LANDSCAPE CARE GUIDE
The majority of the problems people experience with their new landscape plants involve improper watering. The information below should help avoid most of these problems.
Water deeply and infrequently- Water heavily when watering and don’t water again until it is dry. This insures that the roots will grow down into the soil to firmly anchor the plant. Frequent watering in small amounts will cause the plant’s roots to remain shallow and near the surface because that is where the water is located.
Proper watering technique- With trees and larger shrubs it is recommended to turn on the hose to half of full flow and place at the base of the plant. The exact amount of time required varies according to the type and size of plant, the spacing of plants around it, and the slope of the planting area. This procedure should be repeated every 3 to 4 days depending on the weather.
Temperature and rainfall conditions- The critical times to be aware of watering needs in the landscape are summer and early winter. These periods of time are generally dry and can cause much stress to new and existing landscapes. Check your landscape frequently during dry periods.
Check the soil- Feel the soil about 3 inches below soil surface. If it is damp, don’t water. Check different plants throughout the landscape. For example, plants located in varying amounts of sun exposure need different amounts of water.
Timing- Water plants in the cool parts of the day. This decreases the amount of water that is lost to evaporation. It is best to water in the morning. If plants go into the cool, overnight hours with moisture on their foliage, then there is a chance of the development of diseases and pest issues.
Over-watering- It is just as detrimental to plant health as not getting enough water. Roots need oxygen and water to survive. If over-watering occurs often the roots may suffocate and could rot.
Lawn irrigation- Heavy irrigation of nearby lawn areas can be detrimental to trees and shrubs. It can be a cause of over-watering.
After the new landscape is planted some weed growth is likely to occur. Here are some preventative tips and guidelines.
Mulch or rock- Both work as barriers in weed prevention. Make sure to keep the mulch layer at least 3 inches thick and to check the condition of landscape fabric under rock beds yearly.
Weeding- The best way to keep weeds from taking over new and existing landscape areas is to do regular weeding. This extra effort keeps the weeds from getting established and going to seed. If weeds are allowed to release their seeds, the problem will only get worse.
Organic methods- Try to manage weed growth with weeding before resorting to a chemical product. It is better for the environment and overall health.
Chemical methods- In some cases, a readily available pre-emergent herbicide like Preen is necessary. Pre-emergent products will not kill existing weeds but they will prevent new weeds from growing.