Landscape Maintenance Guide
- Inspect Lawns and Plantings monthly for any signs of stress from a lack of water or too much water. Dry areas can result from a damaged or clogged spray head. Over watering can cause plants to yellow in color and drop leaves.
- Have a professional Irrigation Service or any qualified maintenance person test the entire system twice a year (Spring & Fall). Run through each zone and inspect the coverage, check clock and valves, repair or adjust as needed.
- Contract with a competent spraying service or maintenance person for regular fertilizing, pesticide and fungicide treatments. Typically, 3-4 treatments per year of fertilizer and chemicals as needed are sufficient. Many companies are both good and bad - check your neighborhood for great looking lawns and find out who services them.
- Fertilize heavily every 45 days with palm fertilizer and general purpose lawn and shrub fertilizer. Continue extensive fertilizing until palms are robust with dark heavy foliage and lush. Now fertilize approximately 2 times a year with only palm fertilizer per manufacturers' label, as the objective is to maintain the healthy look at a slower rate of growth.
- Trimming can be done as needed if dead fronds are apparent, however regular pruning is usually done every 1 or 2 years depending upon species.
- New palms can be untied and trimmed generally after 30 days. This may vary depending on species, condition of palms, soil moisture and severe weather. Leave stakes on palms to prevent from blowing over during storms for approximately 6 months to 1 year. This is based on the look of the tree. A robust tree showing extensive, healthy new growth is ready to have the stakes removed.
- Palms that are struggling after several months may have specific problems such as improper installation (i.e. too high or too deep in soil), poor drainage or over watering, lack of proper watering or disease. Contact your maintenance person or the original landscape contractor for advice.
Trees and Plants:
- As with palms, fertilize every 45 days until trees and plants are dark green and healthy with new growth. This is usually achieved sooner with plantings then with palms or trees. Once robust growth is accomplished decrease fertilization to 2-3 times per year.
- Use a general purpose fertilizer and follow the label instructions. Avoid using 6-6-6 or 8-8-8, as these inexpensive fertilizers can burn and are short lived. Suggested fertilizers are 16-4-8, 17-5-11, or 14-14-14. Do not dump fertilizer directly down middle of plant or against trunk - spread around outside edge of original ball or roots.
- Certain trees such as Magnolia. Crape Myrtle, Ligustrum and others may be more prone to scale, sooty mold, root rot, etc. These conditions or diseases should be treated as needed upon discovery. Maintenance personnel should be able to identify the problem and the proper pesticide, chemical or soap to treat the problem. If not, take a leaf sample to the nearest Garden Center and they will advise you on what product to purchase and how to apply.
- Trimming and pruning should be done 1-4 times per year depending upon species and desired form. Each job is specific in nature and competent maintenance personnel know how to properly maintain according to original design intent. Contact the landscape contractor or designer to discuss basic concepts and objectives.
Mulching and Weeding:
- Mulch should be maintained at approximately 2". Re-mulch about an inch every year - do not continuously pile new mulch around the base of trees and plants as rot can occur.
- Maintain a weed free landscape by pulling out large weeds and regular spraying of round-up or other herbicide. Do not spray on windy days and if over-sprayed on desirable plants, hose off immediately. Typically, herbicides should be sprayed every 2 weeks during the hotter months and every 4-5 weeks during cooler months.
- Always maintain separation between plants and lawns. Continuously edge lawn out away from plants as they grow and spread out. Maintaining a 2' band of mulch as a transition area between plantings and lawn is absolutely the most important concept for a pleasing landscape.