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Fire Safe Landscaping

August 16, 2012 - GrowOrganic
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Wildfires are racing through the West this summer and gardeners are looking at their yards, wondering how many of their trees and plants are fire-resistant. In our new video about fire safety, Tricia explains the principles of defensible space around homes, and demonstrates how to prune trees and clean up your yard to make fire less likely. If you’d like to follow her lead, you might want a root jack, firefighter’s pulaski, pole pruner, loppers, and a fire tool. Spend some time in your…
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Video Transcript
Hi Im Tricia an organic gardener wild fires can be a serious threat to your home but your landscaping can make the difference between losing your house and saving it.

You need to have thirty feet, more if your home is on a slope, of defensible space around your home in addition to the thirty feet of defensible space you need to have seventy feet of a reduced fuel zone this isn't just a good idea in states like California it's the law in other fire prone states it can help you save money on homeowners insurance.


Start from the house and work outward, the thirty foot radius around the house should be clean, green and lean. Lean means there should be a lower amount of vegitation directly around your home. Incorporate fire breaks a fire break doesn't have to be a big bare patch this beautiful lawn is a firebreak paths dry streams and other hard scape elements in the garden also serve as fuel breaks don't plant shrubs within three feet of the sides of your house and certainly not under the eaves. These camelas could use some pruning back position all wood piles and compost piles at least thirty feet from the home. In your reduced fuel be sure and thin out any small trees and shrubs. The Root Jack is an awesome tool for removing small trees and shrubs for more established trees and shrubs use the Corona Pulaski it's a great tool for prying up and chopping roots in order to remove the tree or shrub.

Utilize the system of island plantings don't plant trees and shrubs too close to one another the limbs and branches of trees shouldn't touch each other. Clean means maintaining your defensible space cutoff any dead branches i like this fiskars poll pruner it has an interior rope that won't get tangled in branches the pruner head rotates for hard to reach branches and it comes with a saw attatchment. Cut all branches overhanging the roof in your defensible space and your reduced fuel zone avoid ladder fuels by limbing up trees, cleanup litter pine needles fallen leaves from underneath the trees this fire tool works really well for that this fire tool cuts through even years of accumulated litter easily and efficiently. You should mow your tall grass but mow when it's green not when it's dry the blade from your lawn mower can hit a rock cause a spark and that can create a fire. Green means keeping your defensible space irrigated and green the vegetation around your home should have high water content like succulents and you shouldn't have anything waxy or resinous this pine is gonna have to come out. Group plants with similar water needs together place plants with the highest water needs closest to the house then the ones with moderate water needs and then finally your drought tolerant or un-irrigated plants. There are fire resistant plants and you can get a list from your local master gardeners for the plans that will do well in your area but remember even if their fire safe plants they still need to be maintained so make your property fire safe and grow organic for life!

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Categories: Succulents Plants, Long Handled Tools, Garden Rakes, Garden Forks, Garden Shovels, Garden Spades, Garden Hoe, Pruning & Cutting Tools, Pruning Saw, Loppers, Pruners, Garden Machete, Landscaping & Flowers


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