This article will delve into why you may consider having plants installed in your yard, and how to properly care for them. Using these techniques, you can keep your plants healthy year round.
Why have plants?
Besides making your yard more aesthetically pleasing, some plants serve other purposes. For example, plants on hillsides can help reduce erosion, and plants along the side of the house serve as insulation and can reduce your heating bill. Larger trees, such as evergreens, provide privacy and help break the wind.
Plant care begins with the installation. We’ll cover that part. From then on, maintenance and preventative measures will keep your plants flourishing. Watering, fertilizing, mulching, weeding, and protection from the elements is important after we install your plants.
See our seasonal tips page for information on the best time of year and tips on pruning and mulching.
Also, see our transplanting plants section if you find the need to relocate plants.
- Deeply water plants once or twice a week (more during periods of drought, less during abundant rainfall).
- Make sure the root system of each plant is watered and not just the top inch of soil. Check the depth of water saturation after watering to be sure.
- Be careful not to over water. Too much water can be as harmful as not enough water for a plant. The soil should dry out between watering sessions.
- In most cases additional fertilizer is not required during the first growth season. However, the type of plant and soil conditions will dictate fertilization requirements such as acidifier or organic compost.
- Weed Control
- Moisture Retention
- Adds organic compounds to the soil
- Keep all bed areas free of weeds. Weeds compete with plants for sunlight, soil, moisture, and nutrients (not to mention appearance).
- Pre emergence weed controls and selective post emergence controls are available if weeding by hand is undesirable
5. Winter Protection
- Anti-desiccant sprayed on the plant will protect the plant from winter damage (sun scorch or winter burn).
- Burlap will protect plants from extreme wind exposure.
- Water well before winter (late November, early December) to insure that the plants do not go into the winter season “dry”.
6. Transplanting Plants
Transplanting requires care. Improper transplanting techniques will shock the plant and can be harmful or kill the plant. Late in the winter season is the best time to move plants.
- Location is important. Be sure to pay attention to the current state of the plant. If it is in the sun or shade all the time, moving it to an opposite location may shock it. Likewise, pay attention to the watering and spatial requirements of the plant. Moving a plant too close to another plant when one needs more space can be harmful to both plants. They may compete for resources and stress each other out.
- Dig the hole before you transplant. This will reduce the time the roots are dry, thus putting less stress on the plant.
- The width of the new hole should be approximately twice that of the root ball, and the depth a bit shallower.
- Do not break up the soil beneath the new hole you dug. This will promote rotting. The roots will grow through just fine.
- Begin digging the plant out far enough away until you get close enough to find the root ball. The goal is to get the plant out gently and the root ball intact with little cutting, however on some larger plants this may be difficult. Make clean cuts if necessary.
- When the plant is moved to the new hole, be sure to water as you refill the hole. Miracle grow/fertilizer would be good to put in the ground at this time. It will enrich the soil with nutrients.
- Make a soil ring around the new plant to catch water.
A few inches of mulch around the plant will suffice. This provides moisture retention and temperature control. Don’t get too close to the base of the plant, however, or rotting could occur.