6 Essential Shrub Care Tips for Your Home Garden this Monsoon!
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
Whenever we decide to have a home garden, we usually have a lot of thinking to do. For instance; which tree to plant and how to trim them? When to mow the grass and how often to do that? And many more questions.
A landscape is majorly framed by trees and shrubs. Their beauty, size, shape, foliage and flowers are some of the most important elements which create an inviting and welcoming space to reside and play.
A landscape consists of a countless number of shrubs. They vary in size from smaller forms to the larger tree-like varieties. In these, some are evergreen shrubs whereas some are deciduous shrubs. While some of these pointers are easy to decode, the factor which confuses us is about the maintenance of shrubs. Since, shrubs enhance the look of our garden and provide shade, it is crucial that we pay special attention while maintaining them, which is why it’s important to arm ourselves with proper shrub care tips to increase the life of such home gardens.
Also Read: Indoor Plant Care: Tips You Must Know!
Shrub Care: Ways to Maintain Your Shrubs
01. Planting Shrubs
The first tip that we would mention is planting of shrubs. For that, you will have to do a bit of research to find a shrub that is going to survive the climatic conditions of your area. For this purpose, visit a local garden shop and go through the various shrubs available. You might have to choose if the shrub needs sun or shade, whether they can survive in moist or dry weather and the time period of its maturity.
Before planting the shrub, dig a hole after you decide where you want to plant it. Give it enough space to grow and ensure that it is not planted near your door or close to the house. The soil in the hole should be spread evenly and its width should be twice than that of the shrub. Fill this hole with soil which you have dug out with firm hands and make a strong base for the shrub. You can use mulch, compost etc. to ensure that there is a minimal water runoff. Now, make a circle with the material and water the area using a muzzle on a regular basis.
02. Pruning Shrubs
By pruning the shrubs regularly you ensure that their shape and size is perfectly maintained. There are numerous tools to achieve this purpose and you can consider a few are hand shears, hedge shears or loppers. Choice of your tool would depend on the size of the area to be pruned and the type of shrub.
The best time to prune the shrubs is in spring, when they are preparing to leaf out. Use your tools to trim out the stems or any branches which are going haywire. Cut all the dead stems until you start seeing the fresh one coming out.
However, if you have a flowering shrub like lilac, you may have to wait to prune it. Do not do that until it fully blooms. Pruning after blooming, allows the new flowers to quickly bloom out. On the other hand, hydrangeas need to be shaped and cleaned in the early spring for better growth. Deciduous or evergreen shrubs should be pruned in summer, and also the mature rose shrubs, that are almost two to three years old.
03. Watering the Shrub
Next crucial factor that needs to be taken care is how to water your shrubs? If it is the first season of shrubs in your garden, water them throughout the week until it starts raining. After watering, lay the nozzle down in low speed and allow the water to trickle through the roots.
You can easily set a timer of 5-10 minutes to ensure that only the appropriate amount of water goes in. By deep watering, the roots are able to grow in a better manner. In case, your shrubs are arranged in a hedge format you can use a sprinkler to water only a particular area. For sandy soil, you will have to water frequently and in case of clayey soil, you can take gaps in between.
You should not provide new shrubs with fertilizers, as doing so can hamper the growth of shrubs. Mulch the soil using compost as it can help retain the moisture and provide enough nutrition to the soil. If your shrub has been there for some time, still you must be sensible about using fertilizers. You can also add a layer of mulch or compost around them and prune them to remove any damaged stems they might be having. If you still do not see the results, use fertilizer but, do it as per the instructions mentioned on the sachet.
05. Cold Weather Shrub Care
Normally in winters, your shrubs may have to face the brunt of bad weather. Hence, it is important that you ensure that they are taken care of, before the weather starts worsening. You must lay down mulch before time as that provides warmth to the roots. If the weather tends to become extremely cold at your location you can use burlap covers to protect them. But for evergreen shrubs, this may not be required. Keep watering your shrubs until autumn and before the frost starts.
Finally, we will talk about something that has been an integral part of all the points mentioned above. According to ‘Alex X. Niemiera’ (Professor of School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech), states that 2 to 3 inch deep mulching around the shrub should be enough to keep the weeds away and control the moisture and nutrition required. Look for organic mulches, like shredded or chipped bark as they are much more effective in doing this job.
However, be careful about the amount of mulch you put against the roots. Too much of mulch or making a mulch volcano may cause rotting of roots and further problems may ensue. Mulch placement takes care of the equipment’s like lawn mower etc. who stays away from the base of the shrub.
Ultimately, your garden is probably like your baby and you would not leave any stone unturned to see that its beauty is maintained. Shrubs in your garden are an element that you can use to increase the beauty of the garden. However, not maintaining them in a better and systematic manner can damage your shrubs permanently. By following these above shrub care tips, you can ensure that the shrubs stay nourished and green for a longer period of time. When the same happens, you won’t have to worry much, as the efforts you have put in would take care of that for a long time, then it’s quality will remain intact.
Garima Bais – I am a blogger writing on topics like parenting, love, life, beauty and travel. Belonging to a country with a deep heritage India I am an eternal optimist and believe that whatever life gives to you should be taken with gratitude. Do let me know your take on my articles in the form of comments.