Spring is here and summer is not too far off. Getting your landscape ready for the weather to come should be high on your list of priorities when you are working in the yard.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when doing your yard work:
Are the beds mulched?
Is the mulch thick enough?
Do you have irrigation dedicated for the plants, or do you rely on the lawn sprinklers?
Are the trees and shrubs healthy?
Are they coming out of dormancy normally, or are they delayed?
When was the last time they were fertilized?
Lets breakdown these questions one by one.
First, Are the beds mulched? Mulch is very important to plant roots- it protects them from temperature extremes and helps to retain moisture, allowing you to water the beds less.
Two, Is the mulch thick enough? Beds should have between 2 to 3 inches of mulch. It doesn't matter what type, shredded bark or plain wood chips. Stones should never be used due to the heat that they will generate in the summer, this weakens the plants, causing stress and a greater risk of insect and disease problems.
Three, Do you have irrigation dedicated for the plants, or do you rely on the lawn sprinklers? Lawn sprinklers that are allowed to overlap into the beds have been shown to cause more problems than they are worth. Since lawn sprinklers shoot the water onto the leaf tissue, this creates an environment that is perfect for the formation of diseases of the leaves. Soaker hoses or drip irrigation will deliver the water to where it is needed, the soil, and therefore the root zone.
Fourth, Are the trees and shrubs healthy?
This question goes along with question five, Are they coming out of dormancy normally, or are they delayed?
And question six, When was the last time they were fertilized? When trees and shrubs are maintained and healthy, they are more resistant to insect and disease infestations.
As a rule, you should fertilize the plants in the fall before they go dormant for the winter. This allows the fertilizer to be taken up by the root systems to be stored for the spring. This also encourages root growth. Fertilization in the spring cause a flush of new growth, which in many cases is weak, and therefore more prone to insect and disease infestations.
As always, if you have any questions or have a landscape problem, do not hesitate to get in contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call at 631-412-5035. I offer a wide range of consulting services, from planting to tree health reports.