Landscaping Tips from Schmidt’s Nurseries

Regular landscape maintenance is imperative – especially to the growth of new plants. Here are some simple instructions that will help you to keep your new plants flourishing.​

Summer months (late May thru late September) are the most critical times to water your new landscaping. Twice a week is recommended. If the temperatures are above 90 degrees for more than 4 days, additional watering may be necessary. Please use the following watering methods:

For smaller or container plants – a direct spray for 2-3 minutes per plant is recommended. It should be a fine to medium spray to minimize erosion. Since container plants have light, absorbent soil they will suck up direct spray like a sponge. Don’t employ this method during the heat of the day.​

For larger plants (with a root ball) – we recommend a trickle watering method. This means reduce the water flow to a trickle and place the hose at the trunk of your tree. Depending on the ball size, water for 1/2 hour to 1 hour. This method will allow the water to seep into the ball deeply with minimal run off. ​

If we have installed your customized irrigation system, simply turn it on twice a week for 1 1/2 hours.

As a rule, plants grow twice a year: aggressively in the spring and to a lesser degree in the fall. It is this late growth that determines the pruning time for most plants. We prefer to prune most plants after the initial spring growth is hardened off (around July 4th). The fall growth will fill out the pruned plants as they begin to make flower buds for the following spring. Fall pruning is possible, but you will likely be sacrificing some spring flowers. When possible, selectively prune. That means snip each branch back to a node, or branch intersection, or vegetative bud. This method of pruning will allow light to penetrate the plant thereby keeping it green throughout. We discourage hedge shears because the plants tend to “shade out” their own middles making it difficult to reduce their size or improve their shape. We only use hedge shears on plants that have already been sheared for years and the selective pruning method is not an option.

Mulching incorrectly can be deadly to a lot of plants. The novice, and even a lot of “professionals”, tend to mulch too heavily! It is key not to pile up mulch too high at the base of the trunk. This can cause the root crown to rot away from the main trunk base. This build-up usually happens over the course of a few years. To prevent this, comb back the old mulch from the trunks to make room for the fresh mulch (no more than 1″ thick) where the mulch touches the tree/bush trunks. About 2-3 inches thick in the bed space areas is optimal.

It is also wise to apply an organic, granular weed preventer (e.g. Preen) before mulching. This time released application will prevent weed seeds from germinating but will not kill anything already growing. This will minimize the weeding throughout the season. Apply in early Spring for maximum effectiveness.