Although colorful annuals, creeping vines and lush carpets of ground cover look nice in the landscape, few plants compare with shrubs and brushes when it comes to creating hedges, living fences and focal points in your yard. These multitasking plants make attractive and protective backdrops behind flowers in windy, exposed areas--and can form a lush property line between your home and your neighbors'. Grow some shrubs and brushes in your landscape to complement your existing plants and trees.
Select brushes that grow in your climate. Like other types of plants, brushes require adequate temperatures to flourish and survive. Look for varieties that grow natively in your area. Some types of shrubs, such as sagebrush, require arid climates with sandy, shale soils. Avoid purchasing semitropical brushes if you live in an area that experiences severe frosts.
Obtain your brushes in the late fall or early spring. These plants experience less shock if planted during their dormant period. Since most gardening centers sell the majority of their stock during the warm spring and summer months, check with large nurseries and forestry organizations to schedule a delivery during the cooler seasons.
Plant your brushes in holes twice the width of the roots and deep enough to allow the surface of soil over the root ball to sit level with the surrounding area. Backfill with soil amended with some compost and sand to encourage healthy root formation in your brushes. Mix equal amounts of your topsoil, sand and compost to create a good composition. Pack the soil over the roots after planting your brushes. Water your brushes immediately after planting to soak the roots and compact the soil.
Apply water to your brushes regularly, once the weather begins to warm up and the plants begin developing new leaf buds. Consult the care instructions provided with your varieties of brushes for accurate watering amounts. Depending on your specific variety of shrub and your climate, you may need to water every few days to once every two weeks. Most types of brushes require at least a little moisture near the roots to flourish.
Trim up your brushes to remove broken limbs, branches and stems. Although many types of brushes seldom require pruning, keep yours looking healthy by cutting off any unsightly and damaged growth.
Feed your brushes every month or two during their active growing seasons. Purchase a plant food listed for use with your type of brushes. Apply this fertilizer to the soil over the roots of your brushes, according to the package directions.