Shrubs are attractive, versatile assets to any lawn. You can use them for decoration, to enhance privacy and to add artistic flair. Maintaining shrubs requires care and attention throughout the year to ensure that the foliage stays looking its best. Follow these tips to keep your shrubs healthy, happy and beautiful.
Choose Appropriate Sizes
Cramming any type of plant too close to its neighbor leads to big messes and even bigger hassles. Before adding shrubs to your yard, decide on the style you want. Are you aiming for a dense privacy hedge, or would you prefer to line the front walk with stout accent bushes? Choose the shrubs that look best with the layout of your lawn for an eye-catching landscape design.
Water and Moisture Maintenance
Like all plants used in landscaping, your shrubs need optimal water to thrive. During the first couple of years after planting, give everything a good drink once a week, being sure to soak the soil without leaving a puddle. To maintain adequate moisture, add a couple inches of good-quality mulch around the base of each shrub. Once the root systems are established, the plants should be able to get enough water on their own unless the weather is particularly dry.
Feed and Fertilize
In good soil, shrubs may do just fine without supplemental feeding. Many areas, however, have soil that lacks important nutrients, making it essential to fertilize your shrubs for optimal growth. Choose organic fertilizers to maintain the natural balance of the soil and avoid burning plant roots. If you have a compost heap, now’s the time to put it to good use.
Trim and Prune
Keeping your hedges neatly trimmed does more than enhance the look of your lawn. Regular pruning promotes plant health by removing dead or diseased branches and stimulating new growth. Flowering shrubs should also produce more blooms when properly tended. Pruning is best done when plants are dormant and haven’t begun to put out new spring growth. Trim carefully using hand-held clippers. Remove branches that block paths or obscure the view from the driveway as well as any that look less than healthy.
Take Care During Winter
Different shrubs have varying tolerances to cold. Learn all you can about the varieties you intend to plant so that you know how to take care of your landscaping over the winter. Some hedges may not need any special care; others require tying or covering to weather the snow and ice. How you prune your plants during the warmer months affects how they’ll do as well. Flat-topped hedges are more prone to breaking under loads of snow. Tapered hedges shed precipitation more readily and therefore should suffer less damage.
If you’re not sure where to start with your shrubs, let ABC Home & Commercial Services in Houston give you a hand. Give us a call and start enjoying the lawn of your dreams today.