Northern Illinois Plant Care Tips

This provides general guidelines for taking care of your new landscape.  If you have specific questions or care concerns please contact us and we would be happy to help answer those questions.

How to water your new plants

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Seeded and sodded lawns need large amounts of water. In general, new lawns must be watered at least three inches per week. It is important to water by inches rather than time. The best way to do this is to water a half of an inch each day to prevent newly germinated seeds or new sod roots from dying out. You can place a pan under your sprinkler to determine the time, for a half of an inch of water.


Since the root ball is larger and is generally buried deeply in the ground, they need less frequent watering than sod or shrubs. A good deep soaking once every 6-7 days is usually sufficient. A good deep soaking means 15 minutes per tree. This can also be accomplished with a sprinkler at the same time you water the lawn.


Shrubs need a deep soaking approximately every 3-4 days. Pay attention to the leaves; if they appear wilted and the ground is dry please water the plant. This can also be accomplished with a sprinkler at the same time you water the lawn.


These are plants that are not hardy in our planting zone year around. These require special care depending on the weather and the soil temperature. Water thoroughly for the first 2 weeks after planting. Soil should feel moist to the touch at least 2″ down. Let soil dry out between watering. Tip: watch for leaf color. Yellow and limp leaves signal over watering.


These plants will require watering every two to three days because of their shallow root system. They will need less watering once they are established.


These plants will require more frequent watering since water will drain faster due to the slope.


Please do not depend solely on these methods of watering as in most cases they may not be totally sufficient. If using, it is best to monitor every day to view any inconsistencies in watering, which may need correction.

One last note, it is possible to over water and drown your plants. If you notice the leaves wilting or turning yellow, check the soil below the mulch. If the soil is extremely wet, cut back on watering until the soil dries out and water less often.

Northern Illinois Plant Care Pruning

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How to prune your new plants


These plants will require trimming at different times during the year depending on their flowering times. It is important that the timing for trimming be after the flowering cycle of the plant. For example: spring flowering plants should be pruned after the flower blooms have faded.


As a result of their habit, evergreens will require trimming once per year, generally in mid-June/July. The trimming should be completed just after the new lime green growth has hardened off.


Some of these plants need to be cut back or deadheaded, as they finish blooming. This maintains the health of the plant and in many cases, encourages another flush of blooms. Perennials are usually cut back in the fall. Certain perennials, like Russian Sage or ornamental grasses, can add interest to the winter landscape and can be cut back in the spring.


Occasionally branches may be damaged or broken during transport and planting. Some damage may not be easily seen until later. In this case it will be necessary for you to prune the twig or branch. Use a sharp pair of pruners or a saw and cut as close to the trunk or main branch as possible. Do not leave dead branches on the plant, as they are possible entry points for insects and diseases.

Proper-Tree-Pruning principles arbor day foundation

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