We at Lifestyle Creations would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for choosing our company to fulfill your landscape needs. We are pleased that you chose to do business with us and would like to offer a few basic suggestions for the maintenance of your plantings.
NEW PLANTINGS: A few weeks after planting, some small branches your evergreens and shrubs may become brown. Not to worry, these may have been damaged handling and just need to be pruned off. If any plant material begins to look unhealthy, contact us immediately so that corrective action can be taken to prevent any further deterioration of the plant.
FERTILIZING: Your plant material has been well fertilized at the nurseries. Therefore no more fertilizer is needed the first year. At the beginning of the second growing season a good balanced plant fertilizer may be applied to your new (and existing) plants to keep them thriving. Your local garden center can help you choose the best fertilizer for your specific needs.
WATERING: Right now, the most important care you can give your new plants is water. It’s imperative that the roots of your new plants do not become dry during this first growing season. Frequency and amount of water necessary will depend upon the makeup of your soil. Sandy or light soil will require more water applied more often than will a heavy clay soil. The “AVERAGE” recommendation is to water trees and shrubs well once every week during the first growing season (and even in the second season if rainfall is scarce). Perennials and annuals require more frequent watering as their roots are shallower. If you receive 1″ or more of rain a week (a slow soaking rain) than you may be able to forego the watering of everything but the larger plants (trees and evergreens). When watering it is better to water using a slow gentle trickle rather than a fast gush of water. It’s essential to soak the soil thoroughly around the plant until water has penetrated beyond the plants deepest roots. For trees this will mean 30-45 minutes; for shrubs figure 5-15 minutes depending on the size of the soil ball. Ground covers and perennials usually come in smaller pots with smaller root systems… which means shallower root systems. These plants will usually need daily watering for the first and maybe the second season to keep them healthy.
NOTE: If you have a sprinkler system, you will need to alter your watering days and times to be sure everything is getting the necessary amount of water. If in doubt as to whether or not to water, simply examine the soil three to six inches below the surface. If it’s dry, the plants probably could use a drink. If it’s soaked, you might need to cut back on the water. Lastly, all plant materials should go into the winter well watered (this includes both new and established plants – especially evergreens) If drought conditions exist, even plant material that has been in the ground for a year or more will need watering to maintain it’s health and reduce stress.
WINTER PROTECTION: Winter brings harsh conditions that should be planned for.
- Young trees should have their trunks wrapped. Wrap from the ground level up to the lowest branches, and a minimum of 36″ above the ground. This will prevent against winter sun scald as well as rabbit and rodent damage. Remove the wrap in the spring. This process should be repeated every year until the tree trunk has formed a rough bark.
- Cover perennial beds and ground covers with mulch to prevent premature ground thawing. This is more important in planting beds getting strong winter sun. Use leaves or straw as an insulating material.
- Water all evergreens thoroughly in late fall (along with other plant material) so they will go into winter in a healthy condition with moisture readily available in the spring. Do not shovel heavy snow onto your evergreens or shrubs as it may break their branches. Normal snow accumulation will not usually damage plants unless it forms an ice crust. If this happens, simply break the crust up with a shovel – gently!
- Prevent damage from deer and rabbits by applying a good latex based repellant that will not wash off with rain/snow. These types of repellents usually last 4-8 weeks before you need to re-apply, during the growing season and all winter if applied late in the fall. Also, wrap your tree trucks as mentioned above.
The above information sets average guidelines to follow in caring for your new landscape. Every site has it’s own specific conditions that need to be taken into account when performing maintenance procedures.
If you are unsure what to do, contact us, we’ll be happy to answer your questions.