Category Archives: Pots and Flower Beds

Why Should You Prune Your Roses in Winter?

roses-2011-02-01-lytle-rose-bush-cut-backsA rose bush that is not pruned will still continue to grow and bloom but its growth will not be as vigorous, stems will be shorter, and flowers smaller. The Arizona Rose Society recommends pruning back rose bushes by one third in September and by half in January. January pruning forces the rose bush into a short period of dormancy. This short period of dormancy stimulates new growth in spring and more flowers in summer.

Rose bushes pruned in January will have improved plant vigor, growth of new canes and higher quality, larger blooms. Pruning also helps to maintain the plant within the allocated space with enough space between bushes.

The most desirable bush form is a V or U with canes growing from the bud union or ground, rose-pink-tipupward and outward with a slightly open center.  Proper pruning includes removing all foliage on each bush, cutting out all spindly or crossing branches, and removal of dead wood to open the center of the bush so the sun reaches bud onions.

January is a good time to plant new rose bushes. Roses should also be fertilized this month. Give Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance a call at (602) 861-1144 and we can help with pruning and new rose bush installation.

Don’t worry! Pruning in January will result in roses blooming at the end of March into April and May.  The roses will come back lush and more beautiful than ever!

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 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.

Red Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia Pulcherrima) – Poisonous Plants

seed pods

Native to the West Indies, Central and South America Caesalpinia pulcherrima produces thin, flat 2.5” long bean pods which twist as they dry. The seed Pods and seeds are poisonous. It also has small furry looking thorns which are nevertheless sharp, make sure to wear long sleeves and gloves when pruning.

Why they are in our Landscapes: Red Birds are fast growing plants between 6 and 15ft tall and wide, are drought tolerant, take full sun, are salt tolerant and therefore grow well in our Phoenix soils. From March to October, they are reliable bloomers with colorful attention grabbing flowers.

Plant of the month JulyTheir dormant period in winter is excellent for strategic layering. Despite their showiness, it is not a good idea to use them in areas where small children or pets spend unsupervised time (due to the thorns and poisonous seed pods and seeds), or as the single focal point in your land- scape (due to their dormant stage).
Caesalpinia Pulcherrima

As stated earlier, knowing they go dormant does work to your advantage in planning year round color (landscape layering). Plant them in front or behind plants that bloom in the opposite season. They can also be used as an informal, open and colorful hedge or in groups for maximum impact. Unless you cut them back, keep in mind Red Bird of Paradisethat you’ll be looking at leafless, reddish brown sticks during the coldest winter months.

Avoid planting on the North side of your home or where the shrub will be subject to prolonged periods of shade. Also avoid planting in soil that receives a lot of water, or retains water. These conditions will make this shrub leggy and there will be little to no bloom.

Month of July Promotion

Free Water Leveler!*
Goodman’s Landscape will include an autofill water leveler free of charge with purchase and installation of any custom designed or prefabricated water fountain.

Up to a $100 Value
depending on type of fountain and installation method

*Must be in our Service Area. One coupon per customer. May not be combined with other offers. Expires 8/31/2013.
CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE.

Bougainvillea – Plant of the Month June

bougainvillea-bush-1Bougainvillea (part of the Nyctaginaceae family), sometimes referred to as bougies are Native to South America, but do extremely well in our climate. Although frost sensitive they are incredibly hearty and can recover even when they look hopelessly burned by cold. Just prune them back after all danger of frost has past, you should see new growth fairly quickly after pruning.

Plant in a location where they will be at LEAST five hours of sun a day. They will grow in areas with partial shade but, the less sun they receive, the less color they will produce.

bougainvillea-plant-3Bougainvillea come in white, fushia, orange, purple, light pink and white. Don’t be afraid to prune aggressively when needed, this plant can take it. Just be sure to wear long sleeves and gloves as these plants are thorny.

They can be purchased in vine or bush form. There’s also a variety called Torch Glow that
produces color along cane like branches. Torch Glow is outstanding in its natural form, but also can be trained into more formal and colorful hedge as shown in the first picture.

Bougainvillea have a rest cycle in between bloom periods, but bloom year round. Oddly enough the flower is not the showy part of this plant. It’s the bracts that turn color and put on the show. The bougainvillea-tree-2flower is small, white or off white, and located in the middle of the bract as shown in the 2nd picture.

Overfed and over-watered Bougainvilleas produce an abundance of green foliage at the expense of the colorful bracts. After planting fertilize early in the plant’s second spring. After that, if it is vigorous and colorful, feed no more than once every other spring. The exception being potted Bougies. As with all potted plant material, a regular fertilization program should be followed for best results.

 

Month of June Promotion

Pre Monsoon Tree Trimming
Thinning of canopies prior to Monsoon Season helps wind pass through decreasing the chances of breakage or trees going down.

$40 Off jobs totaling $360 or more!*

*Must be in our Service Area. One coupon per customer. May not be combined with other offers. Expires 7/31/2013.
CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE.