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Basic Care for Trees and Shrubs in Colorado

Sun

It is very important to match plants with their particular sun requirements. One may grow well and flourish in certain areas of your yard, but if it does not get enough (or gets too much) sun it may burn, become floppy, or not bloom. Also remember that trees always keep growing and you must plant your garden according to your tree’s mature size.

Planting

When your planting site has been prepared begin planting on a cool day or in the evening so as not to shock the plant with the hot sun. Use Root Stimulator to help plants become more quickly established.

If a plant’s roots are tightly massed in its pot, slowly pull them apart and spread them out in the soil.

When planting you want to use ½ new soil/amendments to ½ old soil or a measurement depending on how nutrient-rich your old soil is.

Water

After planting, water each plant thoroughly. 6pm to 9am is the best time period, but if you don’t have a timed sprinkler system, water during a cool day.

Water in the evening or early morning so moisture will not evaporate out of the ground, but don’t let moisture remain on the leaves or powdery mildew could develop.

Always water deeply, slowly, and for long periods of time, do not sprinkle your plants. It may look like moisture is getting into the ground but many times it’s just running off in rivulets. When using a hose, keep it on low so your plants aren’t harmed. Water at least 15 to 20 minutes if not for a half hour. This will save plants from the stress of dehydration.

Soil

Give your soil the attention it needs before buying trees or shrubs.

Test out your pH levels, till in organic matter, and watch for material that may inhibit plant growth.

Create workable soil so water, air, and nutrients can filter down easily and roots have room to stretch.

Unless specific plants grow in sandy or rocky soil, try to remove this material from your ground. To rework soil dig up and remove unwanted material 18-24 inches deep and then add compost, topsoil, Soil Pep, and organic material. To break apart a clay soil, add a mixture of organic material with clay busters (Soil Pep).

Weeding

Remove weeds before planting by hoeing and or with weed controlling products.

Mulch helps to keep weeds down as well.

Make sure to remove the whole weed the 1st time. Don’t let weeds go to seed.

A year-round weeding program saves time and labor in the long run. We recommend using Corn Gluten for an organic way to prevent weed seed germination.

Mulch

Mulch in fall. Leave a mulch-free ring 1 inch away from the stem of plants.

Mulching conserves water, keeps soil evenly moist and stay moist longer, and requires less frequent watering. It keeps down weeds, keeps soil and nutrients from washing away during hard rains, and keeps soil temperatures more even (which protects plant roots). 2 to 3 inches of mulch is enough.

Snow is a great natural insulator, so don’t clear it away.

Types of bark – Bark Pieces, Shredded Bark, Eko Compost and Other Soils (which can be worked back into the soil in spring).

Don’t use sawdust, it’s unattractive, splintery, hard to work through, and steals nitrogen from plants as it breaks down (causing poor plant growth). Peat Moss forms a hard, dry crust on the soil, making it hard for water and nutrients to get through. It’s also acidic which lowers the soil pH as it leaches.

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