Long Lasting Beauty

lilacs

With some simple, regular maintenance your new landscape plantings will give you years of enjoyment.

Ask Amity

How can I control deer and rabbit damage?

Deer and rabbits are the most destructive pests we have and are difficult to control.  When hungry enough they will eat anything, and will consume a plant at one location and ignore the same plant a few hundred feet away.  You should rely on a combination of different methods to control these pests.  The first is to use plants they don’t prefer, and then they will feed in the places that have more what they like.  Site your plantings and gardens where they don’t like to go, like between a fence and a building where they could be cornered.  Use repellents and scare devices early and often to discourage feeding, and rotate the brand of repellent and device location to stop them from becoming accustomed to one bad taste or one scary spot.  Covering and fencing the plants they enjoy is the most reliable way to reduce damage, but it is often expensive and unsightly.  Finally, follow Bob Olen’s advice and “Eat more venison!”

When is the best time to prune an apple tree?

Late winter or very early spring is the best time to prune apple trees.  During the spring and summer pruning wounds may open a pathway for disease and insect problems.  Apple trees can be pruned in the autumn after the leaves fall or in winter, but usually the weather is more pleasant in the spring.  Find a nice day in early April and cut damaged and crossing branches, reduce the height to make apple picking easier, and open the canopy to improve air circulation.

What’s the difference between annuals and perennials?

Annual flowers are planted in the spring and die in the fall; they need to be planted every year.  Because the roots of perennials are able to live through the winter, they begin to grow when it warms in the spring.  Perennials flower in the summer and die back to the ground in the fall.  The life span of perennials differs depending on the variety.  Some live 2 or 3 years, while others survive 15 to 20 years or more.  While both have spectacular blooms, annual flowers bloom for a longer time than perennials.  In other parts of the country plants we consider annuals are used as perennials.

When is the best time to plant a tree?

With a few exceptions any time the ground is not frozen is a good time to plant a tree.  In mid-summer larger trees, especially balled and burlapped (B&B) trees, need extra care to be moved properly, and B&B evergreens don’t move well in the fall.  These days most trees are container grown and can be successfully planted almost anytime.

How big of an area will a cubic yard of soil cover?

Generally a cubic yard of soil will cover a 10' x 10' area about 3" deep.

How do I know how much sod to buy?

On average, a roll of sod is 2' x 6.5'. That equals 1.4 square yards or 13.0 square feet. A 10' x 20' space would equal 200 square feet or approximately 16 rolls of sod.

How often do I water newly laid sod?

You can not over water new sod, but be careful that the surrounding established plant material is not over watered and damaged.

As soon as your new sod is installed, it is critical that you get it all very wet.  Continue to water twice a day for 20 to 30 minutes on each section for the next 2 weeks or until the sod cannot be lifted when gently be pulled by the grass.

Now that the grass is rooted, decrease the frequency and increase the amount of water.  Water once every week or 10 days for about an hour on each section for the next month.  Cut back or eliminate watering if there is 1/2 inch or more of rain.  Now that the lawn is established regular rainfall will keep it green.  Water at least once a week during hot, dry weather.

When should I mow my new sod?

Do not mow until the sod is firmly rooted and the grass is at least 4 inches long.  Keep your mower blade set high for the first 4 mowings.

How often should I water my new trees and shrubs?

It is important to water new trees and shrubs regularly, usually this means about once a week.  However, if the weather is abnormally hot, the plants are in a sunny, dry area, in sandy soil, or on a steep or south facing slope, you probably need to water more often.  Conversely, if it’s been cool and wet, the area is shady, the soil is heavy, or it’s a low poorly drained site, you should water less.  Larger plants like trees will need more water than smaller shrubs or perennials.  The best way to determine if you need more or less water is to pull back the mulch or scratch the soil near the plants and feel the soil.  If it is damp or wet, the plants probably have enough water.  If it is definitely dry, you should water.  Just looking at your trees and shrubs can be misleading, because plants under stress from too much water look very similar to those not getting enough.

1617 South Street, Duluth MN 55812 218-525-6766