Taking care of expensive plants and flowers requires time and effort by homeowners. Some plants require less maintenance but every plant needs some regular attention to thrive. Maintenance of plants and flowers includes standard care such as watering and fertilizing. Proper care also involves monitoring growth to evaluate pruning and transplant needs. Newer landscape plants require more attention than mature plants and flowers. Monitoring the entire landscape with regular maintenance keep your property looking beautiful with healthy shrubs, trees and flowers.
Sprinkling the garden every few days during the hottest part of the summer isn't the answer to a happy landscape. Plants absorb water through the root system so literally, sprinkling the garden wastes time and water. Evaporation also works against gardeners using this method of watering plants. The heat of the sun causes evaporation at the soil surface that subsequently causes water to percolate upward causing dryness through multiple layers of soil.
The concept of deep watering means aiming moisture at the base of plants. This method allows water to seep into the soil around the roots of plants or flowers. Soaker hoses or watering each plant individually will help evenly water the soil in your gardens.
Plants and flowers need some kind of fertilizer to maintain healthy growth patterns and foliage. Flowering plants in particular require regular application of water-soluble fertilizer to promote flower formation. Most shrubs and trees require some fertilizing during the first 3 to 4 years of establishment. Fertilizer should be applied based on each plant's individual needs.
Adding compost to your gardens and incorporating peat moss also benefits landscape plants and flowers with increased aeration and organic matter in the soil. This type of organic fertilizer promotes a natural approach to gardening that benefits plants in the same manner as commercial fertilizer.
In rare instances, gardeners choose the perfect location for a plant or flower, allowing plenty of space for the plant to mature. Plants grow wild sometimes and require division and transplant to make more room in the garden. Avoid this situation by reading the recommendations provided by the nursery on any plant purchased for your landscape.
Check your gardens for crowding conditions. Plants should have plenty of space to expand to avoid lack of air circulation around each specimen. Divide perennials and carefully move plants as need to create more growing room in existing gardens.
Pruning just might be the scariest part of caring for plants and flowers. In general, tree pruning should be left to licensed and skilled professionals. Shrubs, plants, flowers and ornamental grasses can withstand pruning performed by a beginner gardener. Work on the premise that less is more when pruning. Reserve a severe type of pruning called rejuvenation pruning for older shrubs and perennials that fail to bloom properly.
Flowers such as annuals benefit from regular removal of dead flowers as well as cutting back foliage at mid-season to encourage new growth. Some perennials produce a second round of blooms after removal of old flowers and stalks.
Mulch just might be the gardener's best friend in the landscape. This handy tool in the gardening arsenal makes maintenance much easier. Mulch acts as a water retention agent when placed on the garden surface to a 3 to 4 inch level. It also decomposes to add organic material to the garden bed. Mulch helps control soil temperature to protect delicate plant roots from the hot summer sun and deep winter freezes.