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It’s Time to Evaluate Your Established Landscape Elements

Ted Lare- Evaluate Your Established Landscape-purple fountain grass

We tend to fawn over our new plantings and devote our attention to monitoring their success, but it’s essential to pay attention to our more established plants and other elements of the landscape. We don’t want our perennials, trees, and shrubs to get neglected! This spring, take some time to thoroughly evaluate all the elements of your landscape to see what’s on the right track and what needs some maintenance.

Inspect the Following Landscape Elements to Keep Them On the Right Track

Take a walkthrough of your landscape and pay attention to anything that seems amiss. Take note of signs of damage, uneven growth, or any other red flags that you should address. Unsure where to start? Go through this list and see how your landscape elements measure up!

Ted Lare- Evaluate Your Established Landscape-dividing perennials

Do Your Perennials Need to Be Divided?

Perennials come back year after year and increase in size over time. However, their roots can get crowded after a while, and if they spread too much, this can negatively affect their growth. Dividing your perennials by digging them up, splitting them at the root ball, and replanting one half in a different location will prevent stunted growth and other issues. 

If your perennials exhibit the following signs, it’s time to divide them:

  • A bald patch or dead spot, resulting in a donut-shaped plant 
  • Fewer flowers than the previous year
  • Looking visibly crowded amongst the surrounding plants

Gently dig up your plants, split them by hand or with a sterilized knife, and replant them immediately to prevent their roots from drying out. 

Ted Lare- Evaluate Your Established Landscape-pruning dead branches

Assess the Success of Your Landscape Plants

How are your trees and shrubs looking? Are there any dead or diseased branches? Is the foliage looking less lush and full than in previous years? Take note of any changes or glaring issues—pruning can often help encourage healthier growth in the future, but you need to make sure you do it at the right time of year for your specific plants. Different landscape plants have unique growth patterns and preferences for pruning, so do a little research before making your cuts. Pruning at the wrong time could make your plants more vulnerable to disease, or you might cut off flower buds before they burst into bloom, resulting in a flowerless plant. 

If your landscape plants look lackluster and tired, they may just need some fertilizer. Regular fertilizer applications during their active growing season will ensure that they have all the necessary nutrients to perform their basic functions like spreading roots, growing leaves, and producing flowers and fruit. If you haven’t fertilized trees and shrubs before, visit us at the garden center, and one of our staff members can give you some product recommendations and a quick crash course on proper application. 

Ted Lare- Evaluate Your Established Landscape-staining gazebo

Check Your Hardscaping

Take a look at your pavers, sidewalks, and patio. Is anything damaged or in need of replacement? Maybe it needs a thorough powerwash? Maybe you need to stain or repaint the deck? Getting these tasks out of the way early in the season will ensure that your landscape looks top-notch for the rest of the year, so you can focus on enjoying yourself and entertaining guests without getting distracted by unsightly issues. Plus, cracked or damaged hardscapes can pose some safety issues, especially if you’ve got kids running around barefoot. If you’ve got any significant jobs you need assistance with, call our landscaping team, and we can help you out!

Ted Lare- Evaluate Your Established Landscape-soil ph meter

Test Your Soil

Healthy soil is vital for maintaining healthy plants. Check to see if moisture is pooling anywhere—that’s a sign that your soil is compacted and needs aerating. If water remains stagnant in your soil, it will encourage bacterial growth, which can rot your plants’ roots.

Pick up a soil test kit to evaluate the nutrient levels and the pH of your soil; this way, you can see which amendments your soil needs to bring it to its optimal state. If your soil test identifies any major issues and you’re unsure of how to treat them, we encourage you to come in and speak with us! We’re always happy to help.

All the tools and supplies you need to keep your Iowa landscape elements looking their best are at Ted Lare Garden Center. Drop by the garden center today to get all stocked up for the year!


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