Lantana Bandana Pink

Lantana Bandana Pink

GLENDORA, Calif. — Armstrong Garden Centers reminds Californians that fire season is here and, since wildfires can spark and rage out of control in the blink of an eye, preparedness is the key to safety. With proper measures, consumers can protect their yards, homes and loved ones.

Especially in drought-ridden years like the one we have been experiencing, the chance of fire in Southern California is high. While we can’t prevent them, we can certainly deter wildfires from our properties and keep everyone safe. Simple garden care and maintenance can be the difference between a protected property and a scorched one.

“We want to help ensure the safety of homeowners and their homes, especially those living in high-risk areas,” said Armstrong Garden Centers Regional Manager Eric Asakawa. “While no plant is fireproof, simple firescaping can be the solution, from choosing plants with fire retardant abilities to knowing proper defensible landscape maintenance to keeping irrigation systems in excellent shape.”

Purple Aeonium Succulent

Purple Aeonium Succulent

Armstrong Garden Centers provides these firescaping tips to help homeowners safeguard their homes by creating and maintaining a fire-resistant landscape:

  1. Know your plants and research their fire retardant abilities.
  2. Replace flammable trees and shrubs with fire-resistant varieties.
  3. Immediately remove any dead, diseased or dying trees or shrubs.
  4. Create a wide “firebreak” around your home by removing brush and dried grass from the perimeter of your property.
  5. Dense brush means more fire fuel. Keep shrubs and trees thinned out, and keep skirts removed from palms.
  6. Keep irrigation systems in working order and check regularly for adequate coverage in case of an emergency.
  7. Eliminate large, overhanging branches from driveways that could restrict fire vehicles.
  8. Keep landscape in good condition, including responsibly watering plants or removing dried grass and replacing with a fire-resistant ground cover.
  9. Feed plants and shrubs with organic fertilizers. This reduces quick, soft growth that often results from high-nitrogen chemical fertilizers.
  10. Keep roofs and gutters free of dead leaves and other debris.
Iceplant Red Apple

Iceplant Red Apple

“Vegetation can either lead a fire to a structure, or stop it,” said Asakawa. “Firescaping and creating defensible space around homes is one of the most critical steps homeowners can take to prevent property loss and ensure their own safety.”

image001Learn more about firescaping with waterwise plants on Saturday, August 22 starting at 9 a.m. at all Armstrong Garden Centers locations. This free class is open to the general public and does not require advance registration to attend. Attendees will be taught basic principles for designing a firescape for your home, including plant suggestions.