General Plant Care and Maintenance
Your new garden is finally installed. What are your next steps??? The following are a general list of tips to ensure your new investment thrives in its new home.
Water is crucial to a plants survival but too much is almost worse than not enough in most cases. Newly planted trees and shrubs need much more water than established plants do. Don’t be afraid to check the soil below the mulch to see how wet it is down there before adding more. Usually at first, between 30-60 minutes each day depending on the heat and wind conditions is enough for the first 10 days to 2 weeks, then you can ease off as the plants become more established.
Look at your plants, they will show you if they need water or have too much! Leaves starting to shrivel is an indication of not enough while the yellowing of leaves typically mean their roots are too wet.
Mulch and Garden Care
Mulch is a great way to help your plants thrive. It helps regulate the root temperature and minimizes water evaporation in hot weather. Also preventing damage in the winter by insulating the plants. It also helps limit weed growth in gardens which is beneficial because weeds will compete with new plants for nutrients creating a stressful environment. A nice shredded softwood mulch like a pine or hemlock help breakdown the soil and constantly add nutrients as they breakdown throughout the year. Mulch should be added every year to the garden keep the optimum depth of 3”.
Tree and Shrub Fertilizing is a great way to give your plants a great nutritional boost. It stimulates root and foliar growth and just gives your plants a head start. The benefits are tremendous. We finally offer this service to our clients. We have a fully equipped spray truck with deep root injection capabilities.
For the most part some additional mulch in your garden is all you will need. But, if you have any evergreens or specimen plants in your landscape, a wrapping of burlap is probably a good idea to help prevent winter damage from ice and snow (Cedars are especially susceptible to this).
Interlocking Paver Care
For the most part, paving stone installations are relatively very low maintenance. Usually all that is required is a good sweep off with a broom or perhaps a pressure wash to remove debris from the surface.
There are however many products available to remove those stubborn oil and grease stains from the pavers if that issue ever arises. The option of sealing the pavers to enhance the colour and add a little extra stain resistance is preferred by some. However, know that if you seal your interlock you are going to need to reapply every 2-3 years with the same type seal to keep the look you want.
The biggest threat to your interlocking pavers during winter comes from freeze-thaw cycles. To minimize damage from these extreme fluctuations, remove heavy items such as tables, planters and grills from the pavers so the entire area can move equally. Top off the joint sand, which helps keep pavers from shifting.
Most pavers will not be damaged by snowplows or snow blowers unless the pavers have a raised surface. With the latter, more care must be taken to ensure the pavers are not scratched or otherwise damaged. If pavers become icy, an ice melt can be applied or sand can be used as a traction material. Ice melt chemicals such as road salt will damage the pavers over time.
Severe fluctuations in the Canadian climate put any pavement to the test. With correct installation techniques and annual maintenance, an interlocking cement paver patio or driveway should remain beautiful for decades to come.
New Sod Care
Water is essential to all life…too little water and we die, too much and we drown. The same is true of the grass in our lawns. Water makes up to 70% to 80% of the weight of our lawn grasses and the clippings alone are nearly 90% water. While most people are concerned about not watering their lawns enough, the fact is that more lawns are damaged or destroyed by over-watering.
The first watering of newly installed sod is the most important. Begin watering immediately after installation of the new turf grass. The first watering establishes how well the grass will perform for years to come.
When to water new sod
It is essential to begin watering new sod within a half hour after it is laid on the soil. Apply at least 1 in. (2.5 cm) of water so that the soil beneath the turf is very wet. Ideally, the soil 3 to 4 in. (7-10 cm) below the surface will be moist.
Watering Tip #1: Pull back a corner of the turf and push a screwdriver or other sharp tool into the soil. It should push in easily and have moisture along the first 3 to 4 in. (7 to 10cm), or you need to apply more water.
Watering Tip #2: Make absolutely certain that water is getting to all areas of your new lawn, regardless of the type of sprinkling system you use. Corners and edges are easily missed by many sprinklers and are particularly vulnerable to drying out faster than the center portion of your new lawn. Also, areas near buildings dry out faster because of reflected heat and may require more water.
Watering Tip #3: Runoff may occur on some soils and sloped areas before the soil is adequately moist. To conserve water and insure adequate soak-in, turn-off the water when runoff begins, wait 30 minutes to an hour and restart the watering of the same area, repeating as needed.
Avoid frequent and shallow watering. Water less often and deep to promote a better root system.
Fertilizing and Weed Control: We recommend that you use a fertilizer and weed program for your new lawn. This will enable optimum growth and health of your turf area.
Winter maintenance for small ponds and Water features
After a great season of pure enjoyment, fall is here and winter is setting in. It is now time to winterize your water feature. Here is a list of important steps to take:
- At the time of first frost, remove any plants and either over-winter them or throw them away if not wanted
- Drain as much water as you can, and make sure to remove the water from the waterlines. A shop vac is a great tool for this. Water weirs and spillways should be completely removed in the winter and drained as well.
- Remove debris and organic material from the bottom of the pond or if pondless, clean the bottom of the pump vault
- Remove the pump, let water drain out, dry, and store in a dry location. This is The Most Important step. Spray the rubber gaskets with a silicone based lubricant if possible to prevent premature failure.
- Before installing the pump back into the water feature, submerse it into a solution of water and vinegar for 24 hours to lubricate and clean. Rinse and install into your feature.
If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to contact Tree Amigos Landscaping.