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Care Instructions


Proper care of your new plantings is crucial to ensuring their health and long life.  Please refer to these guidelines:

  1. Water- A few long and deep waterings weekly are much better than frequent light waterings.  To check if watering is needed, remove some mulch from around the new plant- the soil should be damp, but not muddy or crumbling and dry.  Allow the soil time to drain between watering- this promotes air penetration into the soil which is key for root development.

  2. During summer months,  new plantings should be watered four times weekly, but less during cooler or wet weeks.  Ten-foot trees need approximately 15- 20 gallons, shrubs need approximately 3-7 gallons, and smaller plantings approximately 0.5-2 gallons per watering.  Watering needs to be monitored closely and tailored to each plant.

  3. Mulch- helps to moderate fluctuations in temperature and moisture. A layer of 1-2” of double ground bark mulch should be maintained on your plantings.  This will also suppress weed growth.  Mulch decomposes with time adding organic matter to your soil.  Mulch helps with water and air penetration in the roots of your plants.

  4. Pruning- determines the shape and habit of your woody plant material.  Deadwood should be removed whenever present.  Contact us for expert pruning of live growth to maintain shape and habit and to ensure that pruning is done at the proper time of year for your plant.

  5. Fertilizer- helps supplement nutrients not available in your native soil.  Contact us to determine and apply appropriate fertilizer blends at the right time of year for your plants.



  • All newly planted material; trees, shrubs, and flowers should be watered at least four times a week.

  • If a lack of rain or drought conditions exists, water them even more.

  • Do not rely solely on rainfall.

  • Do not water when the temperature is freezing!!


  • Water trees and plants from ground level at the base of the plant.

  • Water in the early morning before the sun becomes strong (before 9:00am or later in the evening. (After 8:00 pm)

  • For individual plants where sprinklers or soaker hoses do not apply, remove the nozzle from the end of the hose and water for 60 seconds, with the water turned down to ¾ flow (to prevent blasting away the soil and mulch) each day.

  • Use a soaker hose or drip-lines in newly established beds or rows of evergreens trees or shrubs. These hoses are efficient water savers and will cut down on your time in the garden. Also, now available at most Home Depot stores, digital automatic timers, which you can just set and forget!

Fertilization: Fertilizing is done after the plant has been installed for 6 to 12 months. An excessive amount of a complete fertilizer can cause serious injury and may result in the death of the plant. Leave fertilization to JHL or consult before applying.

Our Recommendation: Fertilize annually! Plant fertilization is extremely important in maintaining a healthy landscape. JHL can put together an annual program.




  • Proper watering is essential to the establishment (rooting) of your new sod. It is nearly impossible to over-water new sod!

  • As a general rule, keep sod and soil moist all throughout the day. As much as 2 to 6 sprinklings during the day (morning and afternoon) are required until sod begins to root. Adjust for location, sprinklers, and temperature.

  • Stay off new sod until after the first mowing.

  • Try cutting back the frequency of waterings just before the first mow to firm up the soil.          

  • The first mow is approximately 14 days after installation except in winter which will require a longer time before the first mow.

  • Mowing high is least stressful to the new sod. Never mow off more than one-third of the grass blade.


  • Re-adjust your watering clock or timer. Reduce the frequency of waterings gradually after each mowing, while increasing minutes per watering.

  • Deeper, less frequent soakings will help roots grow down deeper and establish more quickly into the soil. Pull or tug on turf to check rooting.

  • Fertilize your new sod lawn at one month to continue encouraging rooting and establishment.


  • Sod not rooting? - Most sod varieties will begin to root within 10 to 14 days. Check the watering schedule and adjust to deeper, less frequent soaking. Excessive shade will slow down rooting.   

  • Bluish-grey spots on lawn or footprints show after being walked on - Drought-stressed spots in the lawn. Try increasing minutes per watering and check or adjust sprinkler coverage. 

  • Mushrooms? - Temporary nuisance, usually growing in compost mixed into the soil at preparation. As irrigation gets deeper and less often, mushrooms will usually dry up and wither away.

  • Edges turning brown and/or gaps between rolls? - Sod is shrinking or has pulled up at the corners. This is due to a lack of irrigation. Increase minutes per watering and frequency to minimize gaps. Also, hand watering sod will help shrink gaps. Press down edges with your foot after watering.

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