Tips on Getting Your Landscape Back Into Shape!

Tips on getting your Arkansas landscape ready for spring!

Broken limbs from ice storms and long-term damage from last summer’s heat are just two obstacles for our landscapes to overcome this year.  Let‘s get the recovery started!

1.  To prune or replace?  The winter storm damage has brought this question to many minds in Little Rock.  Take a look at our previous blog post for detailed pruning instructions and images plus guidance on whether to prune or replace based on specific damage examples.  It can be difficult to re-establish screens and hedges with a mix of new and old materials, depending on maturity.  Bring by or email us images of you landscape for specific advice!

2.  As plants break dormancy, it‘s a great time to apply systemic insect control such as Bonide Tree & Shrub Insect Control, especially on plants that experience insect infestations last year.  This solution controls a wide variety of insects, is easy to apply by watering into the plants’ root zone, and lasts for 12 months.  This product works well for lacebugs on azaleas, whiteflies on gardenias, and aphids on crape myrtles, just to name a few.  Insect eggs can overwinter on debris under plants so a good clean up will help reduce issues also.
3.  We are very excited about a new product from Bonide called Sedge Ender, a pre and post emerge weed control for both cool and warm season grassy and broadleaf weeds!   Yes, nutsedge, clover, and wild onions will be a thing of the past!  Bottom line, you need a bottle of this in your garage if you or your neighbor have lawn weeds!
4.  Speaking of Bonide, check out the new Bonide Solution Center at The Good Earth!  It‘s an easy to use computer that guides you to the best solution for weed, disease or insect issues by searching for pest by name or image.
5.  Fertilizing your shrubs is especially important this year due to the storm damage and last summer’s extreme temperatures.  As plants break dormancy and push out new growth, apply Osmocote and Root Stimulator.
6.  Warm and cool season weeds germinate at various temperatures, year round; a good rule of thumb is to apply pre-emerge every 60-90 days. Bonide Weedbeater Complete is a good pre and post-emergent.
7.  It’s time to start thinking about summer color, vegetable gardens and herbs!  Remember, the pansies look good now but when the heat hits, they melt away!
8. And perhaps most importantly, shop the garden center to investigate new possibilities and get ideas!  It’s a fun time of year to be outside so what are you waiting for?

Wise Watering

Well, the rains have let up. Like really let up, as in no rain at all in the past few weeks! If you haven’t used your sprinkler system yet, you will need to soon. Or if you haven’t spread out those hoses and come up with a game plan, you might want to. Don’t let lack of water be the reason all that hard work from the spring doesn’t make it!

Here are some watering tips:

1.Over-watering can be as big a problem as under- watering. For a successful watering program, remember the key concepts. First, water less often but for a longer period of time. This will encourage plants and sod to develop a stronger root system. Be efficient with your water; running your sprinkler system in the heat of the day will cause you to lose a significant volume of water due to evaporation and wind blowing. Water before 6 a.m. in the morning to avoid the peak hours. Central Arkansas Water has a great  Water-Wise program to help everyone conserve and properly manage water.

2. So how often and how long should you run your sprinkler system? This time of year, it should be adequate to water your lawn 3 to 4 times a week and the same for your beds. For spray type heads, 15 minutes per zone and for rotor type heads, 20-30 minutes per zone. These are just suggestions so monitor your plants to see how they respond to any schedule and adjust as needed.

3. Preventative care for sprinklers is helpful and can save you some serious heartache and maybe some serious dollars too! It’s a good idea to have a trusted sprinkler technician go through your system at the beginning of the season to check for leaks and make sure your heads are all functioning. It’s still a good time for this check-up since presumably, the weather is going to get hotter and hotter. Problems might not show up until the heat is really on, and a sprinkler issue in July can quickly become an emergency situation. The Good Earth provides knowledgeable sprinkler service and sales if you need some adjustments, repairs or a whole system installed.

4. And what if you don’t have a sprinkler system? Systems of hoses and automatic timers can be set up to take care of much of your water needs. And then handwater as needed. It’s a good idea keep a calendar of when you water, and set some sort of timer so you remember to turn the water off. Mulching landscape beds at a depth of 3″ will decrease the amount of water needed, and soaker hoses can be added under the mulch to help you and your plants with water needs.