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Fall Plantings, Successful Care

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Water

New plantings need at least 1” of water every week. If less than 1” of rain has fallen in 5 – 7 days, water the plants, or they may not survive. In general, ten gallons of water applied twice a week will wet a 20” – 24” root ball and provide the equivalent of 1” of rainfall.

Create a raised lip of soil around the planting hole to retain water.

Create a raised lip of soil around the planting hole to retain water.

Maintain weekly watering until the ground freezes ‐ even after the leaves drop from deciduous plants.

Mulch

Spread 2”‐ 4” mulch evenly over the planting area to conserve moisture, suppress weeds and to encourage healthy root growth. Use wood chips, shredded bark, straw, salt marsh hay, pine needles, leaf mold, or compost.

Mulch must not touch the trunk or base of the plant!

 

Mulch must not touch the trunk or base of the plant!

Protect New Plantings

Protect the plants from voles, rabbits and deer. Install wire cages around the trunk, lower stems, or entire plant. Use hardware cloth, screen or plastic tree guards for rodent protection. Remove the tree guards in the spring to prevent moisture and insect damage! Discourage rodents by keeping the grass mowed.

Wire deer cages must be at least 6’ – 7’ tall to prevent deer damage.

Fertilize in the Spring

To prevent new growth, susceptible to winter damage, do not fertilize in the fall. Plan to fertilize in the spring with a slowrelease or organic form of nitrogen.

Water Next Year

Continue to water new plantings at least every two weeks during the following summer season, or during dry spells.

Resources

http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/
www.massflowergrowers.com
http://ag.umass.edu/resources/home-lawn-garden

Topics: 
Home Lawn & Garden
Home Lawn and Garden topics: 
Trees & Shrubs