Lawn And Plant Care
Once your landscape design has become a reality, proper care and maintenance is important to maximize your enjoyment and protect your investment. Following are some tips from the landscaping experts at Green Acres for caring for your lawn, plants and shrubs.
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Caring for Your New Lawn
When maintaining a newly seeded or hydro-seeded lawn, it is important that it be cared for and protected properly from the beginning.
- Keep traffic and pets off of the area until the seed is well established.
- Watering is extremely important. The ground should be kept moist for the first two or three weeks to ensure adequate germination.
- When hydro-seeded, a lawn does not need to be fertilized until four or five weeks after the seeding date. If the lawn gets fertilized any sooner, it may burn the existing growth and can be fatal to new growth.
- For the first application of fertilizer, it is recommended to apply 8-32-16 granular fertilizer at a rate of five to seven pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn. After the roots are established you may apply a 16-16-16 fertilizer at the same rate.
- Do not fertilize a wet lawn; water after you apply the fertilizer.
- If for some reason your lawn shows poor health after following these instructions, it may be necessary to ph test your soil. Alaska soil tends to be acidic and may need lime to bring up the ph in order for the lawn and plants to take in nutrients.
- Mow your lawn as soon as needed. Mow frequently so that one-third of the grass leaf is cut each mowing.
Plant Care and Maintenance
Trees and shrubs require water to develop into healthy plants. The availability and non-availability of water during certain phases of growth can seriously affect the survival and growth rate of a plant. Properly watered plants will be larger and more vigorous.
- When watering, it is important to obtain deep penetration. If plants have a well or reservoir built around them, filling the well up one or two times will allow for sufficient penetration when the plant is dry. In cases where wells are not used, as in planting beds with poly, rock, or bark mulch, it is necessary to soak the ground surrounding the plant.
- Watering frequency is determined by weather and soil conditions. Normally plants shouldn’t be watered more than once per week. When planted in sandy, well-drained soil or when the weather is unseasonably dry, your plants may need water more frequently. Remember, plant roots also need oxygen and over-watering can be detrimental.
- Plants should be fertilized once in the early spring with 8-32-16, and once during mid-summer, approximately six to eight weeks from the first fertilization, with 16-16-16.
- Shrubs should receive one-quarter cup to one-half cup of fertilizer, depending on their size.
- Trees should receive one cup or approximately three ounces per inch of tree caliper (caliper is the circumference of the tree trunk).
- Spread fertilizer around the base of tree or shrub, staying within the drip-line, and water it. Be careful not to wash away the fertilizer from the base of the plant.
- Don’t fertilize deciduous trees and shrubs in late summer or fall, as fertilizer stimulates new growth and plants need to become dormant before freezing weather.
All pruning should be done to enhance the natural beauty of the plants.
- For trees: Remove all dead, dying and diseased wood, narrow crotches, crisscrossing branches, and branches pointing to the center of the tree. Do not cut the central leader.
- For shrubs: Remove all dead, dying and diseased wood, and trim to maintain desired shape. When mature, some shrubs like lilac and honeysuckle require pruning for rejuvenation. This is accomplished by removing approximately one-third of the oldest wood to stimulate new growth.