Tips

MOWING:

Mower Height – 2½ – 3″ throughout the year is recommended. The last cut of the season should be made at 1½” which will help reduce chance of snow mold and matting.

When to mow – Mow frequently especially in the spring when growth is rapid. Never cut more then ¨÷ of the grass blade in any one mowing. Try to avoid mowing in extreme wet or hot conditions.

Sharp Blades – Blades are often overlooked and not sharpened enough. Blades should be sharpened several times during the growing season to create nice clean cuts. This will help to maintain deep color longer and eliminate frayed grass blades.

Scalping – Scalping of the lawn (cutting the lawn severly too short) can lead to many problems for the lawn and should be avoided. Scalping can lead to thinning of turf, loss of color, and contribute to the buildup of crabgrass and broadleaf weeds. Scalping a lawn during dry, hot conditions can also appear to be “burned”.

A properly mowed lawn will tend to be thicker, better color and be more resistant to diseases, insects and weeds

General Plant Care Tips

WATERING:

Check all plants weekly. Check newly planted trees and shrubs every few days for the first two weeks. Annuals and Perennials daily, thereafter, every week to 10 days. Simply dig around the root zone with your fingers to a depth of 2-3″ for small plant and 6-8″ for larger ones and trees. Water generously when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Slow, deep watering is preferred. This type of watering is accomplished by placing the hose at the base of a plant, at a heavy trickle, and water 5-10 minutes for small plants – longer for larger plants while moving the hose in a few locations around the plant.

When the soil feels moist do not water. Soil must be allowed to dry out between waterings. If a plant is maintained in constantly moist soil, the plant’s health will deteriorate over time. A plant weakened by over watering may die of oxygen deprivation or become susceptible to pest and disease. For this reason, lawn irrigation systems if not designed correctly, can be hazardous to ornamental plantings.

Monitoring water requirements frequently is more important than watering frequently. Monitor your plants’ water requirements for at least the first two to three years. Plants close to buildings where heat may reflect and plants under roof eaves require closer monitoring. During the hot summer months and early fall disregard natural rainfall. Often, rain received during these periods produces mostly runoff and contributes little, if any, to increasing ground moisture.

Maintain a 2 to 2 and a half inch mulch layer to help conserve ground moisture, prevent weeds and retain moisture. Remember, excess amounts of mulch will result in poor air circulation and reduce plant vigor.

Too much mulch could harm your plants.

FERTILIZATION:

Ricks Lawn & Landscaping applys a pre-emergent herbicide to all planting areas before mulching is installed. We also fertilize at planting so generally no fertilizer is necessary for the first year. In subsequent years, we recommend using a balanced (i.e., 10-10-10, 14-14-14) plant food (preferably with micro nutrients). Be sure to follow the instructions on the label. If you have any questions on specific requirements please call us.

PESTS:

Your plants are guaranteed to be free from pests and diseases upon installation. We use plant varieties that are disease and pest resistant whenever possible. As a secondary control, our plant material is closely monitored and turned over rapidly so you benefit by receiving the freshest and healthiest plants available.

Be observant of changes in plant vigor and growth. Plants are more susceptible to disease and pests if they are weakened through poor maintenance practices such as over or under watering. If you make it a practice to walk the landscape and be observant of your plants’ progress, you will spot symptoms of disease or insect infestations well in advance of any serious problems.

PRUNING:

Pruning should be minimized for good plant health. When planted and spaced according to its growth characteristics, a plant should require little pruning. However, you may remove dead or dying branches and crossed or rubbing branches any time of the year. When in doubt, call us.

Maintenance Calendar

Rick’s Lawn and Landscaping will make your property attractive and beautiful, but it’s up to you to ensure your landscape stays that way. Plants require constant attention and special care to make sure your investment lasts. We’ve provided some basic tips and general advice to help you. We invite you to contact us with any maintenance questions you may have.

Do You know what you should be doing in garden or landscape right now? Check out our handy Gardening Calendar, for helpful monthly tips and suggestions.

January

On a warm day, check the soil moisture around boxwood and holly, these plants tend to dry out through the winter and can sometimes use a supplemental watering.
Plan for spring and summer, start saving pictures and catalogs for inspiration and ideas.
Snow can be used as ‘white mulch’ on perennials and areas where bulbs were planted last fall, as long as it is free from salt.
Use branches from your cut Christmas tree as a winter mulch around the base of roses and other less hardy perennials.

February

Cut back ornamental grasses.
Do dormant pruning of woody shrubs and trees.
Check perennials that were planted in late summer or fall. If they are raised out of soil, push back in to the ground.
Prune suckers from the base of ornamental trees, roses and shrubs.
Tune-up lawn mower and have the blades sharpened before the rush.
Force branches of spring flowering shrubs indoors.

March

Clean up any landscape debris that may have accumulated over the winter.
Cut back Liriope before new growth appears.
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to all planting areas, late in the month.
Prune shrub roses, removing a third of the oldest canes. Cut back most plants to approximately 15-18″ from the ground.
Apply a dormant oil spray to woody shrubs and trees to kill any overwintering insect eggs or larvae.
Fertilize woody shrubs and trees after the soil temperature has reached 40 F.
Prepare lawn areas for spring seeding.

April

apply a slow release fertilizer, such as Osmocote, to perennial planting areas.
Cut back any perennials that may have been missed last fall.
apply a soil acidifier (Holly-tone or Soil Sulphur) around the base of acid loving holly and boxwood.
If additional mulch needs to be applied to planting areas, be sure not to exceed a 2-2 1/2″ layer.
Sawfly larvae will be active on needled evergreens towards the middle or end of the month.
Complete any lawn seeding projects by april 15th. (Remember to use a selective pre-emergent herbicide in these areas)
Watch for aphids on tender shoots of perennials and new growth of some woody shrubs and trees.
Divide perennials, this can be done effectively through the end of May.

May

Install new perennials.
bagworm larvae will be emerging from any remaining sac-like structures hanging on evergreens such as arborvitae, spruce and juniper. This is the only time of year that sprays can be effective, the remainder of the year, the bags need to be removed and destroyed.
Plant annuals after the last chance of frost has passed.
Cut back any mums that have returned from last year by half.

June

Spray any weeds that may have popped up with a non-selective herbicide.
Allow bulb foliage to completely yellow and then cut the foliage back to the ground.
Prune any spring-flowering shrubs and trees as needed.
Spend time in your garden with your family, pets or relaxing by yourself.

July

Deadhead spent perennial blossoms to encourage re-blooming.
Cut back fall blooming perennials by 1/3 to prevent the need for staking and to delay bloom.
Watering: Water deeply and well, rather than shallow and often.

August

Order fall bulbs
Look for areas to add color with late-blooming perennials, mums, or pansies.
Monitor evergreens and other landscape plants for spider mite and aphid activity.
Hand prune and destroy bagworms, fall webworms, and tent caterpillars.

September

Monitor soil moisture levels through December.
Divide hosta and daylilies
Plant fall color in high visibility areas, pansies are a great choice for late season color.
Complete fall lawn seeding projects by September 30th.

October

Cut back perennials after hard frost.
Plant bulbs
Start planning for next year’s vegetable garden.

November

Top dress perennial beds with leaf compost.
Water evergreens late in the month to prepare them for winter, if the fall has been dry.
Remove leaves and other landscape debris from planting areas.
Drain and store hoses for the winter.

December

Prune evergreens and holly, use the cuttings for holiday decorating.
Make sure soil moisture levels are sufficient to get plantings through the winter.
Turn off outside water faucets to prevent freezing through the winter.