As Americans prepare to celebrate the 4th of July this weekend, many of us will enjoy fireworks and cookouts in parks and backyards. It also means that summer is here and temperatures are on the rise. Folks out in the western states are hitting record highs so early in the season. And excessive rains are causing severe flooding in the East. Regardless of where you are, the summer heat and sun is sure to wreak havoc in your garden this season.
Here are a few things you can do to help keep your garden growing, even in the harshest summer conditions.
Spread a Layer of Mulch – a 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch helps the soil retain moisture and helps reduce the rate of evaporation. It also helps to suppresses weed growth which if allowed to grow, take up precious water and nutrients from your plants. Natural mulches will also break down over time and provide nutients back into the soil. DON'T FORGET: When it comes to your trees, avoid piling mulch up around the base of the tree and trunk. I can damage your tree by inviting fungus or unwatned pests. Better to mulch out than up!
Convert Spray System to Drip – The key to proper watering is a slow and steady drip that has time to penetrate the soil. Over head sprinkler system have come a long way in being more efficient but are still prone to evaporation and excess run off. Converting a planter with a drip system can be quick and inexpensive. You'll see the return on you investment in your monthly water bill too. Less water and healthier plants, even in the hot summer months. For more information, check out the EPA WaterSense website.
Water Early Mornings – a good long soak in the early morning hours allows more water to absorb in the soil and minimize water evaporation. Avoid watering in the afternoon or hottest parts of the day as the majority will evaporate quickly and never penetrate the soil or reach the plant's roots. Another reason early mornings are best is the air is typically calm with less wind. Spray from sprinklers is more likely to water your lawn instead of being carried off to your neighbor's!
Set Lawn Mower to Highest Setting – If you have a lawn, keeping your grass taller is better for its overall health. Taller grass will help it retain moisture in the soil during extreme temperature and heat. Think of it as a thick blanket on top the lawn's root system. It protects the soil from the hot mid-day sun, will require less water to keep it green and saves you some green in your utility bill too.
Use Native Plants – Natives and adaptive plants can survive on less water or tolerate excessive rains and humidity. And these days your choices are not limited to cacti or succulents either. Your local garden centers offer a wide selection of native plants. Just look for lables that state low water or thrive in the local climate. Your county extension can provide you with a list of natives for your area.
There you have it, 5 easy ways to help beat the summer heat in your garden this summer. What other things do you do to help plants survive in your garden when it's hot? Share it with us in the comments below!
How many times have you seen pests feeding on your trees, veggies or shrubs and think what’s the quickest way to deal with them? Do you run to your local garden center for a magical pesticide that promises to help rid you of your new-found pest?
Well believe it or not, long before the invention of those solutions, nature had its own way of dealing with pest control in the form of the good old fashioned food chain. Or a more technical term, biologic control (BC), where it’s survival of the fittest!
Practical Uses for Biological Control
Join @CoronaTools and our guest host, @BartlettTreeExperts, Don Booth Ph.D. and entomologist, for another great topic on #treechat. Don will be stepping out of the research lab to share some practical uses and tips for managing pests in landscapes and gardens. The live chat begins 6/11/13 at 11AM PST via Twitter, where we come together with industry experts and fellow tree tweeps each week to discuss all things related to trees and tree care, since 2010!
Topic Discussion Overview
Some of the main discussion points that will be covered during the live chat include;
Practical Uses - Discover how biological control can be an effective method for managing tree damaging pests
Planning and Integration - Learning how to identify & protect naturally occurring biological control species and releasing commercially available beneficial predators & parasites
Nature's Method - Exploring plant diversity & reduced use of pesticides to increase populations of naturally occurring biological control
Integrated Pest Management - Discussing how regular pest management visits on a property is a proven method of improving biological control
Participating on Treechat
Have questions about practical uses for biological control? Ask Don before the live chat so he can provide you with the information and resources during the live chat. If you would like to submit a question before the chat, please leave it in the comments below or tweet it to @Coronatools prior the live chat. He will also be available to answer your questions during the live event are always encouraged.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about biological control in your gardens and landscapes and connect one-on-one with the experts. We hope you will join us however if you do miss the chat, you can still access the #treechat Storify 24/7 that will be posted following the chat. The transcript includes all the information, links and resources shared during the discussion.
Come share with us on this great topic and look forward to sharing with you on the live chat! Have an opinion already about the topic? Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Beetle feeding on gypsy moth photo courtesy of Bartlett Tree Experts
Memorial Day weekend is time to raise the stars and stripes and to honor the American service men and women who gave their lives while defending our freedom. It’s also the first long holiday weekend in Spring and a time when many Americans take advantage of the extra day off to get projects done. We’ve put together a list of 5 garden and landscape projects that are easy to start and finish over the weekend.
Set Up a Compost Pile
One of the best things you can do for your garden is to save your brown and green wastes and make nutrient-rich and organic soil right in your backyard. Whether you use a readymade composter or put together a basic cage, your plants and vegetables will love it. It so simple to do and it’s always a good time to get started. Check out the Organic Gardening website for some great composting tips.
Check Sprinklers for Leaks
While you’re out in the yard this weekend, do a quick check for any leaking sprinkler heads. A leaky sprinkler is easy to spot, whether a gusher or that slow and steady leak that keeps the sidewalk wet, it’s an easy weekend fix. Sprinkler heads can wear out over time so it good to check them periodically and replace them when you detect a leak. It will save you some green on your monthly water bill and help to conserve water.
As summer months get hotter and drier plants need to maintain proper hydration. Many people think that means add longer watering cycles, however, spreading a layer of mulch is a much better option. Mulch will help keep moisture in the soil and prevents weed growth which means more moisture for your plants and less watering. Just think of what you can do with the time saved weeding and money saved watering!
Organizing Your Garden Tools
How many times have you headed out to the garden and realized you’ve misplaced the tool you need? You spend 30 minutes looking for it, give up and have to run to your local garden center to find a replacement. The long weekend is a great time to organize your tool shed to maximize your space, make it easy to find and store your tools, and easy to spot when something is missing which helps remind you to replace your tools when finished. There are many racks available in local hardware stores, a simple peg board and hooks or come up a creative way to organize them. And next time you head outside you will be so glad you did!
Green Up the Yard
During the long weekend it’s a great time to assess how efficient your garden and landscape is. If you are putting new plants in this season, look for native species that require less water. Ensure that your lawn mower is adjusted to its highest setting which helps to reduce the amount of water needed to keep it green. Or add a smart controller to your irrigation system to automatically turn off the system during rainy days. You’ll spend less in water while conserving this precious resource. And for more great ideas to green up your yard, spend some time this weekend on the EPA WaterSense website to learn how to make your landscape greener.
There you have it…Corona Tools' 5 easy projects to get your yard and tool shed into shape this weekend! All things that you can complete in a weekend, cost you a little time or a few pennies, and guaranteed to reward you all season long. These are just a few ideas, what kinds of garden projects are on your list?
Too often you hear people say email is so out dated. People don’t email or call these days…they communicate via text or on Facebook. So why waste time on boring old email? Well…in short, it’s where the money is! If you think email marketing is dead, then you can’t miss #SocialTuesday live on #treechat!
The live chat begins 5/21/13 at 11AM PST via Twitter with Corona as this week's host and moderator. Join @Coronatools and other industry experts each week discussing all things related to trees and tree care since 2010!
Key Topic Takeaways
- Email is your golden ticket – a discussion on why email marketing is vital for businesses and organizations
- Developing Your Strategy – understanding your goals, scheduling your content and setting your expectations
- Getting Started – building and managing your email database to grow with your business and delivering targeted email campaigns your readers want
- Achieving Email Nirvana – open rates are great but the call-to- action is what keeps your pocket lined with green
- Email Formatting – email is never one size fits all, more readers are seeing your emails on mobile device and presentation matters
Email marketing is by far the single most important tool in your marketing tool shed so come join in the conversation on this great topic. Whether you are; a business owner, contractor, committee organizer, or community leader, email should have a place in your marketing strategy.
Don’t miss this special #SocialTuesday chat! If you can’t make the live chat you’ll find a recap of all the links and shares on Corona Tools Storify! NOTE: Storify did not register the final 25 mins of this chat...! Here is a link to the complete chat from Twitter
This week is the 1st treechat roundtable where we discuss tree related topic in the news. These discussions take place the 4th Tuesday of each month with the goal of informing, sharing and discussing events that shape our landscapes and gardens related to trees and how these events affects each of us.
The live chat begins 4/23/13 at 11AM via Twitter with Corona as this week's host and moderator. Join @Coronatools and other industry experts each week at 11AM PST via Twitter for #treechat. Discussing all things related to trees and tree care since 2010!
This month’s news articles include;
Vertical Forests – discussing the building project in Milan for buildings that become forest sky scrapers.
17 Year Cicadas – a look at what to expect, protecting your trees and recipes to put them to good use.
Joshua Trees in Bloom Across the Southwest – an impressive phenomena that leaves scientists baffled.
Tree Pests – Emerald Ash Borer, Gypsy Moths and others could are making their way to a tree near you and what’s being done to help.
Bees and Almonds – Fewer bees in California means higher prices on almonds and other goods.
Other Articles – Family sues USFS for $1M for a fallen tree, man shoots at a tree and tree fires back, 12 year olds letter saves an entire forest.
There’s always interesting things happening in the news regarding trees from technical, to ethical, to the downright bizarre or humorous tree related stories. Come share with us on these roundtable discussions and tell us what you think.
If you come across an interesting story that you would like to share on the next discussion, email the link to email@example.com and we’ll add it to the discussion. If you can’t make the live chat you’ll find a recap of links and shares on Corona Tools Storify!
Conifers are some of the most interesting trees and shrubs in gardens and landscapes. With such a wide assortment of colors, textures, sizes and shapes it can be challenging to find the one that works best for your landscape. Coming up on this week's #treechat, we're discussing conifers with Ronald Elardo, co-author of "People and Plants: The Harper Collection of Dwarf and Rare Conifers"
The live chat begins at 1/29/13 at 11AM PST with this week's guest host, author Ron Elardo @Whadyacallit. Join @Coronatools and other industry experts each week at 11AM PST via Twitter for #treechat. Discussing all things related to trees and tree care since 2010!
Topic highlights covered during this week's chat includes;
Overview - Conifers in the botanical scheme of things
Selection - How to choose them for the landscape
Sizes and Classes - understanding a bit about conifer sizes & classes
Planting - When and where to plant
Shaping - Creating bonsai in the ground
Ron has lots of great tips and information in store so you won't want to miss it. You can also submit questions to him before the chat so he can cover it during the live session. Just post your question in the comments here or tweet it to @Whadyacallit by 1/28/13, 12N PST.
What if you miss the live session? You can access the #treechat Storify 24/7 that will be posted following the chat with all the information and links we discussed.
Come share with us on this great topic and discussion! See you on the chat!
What's better than a juicy, fresh picked orange? How about one picked from a tree in your own backyard? These days more people are enjoying better tasting fruit grown in their gardens and landscapes but what about those who are space challenged? On this week's #treechat, we're discussing how to grow fruit trees in containers.
The live chat begins at 1/22/13 at 11AM via Twitter with this week's guest host, @StarkBrosCares Sarah DePass of Stark Bro's Nurseries & Orchards. Join @Coronatools and other industry experts each week at 11AM PST via Twitter for #treechat. Discussing all things related to trees and tree care since 2010!
Topic highlights covered during this week's chat includes;
Getting Started - Choosing the right container, the right "place", and the right potting mixture
Care - Watering, Fertilizing including ideal types & frequencies for containers, Repotting to keep soil/roots healthy
Winterizing - Winter over your container trees, pruning trees for Spring
Sarah has lots of great tips and information in store so you won't want to miss it. You can also submit questions to Sarah before the chat so she can cover it during the live session. Just post your question in the comments here or tweet it to @StarkBrosCares by 1/21/13, 12N PST.
What if you miss the live session? You can access the #treechat Storify 24/7 that will be posted following the chat with all the information and links we discussed.
Here's to a prosperous fruit year!
Photo courtesty of Stark Bro's Nurseries & Orchards
It’s a new year and a great time to start making plans for what's growing on in your gardens and landscapes this season. We recently closed out the 2012 holiday season with our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway which gave 12 lucky winners some great new tools for their upcoming planting and pruning tasks. We had a lot of fun, as did our friends on Facebook, and we thought it would be fun keep the season of giveaways going all year long.
52 Reasons to Like Corona Tools on Facebook
Throughout the year, Corona will be posting weekly giveaways on our Facebook page. The giveaway will be posted each Friday morning, where friends of Corona will have an opportunity to LIKE the giveaway and be entered to win. The winner will be selected the following Monday morning using random.org and if selected, they will receive that week’s item.
3/15/13 UPDATE: Due to Facebook’s Terms of Service, Corona must comply and post our weekly giveaways within a Facebook app. Facebook mandates that all giveaways must be run via apps so in compliance, we’ve selected one that was recommended by top digital marketing experts as being a reputable app for running our giveaways.
We understand that some are weary of using apps however the goal is to make it easy for people to enter and be notified of they’ve won. There are pluses and minuses to running promotions on these apps however we need to be compliant or run the risk our account and page being shut down.
We apologize for the change and any inconveniences the new format posses to our friends. And our goal is to get more Corona tools into the hands of avid gardeners. We appreciate the connections made with our friends and we’ll keep working at this to make the best possible experience for each of them. In the meantime, I invite you to give us your feedback and suggestions so that we can continue to make our weekly giveaways fun and as trouble-free as possible.
What’s to Like in 2013
Each week, our friends will get a chance to win Corona tools or tool sets, official Corona gear, shopping sprees on coronatoolsusa.com, or Corona-selected partner items. There’s something different every week and all you need to do to win is give it a LIKE. Winning great gardening and landscape tools doesn’t get much easier than that!
How to Participate
1. LIKE Corona Tools on Facebook.
2. Enter the weekly giveaway posted each Friday at 10AM PST on the "Weekly Giveaways" tab.
3. You will have the weekend to enter the giveaway for a chance to win it.
4. At 9:59AM PST, on the following Monday, (Tuesday if a holiday weekend) we’ll randomly select the winner from those who've entered via Random.Org.
1. Giveaways are shipped to residents in the continental US, AK and HI.
2. Winners will be notified via email and posted on Facebook so be sure to check back on Monday to see if you’ve won.
3. You’ll have 72 hours to claim the prize by contacting us with your shipping information via Facebook.
4. If any prize goes unclaimed, a new winner will be randomly selected and posted on Facebook.
5. All fans of Corona Tools Facebook in the US may LIKE each weekly giveaway and can win a maximum of three (3) prizes throughout the giveaway.
6. Giveaways run through 12/27/13 and all prizes will be shipped standard ground service.
7. 52 weekly prizes will be awarded in 2013, giveaway schedule may vary periodically and any updates will be posted on Facebook.
Have fun and here's to a great growing season this year!
Tis' the season to be jolly and do a little gift giving too! This year Corona is playing Santa to 12 of our lucky Facebook fans and giving out some awesome gifts for their gardens and landscapes. Beginning 12/12/12 through 12/23/12, visit Corona Tools on Facebook to see what the daily gift is announced in the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway! Each day we will post a picture of the day’s giveaway on our page, which in total will be worth over $750 in giveaways! To be entered to win, all you need to do is LIKE the Corona Tools page and LIKE the gift of the day.
At 10AM PST each day, we will take all the likes on that gift and generate an instant winner using Random.org. Since this is a giveaway for people who like Corona Tools on Facebook, don’t forget to like the page then like the gift of the day. Remember you need to do both since SOMEONE WILL WIN EVERYDAY, so why shouldn’t it be you? It doesn’t get much easier than that…!
How to enter Corona's 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway:
- LIKE Corona Tools on Facebook.
- LIKE the daily giveaway that’s posted at 10AM PST (you can leave a comment too but it’s the LIKE that get’s counted)
- You will have 24 hours to LIKE each day’s gift (until 9:59AM PST the following day) if you want the chance to win it.
- At 10AM PST, we’ll randomly select the winner from all the LIKES on the daily gift and announce the winner.
- Gifts can be shipped to residents in the continental US only.
- Winners will be posted on Facebook so be sure check back daily to see if you’ve won. You’ll have 24 hours to contact us with your name and contact info to receive your gift.
- If we don’t hear back from the winner within the specified time, we’ll select a new winner.
- All eligible fans may LIKE each daily gift and can win a maximum of three (3) gifts throughout the giveaway.
- Giveaways run from 12/12/12 through 12/23/12 and all gifts will be shipped standard ground shipping
That’s it…! Simple, fun and so many great gifts to be had in the season of giving! Good luck to all and to all a great garden, season after season.
Crimes Against Treemanity
You know you’ve seen it…a thriving healthy tree one day, then a trunk with no branches the next. Or that tree that someone planted year ago, whose owner forgot, IT WILL GROW…! Sometimes it’s poor planning, poor maintenance, limited knowledge of what trees need, and in some cases, a blatant disregard for a tree's health. What we’re talking about are crimes against treemanity!
This week on #treechat, we discussed and had a photo share about some of the awful things homeowners and some landscape “professionals” do to trees. Many homeowners think a tree just gets planted and their done. While the un-professional contractor, who knows little about tree care, takes out their chainsaw and just starts butchering trees.
Our goal is to bring awareness to the many crimes against treemanity we see throughout our neighborhoods and cities and to help others learn what they can to prevent these mistakes in their landscapes. Our arborist community, who participates weekly on #treechat, shared some great tips on how to help prevent these horrible crimes against nature;
Remove bracing cables and poles – after the first 2-3 years a tree is established and no longer needs the added support.
Plan before you plant – when planting your trees, think about the space and will it accommodate your tree when mature. Is it next to the house or will it grow into the electrical lines…?
Resist volcano mulching – more is not always better, especially not piled up around the base of the trunk which can lead to diseases or tree loss.
Proper pruning – the operative word, PROPER! It invigorates a tree's health, maintains it shape and balance between a trees canopies and roots.
And #1 takeaway...
Hire a certified arborist – not only do they care about a tree’s health but they will properly maintain it. It’s easy to locate one from organizations such as TCIA, located in your area. Just ask yourself, would you prefer a plumber or a physician to provide you with your personal health services? You get the idea...
You can check out all the great tips and photo shares on our Storify “Crimes Against Treemanity”
Corona Wants to Help
Corona is doing its part to help stamp out the bad things that happen to trees every day. We’re giving one lucky treehugger a set of Corona tools Including a professional pair of loppers, hand pruners, and folding saw valued at approx $150 the most shared photo.
Throughout the month of May (5/31), you can share your Crimes Against Treemanity pictures on any of the #treechat networks;
On Twitter: mention @Coronatools & use the #treechat, post your photo on our Facebook or Google+ page, or pin it on the Crimes Against Treemanity photo board on Pinterest!
Share your post and picture with family and friends and let people know why it’s a “crime” and we'll award the Corona pruning tools to the share that generates the most buzz and awareness. We’ll announce the winner on 6/1/2012 and along the way, create greater awareness so others will take the time and provide proper care to their trees!