Recommendations for Planting and Care

Most people don’t realize that an attractive landscape can increase the value of a home by an average of 7.5 percent, and reduces the time on the market by five to six weeks when time to sell. The Wall Street Journal reported that landscape investments are recovered fully, and sometimes doubled, by the increased home value.

Enjoy the following tips as you plant and care for your own outdoor living area, flowerbed, tree, shrub or garden.

Tree Planting Guidelines

Tree Planting Guidelines

Shrub Planting Guidelines

Shrub Planting Guidelines


Prior to planting, amend your soil with organic matter to help the roots get established. Remove the plant from the container and gently tease the roots apart and spread them in your planting area.

Make sure you install the plant no deeper than it was in the container. Water thoroughly after planting.

Check daily for watering needs and water only when the soil is dry to the touch one inch below the surface. A light application of mulch, about one to two inches, will help control weeds and keep the soil moist.

Make certain the garden area drains well as the plant roots may rot or become diseased or insect ridden.

Plant Care

  • Whatever plants you have, the first thing you need to consider is the best tool for the job. Sharp, clean tools not only make the job of pruning plants easier, they are crucial to keeping your plants healthy.
  • It is important to “dead-head” flowers (remove the spent flowers) because petals and leaves that remain on the ground can cause fungal diseases.
  • Dead-head your flowers monthly to keep them blooming.
  • Weeds are tough and fast-growing, so you need to keep on top of them to make sure they don’t take over your beds.
  • Get the whole weed, including the root.
  • Division is one way to control the size of perennial clumps that get too big or outgrow their spots, and it’s also a great way to increase your supply of perennial plants.
  • Mulch helps make your flower beds look neat and conserves moisture and keep weeds in check.
  • Flowering trees, shrubs and vines. A general rule of thumb is to prune summer and fall flowering trees and shrubs in the dormant season (late winter/early spring) and to prune flowering trees and shrubs soon after their flowers fade.
  • Two to three inches of mulch will keep your trees and shrubs from drying out as quickly. A very light mulch, no more than one inch will help groundcovers, perennials and annuals. Do not let mulch reach the base of the plants.

Lawn Care

Once your garden and lawn care is established, aerate it once a year in the summer.
Leaving mulched grass clippings on your lawn reduces additional nitrogen needs by as much as 30%.

Suggested mowing heights for various grass types:

  • Bermuda Grass ‘419’ ½” – 1 ½”
  • St. Augustine 3” – 4”
  • Zoysia Grass ¾” – 2 ½”
  • Tall Fescue 2 ½” – 4”
  • Common Bermuda 1 ½” – 2 ½”

Mow often enough that you only remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blade each time.

Scalping – Bermuda & Zoysia lawns should only be scalped in the early spring. Bag the clippings when scalping, and do not scalp your lawn until all chance of frost has passed.

You should sharpen the lawn mower’s blade every month or two. The reason for sharpening lawn mower blades is that dull blades have a tendency to rip grass blades instead of cutting cleanly, leaving grass susceptible to diseases.

CautionThere is no set watering schedule, water as needed. Check the moisture level first. Sprinkler systems are not sufficient when it comes to properly watering your trees.

Note: Please keep in mind it is possible to over water a tree.

  • The best time for watering is early in the morning.  In the heat of the day between 10 am and 6 pm – sun and wind quickly evaporate a significant quantity of water.
  • Watering during the night may promote disease.
  • A healthy plant is 75 to 90% water.  Adequate water is especially critical during the first few weeks of growth, while plants are building their root systems and getting established.
  • Continue to check moisture levels, even if your irrigation is on a scheduled time. Temperature and wind variations can lead to over or under watering.
  • Water a few days per week, but water it deeply, allowing the water to soak deep into the earth.  This will help encourage deeper root growth that allows plants to survive times of drought.

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