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10 Tips for Healthy Shrubs & Vines

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Posted in Spring, Summer, Trees & Shrubs

10 Tips for Healthy Shrubs & Vines

At Country Basket Garden Centre in Niagara, we’re committed to your gardening success. We're there for you when you purchase your plants, and we'll be there for you in the garden too. That’s why we stand behind our shrubs, trees and climbing vines with our warranty.

We want you to be successful with the plants your purchase from us, so we’ve created this list of our Top 10 Tips for Healthy Shrubs & Vines to keep your Niagara garden looking beautiful!

  1. Plant your new shrub as soon as possible. If it cannot be planted right away, keep it in a shaded area and water it every day. 
  2. When choosing a spot for your new shrub, keep its mature size and light requirements (sun or shade) in mind.
  3. Dig a hole that is twice as large as your shrub's container, and loosen the surrounding soil, including that at the bottom of the hole. Add approximately 2” of a ½ and ½ mixture of the existing soil with topsoil, a triple mix garden blend or garden compost to the bottom of the hole.
  4. Water your shrub in the pot before taking it out. If the roots are overgrown or pot bound, carefully cut the side of the pot and peel off, without damaging the roots.
  5. Once it's out of the pot, let your shrub sit in a pail of water for about 5-10 minutes. Do not disturb the roots.
  6. Place your shrub in the hole so the top of the root ball is on level with, or slightly above, the surrounding soil level. Compact the soil around your shrub, leaving a depression around the trunk for water. Water thoroughly after planting.
  7. After it's first planted, the roots of your new shrub are in a ball or in the shape of the container. This mean they won't be able to draw water from deep in the soil yet. Your newly planted shrub should be watered frequently at this stage. The amount of watering depends on the weather conditions, type of soil, and the variety of your shrub. Make sure that the soil at the base of the plant is moist and not saturated or dried out. It can take 30 days or more for your shrub to become established and to grow stronger roots. You should pay close attention to the watering needs of your new shrub for the remainder of the season.
  8. Add organic mulch, such as shredded, disease-free leaves, garden compost or bark chips, to a depth of 3-4” a few centimetres from the trunk. This will help the soil to retain moisture.
  9. Apply fertilizer to your new shrub. An easy way to fertilize shrub beds is to broadcast dry fertilizer over the surface of the soil and then water the area thoroughly. You can also use slow-release granular and coated fertilizers for shrubs. During July and August, don't apply high rates of nitrogen (the first number in fertilizer). This may stimulate leaf growth & new branches that will not harden-off properly, resulting in winter injury. Spring is the best time to fertilize shrubs, just before the shoot buds open.
  10. Before the ground freezes, or up until mid-November soak the soil around the shrub thoroughly. Watering at this time of year ensures your shrub will not dehydrate over the winter. Shrubs need water even in the winter. This is especially true for conifers and broad leaf evergreens, such as rhododendrons and azaleas. 

Looking for more information about caring for your shrubs? Come visit the Country Basket Garden Centre today and our team will help you with the tools, information and advice you need!

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