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To plant shrubs and trees – Late fall and early spring are considered ideal planting times because roots will have more time to grow into the surrounding soil before the stress due to new foliage growth and high temperatures occurs.
Dig a hole twice the width of the root ball and so that the root collar is level with the surrounding soil level – flush with the ground. Planting the tree to deep will cause water to sit and rot the stem and planted to high above the soil lever will prevent it from getting water. Carefully remove plant from container and gently separate roots. If planting a balled and burlap tree simply cut the rope and top of the burlap off the ball. No need to remove the basket. Position in center of hole, best side facing forward. Backfill with a mixture peat moss and healthy start fertilizer or an amended mixture. Build a water well or moat under the tree to help the tree retain water. Finish by mulching and watering well.
- If soil is too sandy or too clayey, add organic matter. This will help with both drainage and water holding capacity.
- Remove rocks or grass, and completely break up any dirt clumps. This will help prevent air pockets and grass from growing.
- Be sure to generously water your plants 3x’s per week the first few months
- BEST TIME TO WATER – 5am – 10 am.
- Newly-planted trees, shrubs & perennials, with roots close to the soil surface, will need watering on a daily basis.
- The best way to water in the hot, dry weather is a slow, deep soak. The slow drip hydrates your plants at the soil line and thus gets to the roots and nourishes the plant.
- Mulching around the base of the plant will help water soak in, rather than run off.
Signs You are Under-Watering:
- Soil is dry.
- Leaves are wilted.
- Leaves curl.
- Older leaves turn yellow or brown, and drop off.
Signs You Are Over-Watering:
- Soil is constantly damp.
- Leaves turn a lighter shade of green or turn yellow.
- Young shoots are wilted.
- Leaves are green yet brittle.
- Algae and mushrooms are growing.
Tips for Saving Water:
- Don’t run the sprinkler longer than necessary. In an hour, 600 gallons can be wasted.
- Know how to turn off automatic sprinklers in case of rain.
- Install a trickle-drip irrigation or soaker line system close to the roots of your plants. By dripping water slowly, the system doesn’t spray water into the air where it can be lost through evaporation.
- Avoid watering with sprinklers on windy days because water blows off target and causes excess evaporation.
- Make sure your sprinklers are adjusted properly and not hitting sidewalks or driveways.
- Getting your mower ready: Start the lawn-care season by taking care of your mower. Bring in your mower for service in early spring. This helps you beat the rush so your mower is in tip-top shape right when you need to use it. Be sure to sharpen the blade at least once a year.
- Starting a new lawn from seed: Though fall is the ideal time to start a new lawn from seed, you can also do it in spring. Don’t wait until late spring, though: Give your lawn a chance to grow in and get established before summer temperatures arrive.
- Attacking crabgrass: Because crabgrass and other annual weeds need to sprout from seeds each year, a well-timed application of pre-emergence herbicide can do wonders for keeping these pests at bay. Spread the pre-emergence herbicide as forsythia blooms in your area start to drop.
- Aerating: If your lawn doesn’t grow well due to compacted soil, springtime — when your grass is in active growth — is a great time to aerate. This loosens the soil, allowing grass roots to reach deeper and the soil to absorb moisture better.
- Mowing: Start mowing once your grass reaches about 3 inches tall. It’s best keep most turf types in this region at least 2 inches tall — this helps the grass ward off weeds and withstand summer drought.
- Fertilizing: If you feed your lawn a couple of times a year, a light application of lawn food in early spring will help get your lawn off to a great start. Keep it light, though, and use a slow-release or organic fertilizer. Wait to fertilize until your lawn needs mowing for the first time.
- Controlling grubs: Attack grubs and keep them from destroying your lovely lawn with a grub-control product that continues to work throughout the season. Apply your grub control in early June.
- Mowing: Watch how your lawn grows. During hot, dry periods, it may only need mowing once every two or three weeks (when the grass grows about 3 inches tall). During cooler, moister periods, it may need mowing twice a week
- Watering: It’s fine to let your grass go dormant during drought. It’ll turn brown, but it’ll stay alive and then will go green and start growing when the rains come again. If you don’t want a brown summer lawn, select drought-tolerant types such as buffalo grass or plan on giving your lawn about 1 inch of water a week.
- Fertilizing: If you only fertilize your lawn once a year, fall’s the time to do it. In fact, your lawn could take a light application of fertilizer in early fall and again in late fall.
- Mowing: As temperatures cool, your lawn will start growing faster: You’ll likely need to mow regularly through the end of the season.
- Cleaning up: For a healthy lawn, it’s a good idea to clean up fallen leaves. If you don’t want to rake up leaves, do several passes over your lawn with a mulching mower. You’ll chop up the leaves into fine pieces so they decompose and add to your soil’s structure. It’s easier and also better for the health of your lawn!
Mulch is a garden’s best friend. It holds down grasses and weeds that will compete with your new plants roots for water, and also helps the soil retain water. It helps the soil from becoming overly compacted and acts as an insulator during the winter months. Create a mulch bed around your tree that is 2-3 inches thick, while encircling your tree with a several foot diameter. It is also recommended to leave a slight area mulch free just where your trunk reaches the ground.
- Mulch: 1 yard covers 10’ x 10’ = 100 sq ‘
- Applying high quality mulch in the spring / fall helps insulate your plant’s roots by keeping the soil around the plant warmer and moist.
- Cold nights or rapid temperature drops can harm or kill plants, but proactive mulching will protect your plants.
- Mulching also suppresses weed growth by almost two-thirds.
- Mulch provides nutrients to plants as it decomposes, prevents erosion, and helps retain moisture in dry months.
- Adds color and volume to your garden.
To Revive Lawns & Reduce Thatch
Once or twice a year, spread or broadcast a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch layer of Compost over your lawn. This will add nutrients and organic matter and help stimulate beneficial microbial and biological activity. Water daily, and the compost will filter through the lawn.
How-to: Staking Trees
To properly stake a tree place two stakes outside the planting hole on either side of the trunk in such a way that they’re perpendicular to the prevailing winds (which means typically one stake on the north side, and one of the south side, unless you’ve got abnormal wind directions in your area). Tie the stakes to the tree using something broad and flexible. Specialty tree ties are made, but old nylons work great. They’re stretchy, flexible, and broad. Then, leave your stakes on no more than one year.
Tree Hole Sizes: for DIY’ers
- 6/7’ plants 48” wide
- 8/10’ plants 60” wide
- 10/12’ plants 64” wide
- 12/14’ plants 72” wide
- 14/16’ plants 72” wide
- (These are estimates)
In addition to the planting tips above, we have taken the time to find and share some of the more helpful articles and videos we could find.