Remember that plants are living and require special care. Once we install your landscape or you take a plant home from our garden center, you have the responsibility for the continued health and vigor of the plantings. The following general instructions will help you enjoy and maintain your investment. The following should serve as a general reference–every situation is different and simply requires regular oversight and care.
- Check new plantings daily for the first two weeks. Thereafter, plants should be checked two to three times per week. Simply dig around the root zone with your fingers to a depth of 2-3” for small plants and 6-8” for larger ones and trees. Water generously when the soil feels dry to the touch.
- Slow, deep watering is preferred. This type of watering is accomplished by placing the hose at the base of a plant, at a heavy trickle, and water 5-10 minutes for small plants, longer for larger plants, while moving the hose in a few locations around the plant base.
- When the soil feels moist, do not water. Soil must be allowed to dry out between watering. If a plant is maintained in constantly moist soil, the plant’s health will deteriorate over time. A plant weakened by over watering may die of oxygen deprivation or become susceptible to pest and disease.
- Monitoring water requirements frequently is more important than watering frequently. Monitor your plants regularly for the first 1-2 years. Plants close to buildings where heat may reflect and plants under roof eaves may require closer monitoring. During the hot, summer months, disregard natural rainfall as the rain produced during these periods produces mostly runoff and contributes little, if any, to increasing ground moisture.
- Maintain a 3” mulch layer. This will help to conserve ground moisture, prevent weeds and retain moisture. Remember, excess amounts of mulch can result in poor air circulation and reduce plant vigor.
- We recommend using a balanced fertilizer (i.e., 10-10-10, 14-14-14) plant food with micronutrients. Be sure to follow label instructions. We sell a variety of plant fertilizers at our garden center if you need any help.
- Your plants are guaranteed to be free from pests and disease upon installation. We use disease and pest resistant plant varieties whenever available and applicable. We monitor our plant material to provide you the freshest and healthiest plants available.
- Be observant of changes in plant vigor and growth. Plants are more susceptible to disease and pests if they are weakened through poor maintenance practices such as over or under watering. It is good to make it a practice to walk your landscape and observe your plants’ progress so you can spot systems of disease or insect infestations well in advance of any serious problems.
- Pruning is required at times for plant health and aesthetics. We can provide this service for you and will gladly provide an estimate as needed. There’s a helpful resource available: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/agpubs/ag-071.pdf. This will provide you with the basics of pruning as well as optimum timing.