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Your Essential Guide to Lawn Care in Northern Virginia

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If you’re getting ready to plant new landscaping, or you already have, you might be wondering what’s involved in keeping that new plant material healthy and thriving. Whether it's new trees or new shrubs, you want to ensure that you are taking the right steps to protect your investment in plant material.

To help get you started, we’ve rounded up a list of the 5 things you should be doing to keep your new landscaping healthy.New planting maintenance

1. New Landscaping Needs Proper Watering

Water is the “life blood” of all living things and it’s certainly no different with plants. If you’ve installed new shrubs, trees, or other plants, you need to make sure that they are receiving the proper amount of water.

The truth is, these plants were getting a lot of TLC when they were being grown in a nursery and it can be very traumatic when they’re first installed on your property. At a nursery, they were most likely watered daily so to suddenly back off from that at a time when this plant material is becoming established in your landscape can add a lot of stress.

Of course, the exact amount of water your trees and shrubs require will depend on factors like plant size, soil structure, and temperature. If Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape is installing your new landscaping, we’ll provide watering recommendations.

In addition to putting down the right amount of water, you also want to ensure you’re performing watering correctly. There is no reason to water the foliage or your new bushes and trees. It’s the roots that need the water. Using a soaker hose is an effective way to water slowly and steadily.

2. New Trees and Shrubs Require Fertilization

The next step is one that is often forgotten about with new landscaping. While most people understand that a lawn requires fertilization to grow thick and treen, people tend to overlook what their landscape requires.

When new trees and shrubs are planted in a residential landscape, they don’t have access to the same nutrients that they would in the forest (or their natural habitat). This is where fertilization can help.

Fertilizing is particularly important for new plants as they’ve already gone through a lot of stress during the planting process. As they work to become established in your landscape, fertilization can help ensure that they’re set up with the nutrients they need to thrive.

When plants are fertilized, they often have foliage that is greener, flowers that grow more profusely, and overall longer bloom times. Kingstown offers a Plant Health Care program which includes fertilization of these key plants in your landscape.

3. Protect Your New Landscaping from Disease and Pests

New trees and shrubs, which are already under stress from adapting to their new landscape, can be prone to insect and disease problems. These can be devastating to a new plant, which is already using so much of its energy to become established in its new home.
Landscape maintenance technician spraying shrubs
Fortunately, there are solutions. A Plant Health Care program can help protect your plants against some of the most common pest and disease threats. This includes some of the following that we see most often in our region.

  • Japanese Beetles
  • Scale insects
  • Bagworms
  • Spider Mites
  • Aphids
  • Lace Bugs
  • Apple Scab
  • Anthracnose
  • and dozens of other issues!

4. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Pruning New Trees and Shrubs Properly

Pruning is one of those landscaping services that is sometimes underestimated. People know that pruning is important to keep plants looking neat and tidy but they don’t always realize that it’s actually beneficial to the overall health of the plant.
Proper Pruning to maintain healthy shrubs
Along with that, if pruning is performed improperly, it can actually damage the health of the plant. There can be quite a bit of horticultural expertise needed to make wise pruning choices. If you prune the wrong plant at the wrong time of the year, you can impact its ability to produce blooms that season!

If you have new landscaping on your property, then you want to make sure that you’re setting it up for success with the appropriate pruning services. At Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape, our Pruning Plans are some of our most popular maintenance plans as people love that they completely eliminate the worries. When you sign up for a plan, you get on the schedule, and never have to give the ongoing pruning of your plants another thought!

5. Be Sure to Properly Mulch, Too!

Finally, it’s also important that we mention mulching as this is another way to either set your new landscaping up for success, or sadly, failure. Mulching can be great for your plants. It acts as a barrier to protect your plants’ root systems and can even suppress weed growth. But if mulching is performed improperly it can actually do more harm than good. Piling mulch up against a shrub or tree (often referred to as “volcano mulching”) can be incredibly problematic.

The problem with piling excessive mulch up against a plant’s trunk is that it can begin to cause bark rot. It will also cause the growth of new roots that will eventually start to strangle the life out of the plant.

This poor practice even sets your plants up for disease and pest problems.

When it comes to ensuring that your new landscaping is getting off on the right foot, proper mulching will be key.Proper mulching is key

Work with a Professional Who Will Set Your New Landscaping Up for Success

At the end of the day, you want to be able to feel confident that your new landscaping is going to survive and thrive. After all, it’s no small investment to pay for new trees and shrubs—now you want to see them succeed.

The key is to work with a landscaping company that can set you up for success.

At Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape, we not only handle plant installations but also their ongoing maintenance and we’re serious about ensuring the homeowners we work with know what their new landscaping needs. In addition to offering valuable watering tips, we can also offer our clients a Plant Health Care program, Pruning Plans, and Mulching Plans, which will set them up for success.

It all boils down to being a protection of your investment. By investing in these services, you can ditch the worries and get back to spending time enjoying your landscape.

If you’d like to discuss plant health care, pruning, or mulching for your landscape, request a quote, get your customized plan, and relax knowing that your plants are in good hands.

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Krisjan Berzins - Owner, CEO

Since 1997, Krisjan has led the Kingstowne team with one simple philosophy, treat every customer like the “only” customer. His passionate pursuit of impeccable customer service has resulted in 24 successful years and a thriving company with over 85 employees, helping thousands of homeowners in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA area get what they want -- a worry-free property they can be proud of.