You chose your new shrubs carefully. You noted how the shrubs’ color, size and shape would fit into your landscape design. But, don’t forget about your shrubs now that they are planted. Care and maintenance during the first year is critical to the shrub providing years of beauty in your yard. And the most important part of the care and maintenance? Proper watering.
The spring of 2013 was unusually wet and cool, providing newly planted shrubs with plenty of water. Shrubs planted during the spring may have become acclimated to all of that water. Now that we’re in our typical, hot and dry July weather pattern, these shrubs require more water. Here are a few tips to provide the water and care your shrubs need:
· Proper watering means not too little, but also not too much. How do you know? It varies from shrub to shrub, but, in general, slow and deep watering will deliver more water to the roots. Run a hose very slowly near the base of your shrub. The Morton Arboretum advises to look beneath the soil to see if water is present. You can dig with a trowel about 6-12 inches and look. Or, try pushing a rod into the soil. If the soil is moist, the rod will be easy to insert.
· Lawns tend to go dormant in dry spells, but shrubs and trees will suffer real damage. Avoid frequent, light watering which is typical with lawns in favor of weekly, slow and deep watering. You may want to set up a soaker hose to help your new plantings during this hot spell.
· Don’t water in the heat of the day, for this could cause the edges of the tender foliage to burn or scorch, especially plants like hydrangea.
· Protect your shrubs by adding 2 inches of mulch around the base. The University of Illinois Extension recommends weekly, thorough watering for 3-4 weeks after planting, along with a good supply of organic mulch. After that, more watering may be needed depending on weather conditions and type of shrub.
With luck, nature provides gently soaking rains to help maintain our newly planted shrubs. When nature doesn’t cooperate, however, remember to step in. As shrubs establish strong, healthy root systems, they will not require as much attention. They will enhance the beauty of your home and add to its value.
O’Donovan Landscaping has over 45 years of experience in the Naperville area, creating residential landscapes for new or existing homes. Call us at 630-355-3370 to learn how we can design an outdoor living space for your home.