Plant installation and landscaping services provided by EarthWorks


EarthWorks' grown plant material is zone hardy, soil compatible and acclimated to northern Illinois growing conditions. Growing our own plant material allows us greater control over quality and uniformity of plant material used on our projects. EarthWorks will advise you on proper 'After Planting' care for your newly installed plants, or we can offer ongoing professional plant maintenance. In addition to our nursery division, our landscape installation crews are friendly, well-trained and knowledgable craftsmen with a minimum of 5 years experience and training in such areas as:

Care After Planting Guide

Watering

It is very important for your new plantings to be properly watered during their establishment period. EarthWorks will do the initial watering the day of installation; thereafter, it is the homeowner's responsibility to provide proper and adequate watering to all plants.

Soil types and weather conditions help to determine how frequently and how much watering your plants will need. Never water automatically without first checking the soil to determine if watering is needed. First, pull back any mulch or rock at the base of the plant to check the moisture at the soil's surface. Secondly, check the soil moisture 4 to 8 inches deep at the root zone edges. If you find it is dry or only slightly damp, the plant should be watered. Sandy soils generally will need to be watered more frequently than clay soils, but always check before automatically watering the plant.

Continue monitoring soil moisture around plants even during periods of rain - many rainfalls do not provide sufficient water to meet the newly installed plants' needs. Since roots grow where oxygen and water are most available, short and frequent watering will result in the development of a shallow root system, allowing the plant to suffer greatly in stress situations. Watering deeply, thoroughly, and only as needed will encourage a deep and healthy root system that will be able to withstand environmental stresses.

Fertilizing

Once your plant becomes established, a scheduled fertilizing program may benefit its overall health. Spring and early summer are generally the times of year when plants have their greatest flush of growth and therefore their greatest need for nutrients. Late fall fertilizer applications-once plants have dropped their leaves and are dormant-or spring fertilization will assure nutrient availability when plant growth begins. Never apply nitrogen to plants in the middle of summer unless advised by a professional plantsman. This will promote new growth late in the season that may not harden off before winter, thus causing winter damage. However, phosphorus and potassium could be applied later in the growing season to help the plant acclimate to the upcoming winter. Fertilizer comes in many forms and can be applied through deep root feedings or surface applications. To help prevent root burn, it is always a good idea to water plants both before and after fertilizing when soil conditions are dry. EarthWorks can help you find the product best suited to your needs and instruct you on proper use to fit your particular landscape plantings.

In problem situations, a soil test to determine your soil type, pH, and nutrient levels is tremendously helpful. This can help you to identify and treat specific problems affecting the health of your plants rather than guessing at what it may be. For information on soil testing, please refer to one of the following:

  • Rock Island County Farm Bureau: (309) 736-7432
  • Scott County Extension Service: (563) 359-7577

Pruning

Proper maintenance pruning at the right time of year is very important to the plant's vigor. Maintenance pruning is needed to help maintain the health of aging plants, as well as assist young plants establish a strong form. Pruning should be done to enhance the health and natural form of the plant rather than to try to alter it. Occasionally check your plants for damaged branches and prune away those that are broken or crossing and rubbing with others. Cuts should be made so that the branch collar is left intact but no stub is left behind. EarthWorks will be able to properly instruct you on pruning techniques. Although winter is the best time of year to see branches for pruning, thus making it a desirable time to prune, a good rule to follow is prune all flowering shrubs within two weeks after blooming and trim evergreens once the new growth has hardened off. EarthWorks offers a customized plant care program to all landscape clients who desire professional plant maintenance.

EarthWorks' grown plant material is zone hardy, soil compatible and acclimated to northern Illinois growing conditions. Growing our own plant material allows us greater control over quality and uniformity of plant material used on our projects. EarthWorks will advise you on proper 'After Planting' care for your newly installed plants, or we can offer ongoing professional plant maintenance.

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