How To Keep Up With Industry Standards


Water

How to Water your Plants
You don’t need to be an experienced horticulturist to understand proper watering techniques and to enjoy success with your new plants. The most common cause of failure when new plants are establishing themselves is proper watering, (ie. Too much or too little). There must be sufficient water to reach all the way to the bottom of the rootball. At the time of planting, watering aids in settling the soil, improving soil-root contact and assuring adequate initial moisture. The first few months of watering are crucial to the survival of your new tree or shrub. The following 2-3 years after planting, watering aids in providing adequate soil moisture while root systems are becoming established.

Do not water by schedule! Water according to current conditions and the needs of the plant - deep watering less frequently! Check soil conditions by pushing aside mulch and touching the soil. Water only if soil feels dry. If you are uncertain about soil conditions, a moisture meter (available at Holly Days) is a simple, useful tool. The following are some basic rules for a green thumb:
   •   Deep watering less frequently - Shrubs and trees cannot effectively be watered by hand watering. The best practice is to place a hose at the base of the plant and let the water flow at a slow trickle for 20 minutes on small shrubs and 2 hours on trees. If you setup sprinklers on the shrubs, Figure on 2-3 hours minimum of watering. For large plants and trees use your sprinkler overnight.
   •   Do Not Water By Schedule - Several factors will determine how often your plant needs watering. Among these are soil type, exposure, type and size of plant and recent rainfall.
   •   Checking Soil Conditions - Pull away the mulch surrounding the plant, shrub or tree. Dig down 3-4 inches around the edge of the rootball and take up some soil in your hand. If moisture can be squeezed out, or if it easily sticks together in a ball, do not water. Check the soil again in a few days. If, when you take up the soil in your hand, it crumbles and will not stick together, it is time to water.
   •   Consider Other Features - Not all areas of the landscape will need to be watered at the same time. To insure proper watering, check the status of your soil in diverse areas of your landscape, e.g. a sloped area, a flat area, shaded or partially shaded area, etc.

Signs of water stress from too little water include wilting, a change of leaf color (from shiny to dull) and premature leaf fall.

Do not over water. Signs of over watering include yellowing, dropping leaves from center of plant, wilting and damp mulch. Examine the soil 5" down next to the rootball. If it is damp or wet, let it dry out. If it is dry, give it some water.

Watering should not be done when ground is frozen. All recently transplanted trees, shade or evergreen, should go into winter with ample moisture in the soil.(top)

Water all plants SLOWLY and GENTLY

HOW MUCH DO I NEED?

It can be tricky - trying to figure out "how much".

We receive many phone calls asking this very question about compost, mulch, and topsoil.

Here are some quick "rule of thumb" methods for compost, mulch and topsoil.

  Compost


  SOIL AMENDMENT
 
  • Reason:  Compost is used to amend soil before planting sod or
    seed, and for general purposes where the soil requires additional organic
    material to stimulate plant growth and enhance water retention.
  • Rate:  3 CY per 1000 sq ft (equal to 1" of compost)
  • Example:  The area to be amended is 10,000 sq ft. 
    10,000 ÷ 1000
    = 10 x 3 = 30 CY of compost
  TOP DRESSING
 
  • Reason:  Compost applied in spring or fall as a top dressing
    to an existing lawn will greatly enhance the organic properties of the soil, as
    well as increase the water holding capacity of the soil.
  • Rate:  1 CY per 1000 sq ft (equal to 1/4" of compost)
  • Example:  The area to be top dressed is 10,000 sq. ft.
    10,000 ÷
    1000 = 10 x 1 = 10 CY of compost

   Mulch


  One cubic yard of mulch will cover a 324 sq ft area
with 1" of mulch
.

Here's how to calculate how much mulch you need:

  • Figure out the square footage of your bed (width x length for square or
    rectangular shapes)
  • Multiply your square footage by the depth desired (in inches)
  • Divide by 324. This will tell you how many cubic yards you will need.

Example calculation for a rectangular area 6' x 90' to be covered with
2" of mulch:

  1. 6' x 90' = 540 sq ft
  2. 540' x 2 = 1080 sq ft.
  3. 1080 ÷ 324 = 3-1/2 cubic yards

Mulch tips:

  • New planting beds require 2-3" of mulch to retard weeds and retain moisture.
  • It's a good idea to top dress existing beds with 1-2" of mulch in the
    spring.
  • You can protect perennials in the winter with 2" of mulch.

Prepared Topsoil

A1 Organics Prepared Topsoil is manufactured by mixing 70% screened soil and
30% compost together. This blend produces a quality soil product which can be
used as a soil amendment or top dressing/fill dirt when amending existing soil
with straight compost is not an option or not desirable.


  SOIL AMENDMENT
 
  • Reason: Use a prepared topsoil before planting sod or seed, and for
    general purposes where the soil requires additional organic material to
    stimulate plant growth and enhance water retention. The topsoil can be
    incorporated into the existing soil if desired, but is not necessary.
  • Rate:  3 CY per 1000 sq ft (equal to 1" of soil)
  • Example:  The area to be amended is 10,000 sq ft. 
    10,000 ÷ 1000
    = 10 x 3 = 30 CY of prepared topsoil.
  TOP DRESSING/FILL DIRT
 
  • Reason:  Prepared topsoil applied as a top dressing or fill in low
    spots will greatly enhance the organic properties of the soil, as well as
    increase water holding capacity. Prepared topsoil can be spread over existing
    soil and immediately used as the medium for any type of planting, including
    bushes, trees, sod, seed, flowers, etc. 
  • Rate:  3 CY per 1000 sq ft (equal to 1" of soil)
  • Example:  The area for top dress or fill is 10,000 sq ft. 
    10,000
    ÷ 1000 = 10 x 3 = 30 CY of prepared topsoil.

Interested in a landscaping or landscape design  consultation?

Contact our landscaping and hardscaping company for a consultation, and allow us to beautify or maintain your property.

 

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Office: 215-542-8252

 

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