Sustainable Tips

PLANT INSTALLATION. There's a saying in the trade, that it's better to plant a $5 plant in a $10 hole, than to plant a $10 plant in a $5 hole. In short time, the $5 plant will outgrow and outshine the more expensive plant.

1. Go easy on plant numbers and bed size. 2. Think in terms of ultimate size regarding spacing. At first they sleep, then they creep, and finally leap (sound familiar?), producing exponential growth. It is in this third stage that emphasis shifts from nurturing to maintaining, placing an ever increasing burden on homeowner resources. 3. For our native shale soils, provide wide, mildly amended, shallow planting holes that place the rootball 3-4" above existing grade, higher in flat or poorly drained areas. Create a gentle slope of amended soil to connect rootball to existing grade. 4. Create a gentle slope of amended soil to connect rootball to existing grade. 5. During early or late daylight hours, water at a rate and volume that will fully saturate the rootball without creating flood conditions. Repeat when leaves begin to wilt or lose their luster. 6. Perform remedial pruning on deciduous trees and shrubs, excluding hedges, to establish good branching structure. For all plants, remove dead or exuberant branches.

The 3rd & 4th listing insure plant survival. Others improve appearance and place a stiff damper on maintenance.

A perforated pipe set in gravel connects with downspouts to supply water to a bed that would have been relatively dry. Give plants ideal conditions and they wil thrive.


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