in Phoenix Winters

Frost DamageMost people in the Phoenix Metropolitan area do not pay much attention to cooler temperatures until they start to see damage in their landscape. This can be a costly error in judgment as severe cold damage can be mitigated by simply covering plants on the few days when cooler nighttime temperatures are forecasted. According the University of Arizona, the average first frost date ranges from November 21st to December 12th and the average last frost date ranges from February 7th to April 3rd.

Professional Grade Frost Prevention

Goodman’s sends out a yearly frost damage alert to our customers in late October, early November advising them to pay attention to forecasts. A majority of our longer term customers have purchased professional grade frost cloth from us at some point, and store them in the off season for use on cooler nights. The advantage of professional grade frost cloth is that it can be left on for longer periods of time, thus avoiding the labor of taking it off after daybreak and putting it back on in the evening.

Frost Damage PreventionIf you have a lot of cold tender plants in your yard, you may be aware that putting on and taking off frost cloths can involve hours of time…particularly if you are installing them correctly. Proper installation means covering the plant from top to bottom, as shown in these pictures. Make sure that the cloth drapes down and is not tied at the base. Last year we had several people call after seeing damage, only to find out all suppliers were out of frost cloths. This resulted in a huge amount of plants needing to be replaced in the Spring.

Tips for Frost Damage Treatment

If you start to notice your plant’s fruit, leaves, shoots, stems, flowers, and/or flower buds dying during the winter season, you can most likely attribute it to frost damage. Some people might have the desire to prune the frost-damaged plant right away, however, this is not recommended because it could stimulate new growth that would be exposed to frost damage again. Also, even though the leaves and stems are damaged, they are still helping to keep warm air near the plant. It is best to prune during the spring when the plant has already started to show new growth. If the entire plant seems damaged and the new growth is only at the root level, you will probably need to either cut down the existing dead plant to make room for the new growth or replace the plant all together.

Do not use smudge pots, mulch, or chemicals to try and keep your plants warm. As mentioned above, investing in professional grade frost cloths is the best way to prevent frost damage.

Do Your Plants Have Frost Damage?

If your landscape has experienced frost damage this winter, please contact Goodman’s today for a free estimate on replacing your plants with frost-damage tolerant plants. We can also provide you with a landscape maintenance plan that will keep your yard looking beautiful and fresh. We also provide landscaping in Scottsdale and surrounding areas.