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 Deep Roots Garden Center             Newsletter                                 August 2010

How to water your trees

We all love trees don't we? They are beautiful to look at, the provide shade, and they give the planet the oxygen we all need for life itself. We take care of the trees we have and value them highly. What should we do to ensure our trees live long and healthy. The most important thing is CORRECT WATERING.

Newly planted trees: Immediately after planting, all tree roots are in the original root ball area. Until new roots grow into the soil of the planting site, water the original root ball area and just beyond this area. The root ball area may dry out faster than the surrounding soil, so check the moisture in this area frequently for the first month or two after planting. A newly planted tree may take 1-2 years to become established. Larger container stock trees may take longer to become established than smaller stock. Never water a tree at the trunk, but within a diameter equal to the height of the tree or bush for the first two years.  

Established trees: An established tree that suffers root loss or damage (for instance, due to trenching within the root zone) may need additional irrigation until new roots grow to replace those that are destroyed. The root system of an established tree that has not suffered root damage extends far beyond the boundary of its leaf canopy. The roots at the trunk anchor the tree but it is the roots at the drip line and beyond that absorb the water the tree needs.



The drip line is found directly below the limits of the tree's canopy. When the tree's canopy gets wet, excess moisture is shed to the ground where the feeder rootlets are located. Rain also falls outside the drip line and a mature tree's root system can extend up to twice or three times the extent of the canopy. When you irrigate or fertilize the tree, it is essential that you do it within reach of the feeder rootlets at and/or beyond the drip line, or the water will be leeched away and mostly lost. The drip line is a plant's dinner table; put the nutrients on the table.

      DO NOT water at or near the trunk of the tree. The tree cannot take up water in this location and you will encourage fungal diseases to enter the bark which will eventually destroy the tree. Water in the outer half of the area under the canopy and beyond the edge of the canopy.

Killing me Softly: Most old or established trees need very little watering. The daily brief sprinkling that is applied to lawns is detrimental to trees growing in the same area.

How to irrigate:

Water used by trees is stored in the soil. Soil type, depth, and condition influence how much water can be stored in the soil, and consequently how often you may need to water your tree. Soils that have more clay hold more water and can be irrigated less frequently. Sandy soils hold relatively little water and need more frequent irrigation.

Water deeply rather than frequently. Because most tree roots are found in the upper 18 - 24 inches of the soil, this is the zone that should be wetted up in each irrigation cycle. Each deep irrigation will meet a tree's water needs for between 10 days to 4 weeks during the hottest part of the summer, depending on the tree species and soil type.  

Stop watering when runoff starts. Soils high in clay accept water slowly, often as little as 1/4 inch per hour. Water infiltration is especially slow in compacted soils. If water starts to pool or run off, stop irrigating, let the water soak in, and start watering again. Repeat on/off cycles until you apply enough water to wet the soil to 18-24 inches. This may take a number of cycles over several consecutive days.

Don't saturate the soil for long periods. Water displaces air in the soil, so long periods of soil saturation can suffocate growing roots. Take a long enough break between irrigation cycles to allow the free water to be absorbed. If in doubt, probe or dig to make sure that the soil isn't soggy below the surface.

How much water does my tree need?

Tree irrigation needs change over time. The amount of irrigation your tree will need can be affected by:

Time of the year: The need for irrigation is greatest in mid to late summer, when temperatures are the highest and most of the moisture stored in the soil over the winter has been depleted.

Weather conditions: In drought years, soil moisture is used up earlier in the season, so the period of peak water need is longer. Some trees that do not normally need irrigation may benefit from irrigation in drought years. In very wet years, irrigation may not be needed until early summer or later.

Species: Some tree species require no additional irrigation once established, whereas others will do poorly without consistent irrigation throughout the summer. Find out how much water your tree needs.

Community Supported Agriculture

Boxes of organic vegetables direct from the farmer

Photo: the contents of last week's box


As part of our commitment to the community, we have now set up Deep Roots as a distribution center for the Community Supported Agriculture program . This service brings boxes of organic vegetables to the consumer on a regular basis directly from the farmer with no middle man. We receive the boxes here at Deep Roots Garden Center on Wednesdays at 2PM and you can pick up your order from us at between 2pm and 5.30pm or the next day. We are open 7/7 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

    There is officially no commitment required but if after trying a box of veggies you can commit to one a week, one every two weeks or one a month it would benefit the farmer's cooperative  which grows the vegetables and supplies the boxes. 

     If you are interested in signing up for boxes of delicious organically grown vegetables please contact Barbara at, or come in to the store and sign the registration sheet. Payment is in advance, cash or check only please.


Please let us know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you are interested. We bring the Farmer's Market to YOU!

Shop early for Christmas...

We are adding several lines of high quality giftware including vases and picture frames from Torre and Tagus and some exquisite hand crafted glass vases from Poland.


We have had over seven months of below normal temperatures and sunshine here in the South Bay.... the lingering effects of El Nina apparently.

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Deep Roots

Garden Center & Flower Design Studio

201-207 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Manhattan Beach,

CA 90266


Garden Center: 310-376-0567

Flower Shop: 310-379-3634

Plants for seaside gardens

The soils in coastal areas are usually deficient in major nutrients, high in salt spray and generally lacking in water, and consequently are very harsh environments for plants to grow in. Many plants have adapted and flourish in harsh coastal environments and are therefore suited for coastal gardens. Such adaptations include:

*an increased thickness in the leaves to protect the plant from dehydration, exposure to the sun and salt spray.

*the ability to produce very large seeds to increase the viability and vigor of their seedlings.

*the ability to roll the leaves, in repsonse to heat, salt and lack of water.

*occurence of hairs on the leaves, providing for the avoidance of heat stress, which is common in plants found close to the shore.

*physically wirey stiff leaves and stems which enable the plants to tolerate the abrasion by salt laden winds and sands.


In no particular order here is a list of common plants that are suitable for seaside gardens. We have many of these plants in stock at Deep Roots Garden Center:


New Zealand Flax


Rugosa Rose




Blanket Flower



Prickly Pear Cactus


Seaside Goldenrod



Sea Thrift


Hardy Ice Plant

Cheddar Pinks (Dianthus)

Mexican Heather

Nippon Daisy

Crinum Lily


Hens and Chicks



Vinca (a.k.a. periwinkle)

Wandering Jew


We have a large selection of plumerias in stock. these graceful Hawaiin natives have beautiful flowers and a marvelous fragrance.

What to do in the garden this month

For many gardeners the month of August begins the downhill slide into off season. We warm climate gardeners have a second chance to grow a garden during the fall and winter and now is the time to start planning ahead for the cooler months.  

Keep harvesting your hot weather crops of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and peppers.

Plant a spring crop of garlic.

Feed citrus trees if you haven't already done so.

Prune, feed and tidy up the roses, we still have time for a fall /winter bloom, especially with Iceberg roses.

Pick herbs for fresh use and for drying. Harvesting will keep them growing longer.

Order spring flowering bulbs for pre-chilling.

Spread a mid-season layer of compost or manure.

Keep deadheading your flowering plants to prolong blooming.

Leave some annual seeds to self-sow.

Remove any diseased foliage now, so it doesn't get lost in the fall leaves.

Cut back the foliage of early bloomers like hardy geraniums, to revitalize the plants.

Prune summer flowering shrubs as the flowers fade.

Trim and feed hanging baskets to prolong their beauty.

Plant Coleus in containers for October and Novemebr color.

Divide bearded irises.

Plan the trees, shrubs and perennials that you would like to plant this fall. Planting in the cooler weather of fall is ideal for plants and trees so that they have the following few months to develop strong root systems before the top growth of spring begins.

Deep Roots Garden Center • 207 N. Sepulveda Blvd. • Manhattan Beach • CA • 90266

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