- How often should I water my lawn and beds?
The answer depends on what type of soil you have, shade/sun conditions, type of plant and how much water “Mother Nature” provides. The time of year (the season) makes a big difference too. Here are some general water guidelines you can use, but if your plants aren’t healthy, improper water is the first indicator I look for to diagnose a problem. The winter is a tough time on plants as lack of rain and cold temperatures (which desiccate the plants) create numerous problems.
Watering is a day-to-day function. Mother Nature provides some and we do too. If you are serious about saving water and keeping your plants and turf looking their best….it’s a full time job! Automated Irrigation systems that are properly installed and managed can make the job much easier and “Hassle Free”.
Winter – Lawn, an inch (Automatic Irrigation: Rotors 20 minutes, Pop-ups 10 minutes) every four weeks. Beds, an inch every week.
Spring – Lawn, an inch (Automatic Irrigation: Rotors 20 minutes, Pop-ups 10 minutes) every two weeks. Beds, an inch every week.
Summer – Lawn, an inch (Automatic Irrigation: Rotors 20 minutes, Pop-ups 10 minutes) every weeks. Beds, an inch every week.
Fall – Lawn, an inch (Automatic Irrigation: Rotors 20 minutes, Pop-ups 10 minutes) every two weeks. Beds, an inch every week.
YOU CAN ALSO REFER TO THE SAN ANTONIO WATER SYSTEM WEBSITE AT:WWW.SAWS.ORG
- When is a good time to plant my beds or lay sod?
In our region we plant year round. I’m mostly concerned with how a plant or sod will be watered and fertilized after they are planted.
- How often should I have my trees trimmed?
I like to trim trees every other year. As a rule of thumb, no more than 15% of the leaf mass should be taken out of the tree. I generally see trees way over pruned. Over pruning causes trees to put out “suckers” which are unsightly but beneficial.
Crepe Myrtles are also generally mismanaged. Limbs no larger than the size of a pencil should be cut back, as well as the spent flower pods in early Spring.
- What kind of fertilizer should I use and how often?
For Lawns and bed areas, I like a 3-1-2 in the Spring, usually after the first cutting. It’s also a good idea to cut the lawn to ½” to get rid of the dead stuff too.
For flowers and flowering shrubs or trees you need a high phosphorous (the middle number) 1-3-1 ratio.
- What About Pruning?
Proper pruning is second only to watering when it comes to taking care of your plants. A shrub can be easily trained to form a tall or wide hedge…or both! Topping off a shrub causes it to get wider. Trimming the sides will cause it to grow taller. If you want a tall and wide shrub, trim the sides at the first growing season (March) and then trim the tops in the second growing season (October).
Don’t trim more than 3″-5″ of growth while you are training your shrub, otherwise you are defeating the plants efforts of adding growth to whatever part you are trying to improve. When it comes to some types of shrubs, particularly flowering, wait until after the plants blooms. Rose bushes are particularly difficult to manage and require the highest level of expertise. Consult your local Rose Gardening Club if you are not absolutely certain what to do.
Overpruning will weaken a plant, so be cautious about taking off too much of a new season’s growth. It is important to consider the natural growing tendencies of the plant before you plant it. Most trees and shrubs can be trained, but it’s best to plant something that will do what you want without too much work on your part…you and the plant will be happier in the long run!!!
- Plant and Material Selection
Plant selection is as much an art as it is a science. Personal preferences and local conditions will dictate what will be pleasing to the eye and work in the existing environment.
When we select plant material and create a custom landscape design, we take into account soil conditions, watering conditions and light conditions. This information along with our clients specific likes or dislikes create the perfect landscape for each person.
Please visit the following websites for plant and hard good selections (flagstone, rock, gravels and mulches):
Monrovia – plant selections
Mortellaro’s Wholesale Nursery – plant selections
Keller Material Limited – hard goods