Keep Control of your Landscape

Filed under Plants by Greenridge Landscaping on .

‘Tis the season. No, not that season. It’s Spring season, and time to make sure your landscape is well-prepared for the coming growth. Mulching and cultivation are great ways to get your green thumb going, with limited pre-emergent weed control helping to ensure your plant beds have only the plants that you want in them.

When it comes to mulching, more isn’t always better. When mulching, you’ll want to apply enough mulch to stagnate weed growth and increase moisture retention, but not so much that you create a barrier to the soil below and possibly affect soil health.  Plant roots and soil both need a constant air exchange to sustain their health.  If plants cannot get this they will root into the mulch itself, leading to damage or death during hard freezes and drought periods that the soil would have otherwise insulated the roots from. Your best bet is to remove layers of mulch from previous years and apply a fresh layer of mulch to ensure you have the greatest control over your mulch applications.  You should look to maintain 2 to 4 inches over your planted areas.  You’ll want to set forth a maintenance schedule for your mulch, as the mulch will slowly decompose and incorporate itself into the soil. Once you’ve set a your schedule in place adding more mulch is all that is needed.  One last, but very important tip with mulching, is to keep mulch off of stems and trunks of woody plants.  The increased moisture can cause the bark on these plants to decompose and die, possibly girdling and killing the plant.

Before you mulch you should consider cultivating your plant beds by turning or lightly tilling them. During Spring season you can see the greatest benefit from cultivation because you’ll be releasing nutrients from the soil just in time for your plants to utilize them.  Incorporating organic matter into the soil profile provides food for the microbes to consume, and their byproducts are the nutrients that plants feed on.  Once you’ve worked to cultivate your soil you’ll be able to go back through your plant beds and mulch with confidence knowing that the mulch bed you put down will be the most effective at stagnating weed growth and retaining moisture.

Pre-emergent weed control involves applying chemicals or other products to keep undesirable weeds from forming over the following seasons. Applying a light amount of pre-emergent weed control on top of your cultivated soil will (hopefully) keep many weed seeds from germinating as seasons progress, limiting the weeds you have to control. Remember to get it applied early, as it will not control weeds that have already germinated and started growing.  An over-time benefit of pre-emergent weed control can be lessening or eliminating the need for other forms of chemical-based weed control.

For more information on mulching, cultivating, and pre-emergent weed control stay tuned to our blog here at greenridgelandscaping.com or give us a call at 618-549-6165 to speak with Bryan, Andy, or Barb about help with your Spring landscaping.