The quest to propagate the native plants in our area is most strongly perpetuated by the Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society (INPAWS) and they have many fantastically helpful pieces on information on their website. They have a nice, long list of the native plants of Indiana which are what we try to mostly work with in our landscaping projects. If you are interested in more native plants of Indiana check out this PDF from their website with the common and Latin names of many popular Indiana natives that are most commonly used in landscaping.
We fertilize your plants at the time of installation and we recommend you hold off fertilizing until the following year. We do offer an Annual Lanscaping Fertilizing service which you can contact us about if you are interested. The soil in Allen County tends to be made of clay and is therefore more alkaline than acidic. Some plants such as Boxwood, Holly, Dogwood, and Serviceberry benefit from an annual application of a soil acidifier plus iron mixture. Let us know if the leaves of your plants are yellowing as this is often a sign of chlorosis and an application of iron will usually improve this condition. There are other causes of yellowing leaves as well.
The most important care to give your newly installed landscape plants is proper watering. Please water your new plants once every 2-3 days for the first month, then at least once a week for the remaining growing season. If you notice the foliage drooping on your plants water immediately, some plants need more water like Daylillies and Hydrangeas. Always water plants at root level rather than on the foliage. Direct your hose or watering wand below the leaves around the base of the plant. Use low water pressure and allow a slow trickle of water about 1/2″ in diameter and use the following guidelines; for watering perennials water about 1 minute, for shrubs water for 1-4 minutes, and for trees water 5-15 minutes.
The best time to water is in the morning before 8:00 a.m. if possible. Do not water to the point of pooling or run off. Avoid getting water on the leaves to prevent leaf scorching during a sunny day and possible diseases from water logged foliage in the evening.
A great resource we have here in Northeast Indiana is the Purdue Extension office. Below are a few tips from Rosie Lerner’s article Gardeners-Start Your Sprinklers, click to read the full article.
“Most gardeners are accustomed to watering flower beds and vegetable gardens. These plants require approximately 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week to maintain healthy flowers, foliage, roots, and fruits. Watering is most critical at pollination and fruit set time for most vegetable crops. Use a mulch where possible to conserve what moisture there is.
“The best way to apply the water is by thoroughly soaking the soil with water in one application. This deep watering will encourage deeper root growth which in turn will be better able to withstand the drought. Frequent shallow watering encourages shallow roots which are more likely to succumb to heat and drying of the top soil. Sandy soil and containerized plants will need more frequent irrigation.
“Watering of landscape and fruit plants should be aimed at where the roots naturally occur. While these woody plants do have some roots that grow very deep, most of the feeder roots that are responsible for water uptake occur in the top 18 inches of top soil. Most of these feeder roots are concentrated below the dripline of the plant and beyond, not up close to the trunk. Allow water to thoroughly soak the target area.
“The ideal time to water is during the early morning hours, ending by 8:00AM. This makes maximum use of water while allowing foliage to dry,” which helps prevent susceptibility to disease.
These are all good tips and information to take in and keep in mind while you’re tending your plants throughout the growing season.