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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Love Your Garden! Advice from Napa Valley Lawn & Garden

The sun is shining, birds are singing, and with all the rain we have had this winter and spring, your garden is growing in full force! However, it is likely that your garden also may need some help getting back in shape. So, now is the time to get the supplies from the garden center, pull out the tools from the shed and get to work.

For some tips for getting your garden beautified by the time the season reaches its peak, read on:

Clean Up the Landscape

To clean your garden, prune overwintered plants which will give them a nice shape and remove all of the debris (leaves, dead branches, etc.). Get rid of weeds, making sure that you get the roots too, so that they won’t grow back. This is also a good time to sharpen your garden tools, because you’re going to need them for plant maintenance and soil care all summer.

Revitalize the Soil

Before planting any new plants, make sure to work two inches of compost into the soil, this will give your new plants the nutrients needed to thrive. This is also a good time to apply an organic fertilizer to lawns. Compost is available at Crown Hill Stone Supply and the City of Napa yard waste facility. Organic fertilizer is available at Van Winden’s Garden Center.

Plant New Perennials and Shrubs

Once your landscape is back in shape, it is time to turn your attention to new plants. Some recommendations for good spring plants include:



Day Lilies

Santa Barbara Daisies



Ornamental grasses

Vegetables and fruit trees

Lean towards planting more perennials than annuals, because annuals have to be replaced every year. This means you’re making an investment in plants that will die every year and require replacement. Perennials, on the other hand, last for years and usually survive winter frosts.

Check and Repair your Irrigation System

Turn on your irrigation system and spend time investigating each zone. Check drip irrigation for any leaks. Adjust or replace any sprinkler heads that may be out of adjustment or damaged.

Install Mulch

In addition to organic fertilizers and compost, think about adding mulch to your planting beds and garden. Two inches of mulch helps to prevent weeds and diseases. It also keeps the moisture in the garden and it just looks great! The rule of thumb is to keep the mulch a few inches from the plant stems to prevent roots from rotting. Recommendations for mulch include:

Shredded fir mulch (available in bulk from Van Winden’s Landscaping)


Decorative rock (another option, however it is best to not use rock under and around plants as this will make the root system much too hot during summer months)

Other Considerations

Consider replacing your thirsty lawn with drought tolerant, low-maintenance perennials that attract hummingbirds and other beneficials. There are many colorful options, other than cacti. The City of Napa offers rebates of $1 per square foot for up to 750 square feet of lawn replacement through their “Cash for Grass” program. The State of California also offers a rebate of up to $2.00 per square foot, maximum of $2000.00, through the “Save Our Water” program for replacing a lawn with drought-tolerant alternatives.

A water fountain or other water feature can help drown out sounds from roads and other sources, while simultaneously creating a tranquil, relaxing environment that welcomes into nature.


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