When summer’s plant-stressing heat is over and cooler weather sets in, it’s a great time to install trees and shrubs so that they can get established at least 6-8 weeks before winter’s icy chill. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help your new plants get started successfully.
One of the most important concerns about planting your trees and shrubs is the location. Understand the plant’s mature size as well as its water and sun needs. Don’t install a plant too close to existing plants or structures or where spreading roots might interfere with your sewer system.
2. Fertilization and Pruning
When planting trees and shrubs in the fall, do not fertilize the soil or prune the plant. Both of these actions encourage new growth rather than allow the plant to focus on establishing its root system. You can add a rooting hormone if you so choose.
Adding mulch around the planting hole helps to insulate the tree and adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. However, do not create a volcano mound around the trunk or stems because that prevents oxygen from circulating properly around the plants’ base.
Take special note of how to properly water your tree or shrub. Overwatering can be just as fatal as underwatering.
Quiet Village Landscaping would be happy to answer your questions about fall planting. Get in touch with us as soon as possible if you would like for us to install trees or shrubs on your property this fall.
Last month, Quiet Village Landscaping took advantage of a neat opportunity to help out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore location near the Sam’s Choice on Manchester. We donated materials and labor to add some charm to their store sign. We kept it green, using native plants in the design.
If you aren’t familiar with Habitat for Humanity ReStore, they bring in additional monetary support for Habitat for Humanity by offering a lower-cost alternative to the conventional hardware store, selling perfectly good surplus construction and household materials that might otherwise be discarded into landfills. Stop by one of their two St. Louis locations. For more info, check out www.habitatstl.org/supportus/restore/.
Rebecca, our landscape designer, responds to some commonly asked questions about landscaping.
Q. What’s trending right now in the landscaping world?
A. We’re seeing a lot of great trends right now:
Q. What is easy to overlook when designing or maintaining your outdoor living space?
A. Most often we see people not being conscious of the plant’s mature size. For example, people tend to plant their plants too close together or the house and then once the plants have reached their full size, the home owner has to go back and consistently maintain them.
A few other things people tend to forget is how important soil preparation is, how the natural habitat has an effect on their landscape (especially those living close to the woods), and how your water runoff can affect your neighbors’ water runoff and drainage.
Especially in the heat of the summer, it’s important to remember that even well-established plants (large trees and shrubs) can benefit from being watered a couple times a week. The stress of the summer heat can lead to issues in the future. Also, using proper pruning technics is critical since a poorly pruned tree or shrub is more susceptible to disease and pest problems. Lastly, people must understand that even a low maintenance garden needs some tending to a couple time of the years.
Q. How can I really make my landscape “pop”?
A. Adding a fireplace, fire pit, pizza oven or outdoor kitchen to a patio gives you a lot more options with your space. Pergolas are great for climbing plants and adds a vertical dimension to your landscape. The right outdoor lighting can turn your home and garden into an entirely new setting at night, and water features add a great natural touch to your garden.
Let us know how we can help design or maintain your outdoor paradise!
As the weather gets cooler, mulch your planting beds in order to prepare your landscaping for winter. Mulch keeps the soil a more consistent temperature throughout the winter. Beds without mulch will be subject to the constant thaw and refreezing that occurs over the course of a St. Louis winter, which can cause the water in the soil and roots to expand and contract. The expansion and contraction of the water may even work the roots out of the soil, exposing them to the cold, drying winter winds.
Mulching your planting beds has the added benefit of conserving moisture, further protecting your plants from the dry winter conditions. Some types of mulch have the added benefit of naturally decomposing into organic matter perfect to help the soil in spring.
Mulching is a great way to prevent pesky weeds from sprouting. Some weed species produce tens of thousands of seeds per plant, so even when all the weeds have been pulled from a bed, there may be seeds lurking just under the surface, waiting to pop up at the first sign of spring. Putting down a layer of mulch prevents weeds from getting the sunlight they need, severely slowing their growth.
Not only does mulch benefit your plants and inhibit weeds, but it can also give your landscaping a fresh look just in time for the new season. Quiet Village offers a variety of mulch types and colors. Ask us about our environmentally friendly options! Call us today and talk to our experts about what kind of mulch is best for your needs. Together, we can keep your planting beds cozy all winter long.