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“Creating Beautiful Landscapes and Lasting Relationships”
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Live Aloha

Landscapes

SERVING SAINT JOHNS COUNTY & SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES

YOUR NEW LANDSCAPE - AFTER CARE TIPS

 

Congratulations on your new landscape!

 

A landscape is a living thing... Much like a baby coming home from the hospital, it requires loving care to ensure that it is healthy and grows.

Here are a few tips to keeping your landscape healthy and beautiful for years to come!

 

Softscape

All new plantings need to be watered daily for 15-20 minutes for the next two weeks. After the two-week period you can adjust your irrigation to water normal settings. In the summer and spring, we recommend watering 3 times a week and in fall and winter 2 times a week. This may vary per your HOA. If you see any signs of stress in your plants, please take a picture and email it to your designer for advice on care. - Please see your signed contract for warranty information.

 

Sod and Seed

All new sod and seed installations need to be watered daily for two weeks for 30-45 minutes. After two weeks the settings can be adjusted back to normal. It is normal to see a little browning and yellowing during this process but if you see signs that are concerning, please send a picture to your designer. All new sod should be treated for sod web worms which may come from the sod farm. Your turf/pest company can take care of this, or you can contact us to have our sister company Turf Organix treat. Please see your signed contract for warranty information.

 

Hardscape

All our hardscape installations come with a Lifetime warranty unless otherwise specified. Please allow 30 days for any sanding or settling. Warranty covers first visit at no charge, any visit after that will come with a $150 service call charge unless waived by management during review of claim. If you are looking to seal your hardscape, please wait 60 days before doing so.

Lighting

All our lighting installations come with a 1-year warranty on fixtures, transformers, and wires cut due to not being buried properly. The warranty does not cover bulbs. Any service needed outside of the previously mentioned covered issues will have a $150 service call fee associated with a tech coming out.

Mulching:

Re-mulch to a depth of 2-3” annually to maintain root and soil health, insulate roots from heat and cold, and keep weeds down.

Fertilization:

Fertilize around the base of all plantings with a general, granulated, slow-release fertilizer twice a year, in fall and spring. Palms will need specialized palm fertilizer applied as per the products guidelines. Although all plantings are installed with a two-year slow release fertilizer, additional fertilization is recommended starting at the 6 month- 1 year mark to ensure best growth and plant health.

Pruning:

Plants (like people) need haircuts and maintenance. Regular and appropriate pruning depending on plant variety helps keep plants in their best shape. Ask your designer about appropriate pruning methods for any of your installed plants.

Irrigation:

All irrigation work has a 30-day warranty that only involves improper installation. Such as heads not set to correct height, pressure issues, or coverage. Any pipe breaks or damaged heads due to third parties will not be covered under the warranty.

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Note: The plants in this photo had all suffered frost damage, but with patience and proper care, all have returned to health.

TREATING COLD - DAMAGED PLANTS

Wondering how to care for your plants that may have been damaged by the recent freezes. You may be tempted to prune them, but please, DON’T PRUNE them yet. Read below to see the best way to help them recover from any cold damage.

 

Water

After a freeze, check the soil around your plants. Plants may not be getting the water they need if the soil has dried out or if the water in the soil is frozen. Watering the area can help defrost the soil and provide your plants with an available source of moisture. Even injured plants need water.

Fertilizer

While you may be tempted to add a little fertilizer to your plants to help speed their recovery, hold off. If you fertilize too early you could encourage new growth before the cold weather has gone. It's best to wait until spring to begin fertilizer application. Once the danger of frost has passed, an application of fertilizer can help speed recovery.

Pruning

Don't prune cold-damaged plants right away. The dead foliage looks bad but will help insulate plants from further injury. In the spring, assess the extent of the damage by scraping the bark with your fingernail. Cold-injured wood will be black or brown under the bark. To be certain where to prune, wait until plants begin to sprout new growth.

Herbaceous plants like impatiens and begonias that are damaged by the cold may collapse. If this happens, it's best to cut them down and remove the plants to prevent fungal or bacterial problems from arising as they decay.

Lawn

Seeing your lawn turn brown during the winter can be worrying for some homeowners; however, this is a normal part of your lawn's winter dormancy. Come springtime your lawn should rebound and begin producing new green growth.

But when hard freezes hit, your turfgrass may be injured. If temperatures suddenly fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, your lawn may be permanently damaged. The grass may initially appear wilted, and then turn to a whiteish or brown color. It may mat to the ground and smell putrid. If your lawn does not recover in the spring, you may have to replace some of the grass with sod pieces or plugs. http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/.../treating-cold... 

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Spring Cleaning in the Great Outdoors

 

The weather this past weekend made me stop and question if it was really the end of February and not late October. Like so many of my fellow "greenthumbers” I woke up Saturday morning eager to tackle my spring cleanup list and found frost on my windshield… Yikes! However, buds are breaking, and grass is greening and the nip in the air was no match for the powerful urge to get out in the garden. There is much to do and this is Florida after all... We can handle it!

Yes, it's time for the main event in the gardener's annual rite of spring… "The spring cleanup". Which includes pruning, deadheading, thatching, fertilization, mulching, and finally applying a pre-emergent herbicide on the freshly mulched beds. It is amazing what a small investment and a little bit of elbow grease can do to improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden.

OK, here are a few tips to get you started: Pruning – Shrubs grown primarily for foliage, (Viburnum, Anise, Silver Thorn, Ligustrum), can be pruned year-round, but if the Winter was a rough one, wait until new growth appears and has the chance to “harden off” before that first Spring Trim. Spring and early summer blooming trees and shrubs, (azalea and spirea), should be pruned immediately after their bloom time, and depending on the variety, that could take you into mid-April. Crepe Myrtle Trees should be pruned by MidFebruary—and when doing so prune 6” above each major “Y” on the main branches to avoid “Crepe Murder”—if you’re unsure on how to properly prune your Crepe there are numerous YouTube Videos that will walk you through the process.

Next, it's time to clean up the perennials and grasses in the garden. – Cut away the dead leaves and foliage on all your flowering perennials, and for all the ornamental grasses (Muhly, Red/White Fountain Grasses, etc.) you’ll want to cut them all the way down to about a foot off the ground removing all the old spent foliage/blooms… it may seem harsh, but cutting grasses back is the best way to keep them looking clean and new! It is important to remove the cuttings and branches from around the base of the plant prior to mulching which will help reduce the possibility of pests or disease. Continue "deadheading" (cutting the spent flowers from your perennials) throughout the growing season to prolong blooms or encourage re-blooms. In the case of spring bulbs, (Amaryllis, Agapanthus and Lily’s) once the plant has flowered, I suggest trimming only the yellow or brown plant material, rather than cutting the plant off at the base. This may require several visits with the pruners, but by doing this it will allow the transfer of vital nutrients to return to the bulb.

Next you are ready to divide and transplant your summer and fall blooming perennials - Many of our favorites require dividing sometime within two to five years of their initial planting. This is a bonus for garden enthusiasts. Some of my favorite plants in my garden were gifts from friends that had divided their prize irises, daylilies, and grasses. Typically, Stella d' Oro daylilies should be divided by their third spring to revitalize their blooms, this is also a great time to consider dividing your White or Yellow African Iris, who, over time and look tired and a little crazy!

Next, you are ready to fertilize your plants with a organic fertilizer. One of our favorites happens to be from the Espoma Family of Products—their product “Garden Tone” is a universal fit for the entire garden. And finally, it is time to top dress the planting beds with your favorite hardwood mulch and apply a granular pre-emergent herbicide. This will give your garden a rich, neat appearance, encourage healthy soil and help you to retain valuable moisture while preventing the spread and germination of weeds. Take caution to avoid piling the mulch up against the stem of the plant. I suggest an inch and a half clearance for shrubs and perennials. One note on pesticides… "If hiring out this service, it is important to use licensed applicators". In the state of Florida, anyone who applies any pesticide for hire must be licensed as a commercial applicator. According to Lawn and Garden News…The definition of a pesticide is "a substance or mixture of substances used to destroy or control any undesirable form of animal or plant life… The pest can be aphids, flies, bacteria or even weeds. "A licensed applicator will ensure that safe practices are being followed. Check with your landscape professional.

So, relax, roll up your sleeves and embrace this wonderful blessing called spring. With a little effort now, you will enjoy a beautiful outdoor environment all season long.

James Merritt – Live Aloha Landscapes

Resources

The Florida Friendly Landscaping Guide

Live Aloha Landscapes Powerpoint

Salt Tollerant list

Deer Resistant Plants

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