HORTICULTURE SERVICES, LLC FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

PLANTING

What type of grass is best for my lawn?
Dose planting depth matter?
What is a small tree for planting close to my house?
When can I divide my perennials?
How can I keep my Tomatoes healthy?
Are there guidelines for watering newly installed landscape plants?
How do I force bulbs indoors?

WEED CONTROL

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PLANTING

What type of grass is best for my lawn?

Some grasses do better in full sun than shade and vice versa. Check our chart below for details on specific grasses:

Grass Type

Mowing Height

Best Location

Floratam (St. Augustinegrass)

3.5 to 4 inches

Full sun areas

Seville (St. Augustinegrass)

2.5 to 3 inches

Moderately shaded areas

Bitterblue (St. Augustinegrass)

3 to 3.5 inches

Slightly shaded areas

Bahiagrass

3.5 to 4 inches

Full sun areas

Bermudagrass

1 to 1.25 inches

Full sun areas

Centipedegrass

1 to 2 inches

Full sun to partially shaded areas

Zoysiagrass

1 to 2 inches

Full sun to moderately shaded areas

Tall Fescue

1.5 to 3 inches

Full sun to moderately shaded areas

Does planting depth matter? Yes, absolutely. If installed below grade (or surface level) most plants will suffocate or drown resulting in failing health and eventual depth. In general plants should be installed with approximately 20% of the root ball above grade. Do not cover the exposed root ball with soil. Instead use a thin layer of mulch (one to two inches thick maximum) to help retain moisture and inhibit weed growth. For a more in depth look at this topic, please see these articles:

What is a small tree for planting close to my house? Small trees range from 6 feet high and wide to 20 feet high and wide. Make sure that you account for the width when placing a tree or you will need to continually prune. Some examples of small trees are:
Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)– 15’-20’ tall; 15’ wide
Japanese maple “Bloodgood” – 12’-20’ tall; 15-20’wide (zone 5 hardy, needs winter protection)
Korean Maple (Acer pseudosieboldianum) 15’ tall; 10’ wide
Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora) 20’ tall; 15’ wide
Caragna “Walker Weeping” (Caragna arborescens) as tall as the graft; 3-5’ wide (strongly weeping)
Minnesota Strain Redbud (Cercis Canadensis) – 20’tall; 20’ wide
Snow Mantle Dogwood Tree (Cornus racemosa) – 15’tall; 8’wide
‘Galzam’ Chinese Dogwood’ (Cornus kousa) – 20’ tall; 20’ wide
Crusader Hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli) 15’ tall; 10’ wide
Crimson Cloud Dogwood (Crataefus laevigata ‘Superba’) 15’tall; 10’ wide
Burning Bush Tree (Euonymus alatus) – 10’ tall; 10’wide
Prairie Radiance Winterberry Euonymus (Euonymus bungeana ‘Verona’) 20’ tall; 15’ wide
Summertime Maackia(Maackiea amurensis ‘Summertime’) – 15’tall’ 12’ wide
Leonard Messel Magnolia (Magnolia kobus) 15’tall; 20’ wide
Royal Star Magnolia (Magnolia kobus stellata) 8’ tall; 8’ wide
Candymint Crabapple (Malus sargentii) – 8’tall; 15’ wide
Guinevere Crabapple (Malus x) – 8’ tall; 10’ wide
Madonna Crabapple (Malus x) – 15’ tall; 10’ wide
Tina Crabapple (Malus x) – 6’ tall; 8’ wide
Hakuro NIshiki Willow Tree (Salix integra) 15’tall; 15’ wide
Dwarf Korean Lilac Tree (Syringa meyeri) 10’tall; 6’ wide

When can I divide my perennials? The rule of thumb is to divide mid-summer to fall blooming perennials in the early spring. Divide spring and early summer blooming perennials in the late summer to early fall.

How can I keep my Tomatoes healthy? Staking or caging your tomatoes and mulching underneath them is the best thing you can do for the health of your tomatoes. Keeping your tomatoes off the ground and keeping soil from splashing on them is the best way of keeping tomato blight off your plants. Watering is also important. Too little water can cause blossom end rot and too much water can cause fruit split. If you do suspect a disease starting you can spray with Espoma 3 n1 Disease Control or Monterey Liqui-Cop.

Are there guidelines for watering newly installed landscape plants? Yes. Watering is vital for establishing newly planted trees and shrubs. However, over-watering is a common mistake that forces oxygen out of the soil around the roots and can lead to death of a shrubs and trees. A good indication of too much water is yellowing of the foliage that develops first on the inside leaves and progresses to outer leaves. Of course every plant is different, so it is important to find out the correct guidelines for your specific plant. Below are some resources to further assist you with your specific need.

How do I force bulbs indoors? You should buy bulbs that are recommended for forcing in September. It takes 16-20 weeks to force a bulb to flower. So if you want Tulips for Christmas plant them in early September. If you want bulbs blooming for Valentine’s Day plant them mid to late October. Plant the bulbs in pots that have a soil mixture of 6 part potting soil, 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite. The bulbs should be placed so the tips of the bulbs are at the soil line or just under. The bulbs should have the flat side facing the side of the pot and the pointed tip up. After planting water the soil in till it just drains out the bottom of the pot. Let the soil drain and then place it in a location that is 35-48 degrees Fahrenheit for 13-16 weeks. After the cooling period, put the pot of bulbs in a sunny location that is 60-65 degrees. They should bloom in 3-4 weeks.

WEED CONTROL

How do I get rid of Crabgrass in my yard? Crabgrass grows from seed every year. It is an annual and dies off every winter. To stop crabgrass in your yard you need to apply a pre emergent herbicide in the Spring to prevent the Crabgrass seeds from germinating. The proper time is before the soil temperatures reach 50 degrees or when the Forsythia is blooming. If you have crabgrass you will have to wait till next year to get rid of it.

How can I keep weeds under control? Once you have weeded your garden you should mulch where possible and apply a pre-emergent herbicide. Mulch covers the soil and smothers weed seeds. Pre-emergent herbicide prevents weed seeds from germinating. Two pre- emergent herbicides we recommend are Corn Gluten (organic) and Preen (Treflan). They only prevent weeds so you must start with a weed free area to begin with. If you have grasses growing where it’s difficult to weed, especially quack grass, you can spray “Poast”. This is an herbicide that only kills grasses. Be careful not to spray your ornamental grasses. Poast takes several applications to be effective and needs to be applied in spring and early summer while grasses are growing and immature.

How do I kill moss growing in my yard? 5 Conditions favor the growth of moss: excess moisture, shade, compacted soil, poor fertility and low pH. To get rid of moss you should thin out trees to increase sunshine, aerate the soil and have a soil test to determine if the pH needs to be raised.

TREE CARE

What is that grey stuff growing on my tree trunks? It is probably lichen. Lichens are not parasitic and do not harm plants. If they are unattractive you can spray with a copper soap. You may have to spray off the dead lichens with a hose.

How do I get rid of tent worms in my trees? Tent worms and most caterpillars are effectively killed by a Spray of Bacillus thurengiensis (American Brand Thuricide) or Spinosad (Monterey Garden Insect Spray). You can also burn the web with a torch if you can reach the web.

ANIMAL CONTROL

I have so many deer eating my plants, what can i do to protect my landscape? Damage to ornamental plants by white-tailed deer has increased during the past decade. This increase is attributed to rising deer populations and human populations moving from rural and suburban home sites. Most research reveals that the best approach to control deer damage is an integrated pest management (IPM) plan, which includes population management, fencing, repellents, or plant management. Planting ornamental plants not favored by deer, will help homeowners to attempt to preserve their landscapes. The product “Green Screen” has proven to be very useful in the ongoing struggle to keep deer out of landscape plantings.

What plants can I use that are deer resistant? The lists below are accumulated from various research projects and trade professionals. This is only a guide as most animals will adapt to the available food sources.

Trees
• Aesculus parviflora / Bottlebrush Buckeye
• Cornus kousa / Chinese Dogwood
• Betula nigra ‘heritage’ / Heritage Birch
• Gleditsia tricanthos / Thornless locust
• Picea abies / Norway Spruce
• Picea Pungens glauca / Colorado Blue Spruce
• Pinus Nigra / Austrian Pine
• Pseuditsuga nebziesii / Douglas Fir
 

Sun Perennials
• Achillea / Yarrow
• Alchemilla / Lady’s Mantle
• Amsonia / Blue Star
• Aquilegia / Columbine
• Dianthus / Dianthus
• Iris
• Lavandula / Lavender
• Monarda/ Beebalm
• Perovskia atriplicifolia / Russian Sage
• Veronica / Speedwell
• Rudbeckia hirta / Black eyed Susan
• Thymus / Thyme

Shade Perennials
• Aquilegia / Columbine
• Chelone glabra / Turtlehead
• Dicentra / Bleeding Heart
• Heuchera
• Lamium / Dead nettle
• Pulmonaria /lungwort
• Tiarella cordifolia / Foam flower
• Ostrich Fern
• Cinnamon Fern
• Christmas Fern

Shrubs
• Berberis / Barberry
• Buxus sp. / Boxwood
• Cotinus coggygria / Smoke Tree
• Forsythia sp / Forsythia
• Ilex spp. / Holly
• Juniper chinensis / Juniper
• Yucca spp. / Yucca
 

Groundcovers
• Ajuga / Bugleweed
• Convallaria / Lilly of the Valley
• Galium odoratum / Sweet Woodruff
• Pachysandra /Japanese Spurge
• Vinca minor / periwinkle

What’s the best way to keep the grass around trees and shrubs evenly cut? You should consider creating a grassless border around them with mulch instead of trimming. The mulch barrier means less stress due to shade, plus it gives you easier access with the mower.

Didn’t find an answer to your question: No problem! Simply ask our experts by sending us your specific question.

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