We all want a companion in our lives. Sometimes, that companion is a human; other times, they may be a pet dog, a snooty et cat, or even a new shrub. It goes without saying that plants are exceptional parts and require very little care. However, for many of us, the lack of knowledge on how to tend to plants can make the entire affair very daunting. Nevertheless, the crux of the matter is that planting a new shrub or a tree is a long-term investment, and the benefits you reap because of your plant friends are often uncountable.
However, during the initial years, your new shrubs might need a little extra care and attention to seamlessly set them up for the long haul in your landscape. Worry not if you are fidgeting thinking about your caregiving skills, as we are here to help. A few shrub care tips will give you much-needed confidence about the new green family in no time. So, without further ado, let us look at the multiple ways through which you can care for your newly-planted trees and shrubs.
Table of Contents
Before getting into the details of caring for your shrub, it is essential to plant them accurately.
To begin with, the first step in planting a hole for a tree or a shrub is to ensure that it is two to three times wider than the current root mass of the plant concerned but not deeper than its previous environment.
You should plant your new shrub friend in an environment up to 25 percent of the root ball higher than the surrounding soil level. Then, you should taper the soil to cover the entire root and follow up with a generous layer of mulch. It is noteworthy to remember that freshly disturbed soil tends to settle, and the shrubs can easily succumb to root disease. As such, the key takeaway is to plant your shrub companion slightly high and ensure the draining naturally than your plan to sit in the bowl and collect access water.
After the plant is out of its container, the immediate step you should follow is to investigate its roots. In case you observe a densely bound root pattern that is growing in the shape of the container, break up the pattern. In case you are hiring a professional landscaper to plant your shrub, remind them to look out for the same as well. Many trees and shrubs die within months of planting because their root pattern was not broken in time. The crux of the matter is that at times, the root pattern formed becomes so tightly coiled that it cannot take the water and eventually die.
After planting your new shrub companion, the crucial step is to keep it hydrated by watering on time until it is established. It is noteworthy that the term ‘established’ implies that the shrub’s root system has grown to about the same size as the canopy above. Young trees and shrubs typically become established within a year or two. Nevertheless, the ideal way to water a newly planted shrub is to give the ground a good soak around the root ball to settle the soil, remove air pockets, and thoroughly saturate the air. After that, the root system will have ample water available for the next few days. You should repeat the process every 5 to 7 days, more often in the sweltering heat and less often in case of a rainy season or if the soil is heavily clayey.
You should avoid pruning your newly planted shrub or tree companion during their first growing season unless necessary. However, pruning might become essential when a plant limb is damaged or diseased. Nevertheless, pruning while the plant is actively growing and establishing its root system can cause unnecessary stress, hamper its average growth and make it susceptible to infestation and disease. Consequently, you can begin some light pruning during the late fall or early spring of your plant’s second growing season. If you are unsure how to prune your shrub friend without hurting them, calling professional gardening services might be the viable option.
Mulch is the magical elixir that can transform the health of shrubs. Mulch helps the soil around your new shrub retain moisture, prevents weeds from sprouting, and also moderates the soil temperature. Make sure to spread a thin coating of 1 to 3 inches of mulch but do not pile it too close to the base of your shrub for optimal results.
In their early days of establishment, shrubs and plants have little to no use for added fertilizers. It might be tempting to feed your new shrub babies right away. However, the act can do more harm than good. Fertilizers will encourage the shrub to put out new growth of roots, and that is not the priority in the beginning. Your shrub companion should use all its energy to establish strong roots in its first growing season. As long as you have enriched the soil in your garden with plenty of organic matter, your shrub will do absolutely fine with a fertilizer lull in the first year. It is in the second season of growing that you can start to apply fertilizers in a moderate fashion.
It is essential to protect your new shrub or tree baby through various processes. In case the newly planted shrub is in an exposed area, make sure to opt for staking to prevent wind damage and uprooting. Likewise, physical barriers and repellents are also necessary to keep rodents and other critters at bay. Finally, if you live in a city like Edmonton, then wrapping up your shrub companion during winters is crucial as the weather gets too frigid to bear.
So, there we have it, the top eight ways to take care of your new shrubs or plants.
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