5 Tips for Maintaining Your Shrubs

Shrubs are part and parcel of both residential and commercial landscapes.

These plants are often used as living fences to enhance privacy. Shrubs can replace your typical metal, wood, and concrete barriers and give you and your family safe from prying eyes and even intrusion. These hedges can hide unsightly views on your property, too.

Shrubs are also excellent living walls. With these plants, you can create rooms in your lawn or garden to separate the sitting area from the play, dining, and meditation areas and any space you want to have outdoors.

If you want to attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, landscaping pros in Champaign, Illinois say that you can do this by growing the right shrubs. Butterfly bushes, forsythia, hibiscus, and hydrangea provide food and shelter for different winged species, thereby drawing them to your lawn.

Perennial and seasonal colorful and flowering shrubs add year-round interest to your lawn as well. With the right varieties, your outdoor space will be attractive and look great all year.

Shrub Care Tips

As one of the most easily noticeable and functional elements of your lawn, you have to know how to take care of your shrubs to encourage their healthy growth and maintain their appeal.

Failing to do so can cause your bushes to die or grow out of control, both of which will make them less functional and your property look unappealing.

Below are five helpful tips for maintaining your shrubbery:

1.     Grow your shrubs correctly.

If you have only decided to plant shrubs or add more to your lawn, make sure you go through the correct process of planting and growing them.

Start by choosing the right shrubs to grow. Since these plants can get pretty big, you have to consider the maximum size they can reach.

If you want to grow shrubs in a small part of your yard, don’t try to cram a bunch of them into a tight spot. However, if you’re trying to fill out a large space, select a variety that will grow big enough to cover the area.

Next, test the soil. Check if there are any deficiencies and fill the gap by applying the prescribed fertilizer. Do this several days before planting your shrubs.

Once you are done, mulch lightly around the plant to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from growing.

Finally, water the shrub deeply to ensure it reaches the roots. To minimize water run-off, make a ring of soil, or mulch around the hole of the new plant.

2.     Ensure your shrubs are well-hydrated.

Although shrubs are one of the hardiest plants around, it doesn’t mean that you can leave them to their own devices to grow. Like other types of foliage, they also need water to survive and thrive.

Include your shrubs in your weekly lawn watering schedule, especially during the dry season. When using a hose, make sure you hydrate them deeply to allow the water to reach the roots.

If you have a sprinkler system, adjust the timer to 10 minutes to ensure your lawn and bushes are completely soaked in the water and that the soil absorbs all the moisture.

3.     Feed your shrubs regularly.

Shrubs can also benefit from an application of fertilizer. However, you have to be extra careful in using it since fertilizer contains ingredients that can cause the weak and thin growth of these plants, especially newly planted ones.

If you want to nourish newly planted shrubs, apply mulch instead of fertilizer. It contains enough nutrients to feed your plants and help them maintain moisture at the same time.

There will be instances, though, that your shrubs will need fertilizer. If they do, add a bit of compost or mulch first, applying the fertilizer lightly.

If the shrubs continue to grow poorly, fertilize lightly again, carefully following the directions on the package.

4.     Know when and how to prune your shrubs.

Pruning your shrubs is the most challenging maintenance task you have to do regularly. However, it is a crucial chore that supports the healthy and lovely growth of your plants and ensures they do not become hazards to your property.

Pruning is a gardening chore often reserved for spring. Although you can do this annually, you will have to do this earlier or later and more often based on the type of shrub you have.

Flowering shrubs, such as roses and lilacs, need to be pruned after they bloom. If you do this gardening chore before they blossom, you may cut off the flower buds. Pruning after the flowers bloom also encourages the shrubs to produce another round of blooms.

For non-blooming shrubs, it is best to prune them in late winter while they are still dormant. Doing so helps them grow healthily once the spring rains arrive.

When doing this gardening chore, always prune at a 45-degree angle. Doing so helps the new branches to grow back healthily. Make sure you are consistent with your cuts, too.

If it’s your first time to prune, thin the shrub first by removing a few branches on the outer part of the plant. Next, clear the large low-lying branches or the ones intruding on the features of your property.

Lastly, remove the dead or dying branches.

Make sure you use the right tools, as well. Get a good pair of loppers, hand pruners, and trimmers. Always use gardening gloves and take care when doing this gardening chore, too.

5.     Keep your shrubs well-maintained during winter.

Shrubs do not die and look great, even during the coldest part of the year. However, like other plants, know how to prepare them for and take care of them during winter to ensure they survive.

To keep the roots warm, lay down mulch before winter starts. You can also protect your shrubs during the extremely cold and wet season by covering them with burlap.

However, if you have a hardy shrub variety, such as winterberry, Viburnum nudum “Winterthur,” and red twig dogwood, you don’t have to cover them even during a snowstorm.

Lastly, keep watering your shrubs throughout the fall until the first frost.

Since maintaining a shrubbery requires a lot of hard work, don’t hesitate to get help from providers of lawn care services in Savoy, Illinois when you don’t have the time or energy to give them the care they need.

From mulching and winter-proofing your shrubs to pruning them, you won’t have to lift a finger to do any of these tasks to ensure they look great and serve their purpose all year round.

Author: Robin Gupta