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Do and Don’ts of Landscaping, Part 1

Trees and Shrubs

  • Do Prune and shrubs while Dormant – Exception here is flowering plants, wait until their Bloom Season.
  • Do plant trees before it gets too hot. This create less stress and less water for plants (and less water for you!)
  • Do plant for your specific needs. Do grandparents visit that need more shade? Plant tall and leafy trees if you are looking for shade in your yard. Do you have kids that like to run and play? Perhaps more open play space is desired, keeping trees and shrubs on the perimeter of your yard. Looking for an abundance of veggies and edible garden? Plant fruit trees, berry bushes, and raised veggie garden beds for peas and carrots! Ultimately this is your yard, plan and plant it for YOU!!
  • Don’t over plant privacy bushes and trees. Let your home be seen. The purpose of curb appeal is to appeal to the eye on a first impression. Planting too many trees and shrubs will block any room for curb appeal to happen.


    • Do apply Lime in the Spring. This will balance and controls the (PH) alkaline levels for turf to grow its best. An alkaline test is available (rainy climates may need more lime. Dry climates may not need any lime at all). If you would like to do a soil test click the link from The Center for Agriculture Food and the Environment. This way you can get a personal report of your lawn and the next steps to take.
    • Do re-seed in the late summer or fall. Apply seed, and keep moist but careful not to overwater and wash away the seeds
    • Do apply herbicide. Herbicide or weed killers are a contact killer, meaning they absorb the chemical through what meets the leaf surface and then transports the chemical throughout the plant. Since weed killers are dependent on contact, it is very important to get good contact with the weed.
    • Don’t water too soon after application. The herbicide needs to stay on the blade surface for 48 hours. Plan around weather and watering schedule.
    • Do stay off the lawn for 24 hours, as to not disturb or track chemicals where you don’t want them.
    • Don’t mow too short. Keeping the turf about 2-3 inches in the fall to insulate the roots while the grass goes dormant in the winter. When cutting grass, you want to make sure you reduce each blade of grass by approximately 1/3 of its original length. So, if your current grass is 3 inches tall, you only need to take off 1 inch. Be careful not to scalp the grass. This can cause sunburned grass in the summer, open soil for crab grass, and weeds to plant themselves.
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