Landscape Plant Maintenance Tips
Beautiful landscaping unfortunately does not take care of itself. No matter how much you pay your landscaper, once your plants have been installed – you are responsible for the health of your plants. To keep your new investment looking as good as the day it was installed, it will require time and plant maintenance – remember, plants are living, breathing organisms. Watering and fertilizing your new plants will keep them growing healthy and strong. Here are some tips on how to keep your plants healthy and looking great.
DO NOT solely rely on your irrigation system to handle all of your new responsibilities.
Trees, plants and shrubs are like people – they need the proper amount of food, water, and care to survive and prosper. Nursery plants are used to absorbing water and nutrients at the same time every day. They have been watered and fertilized on a routine schedule for several months or even years. Without your full attention once they go in the ground, it would be like someone changing your breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule, your diet, and portion size all at the same time. You would go through shock too!
To start your plants on a healthy path, the company adds a slow release fertilizer tablet to each plant upon installation. This will provide nutrient for the first year. Next, it’s your turn -your new plants need to be watered at least 3 to 4 times per week (weather and soil type dependent). Does your soil hold moisture or drain moisture? Water thoroughly at the base of the plant, soaking the root structure. Do this for several weeks until the plants have established roots in the surrounding soil. After the first season or one year, watering once per week is recommended (weather and soil type dependent). The best times to water your plants are early in the morning and late in the afternoon – this helps water to soak into the ground around the plant before being evaporated by the sun. Watering your plants during the warmest part of the day is less effective and can burn plant leaves causing them to wilt and fall off. It is just as important not overwater your plants. Overwatering can kill plants just as fast as not watering them at all. Overwatering can also lead to plant disease. Your investment in landscaping was expensive!… Watch the weather and react accordingly.
Each plant type has different needs in regards to moisture and soil nutrients, so it is good to research your plants and learn their needs. For example, Rhododendrons prefer acidic soil. What is acidity level your soil? You may need a different fertilizer for your Rhododendron. In general, fertilizer should be applied to plants once a year in the spring following the guidelines on the container.
Pruning trees, plants, and shrubs can enhance their appearance, may promote flowering, and helps keep them healthy. Research your plant so that you are pruning each plant at the right time of year.
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