Landscape Design Tips & Tricks

We pride ourselves in helping customers achieve their landscaping dreams. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have any questions for our team, please email us at

Q. What’s the best way to plant trees and shrubs?

A. First, dig your hole no deeper than the root ball and about twice as wide. Gently remove the plant from the container and gently massage the outer roots, being careful not to tear too many roots. Place the root ball in the hole and backfill it with loose soil. It helps to add soil amendment such as compost or manure at this point. Firmly pack the soil around the roots, apply mulch, starter fertilizer and water thoroughly. For balled and burlapped trees, always cut all ropes and pull the burlap and mulch away from the trunk.

Q. When should I water my plants?

A. Most new plantings require the equivalent of one inch of water once a week. It is always better to do a few deep waterings rather than daily light waterings. Avoid watering in the evening to help prevent fungus problems. New plantings may need more than weekly waterings during especially hot periods. If in doubt, put your finger in the ground. If it feels moist, you can probably wait another day to water.

Q. How can I protect my evergreens from winter damage?

A. We recommend spraying hollies, azaleas, boxwoods, and other broad leafed evergreens with an “anti-dessicant” such as “Wilt-Pruf” in the fall. This milky-looking substance dries to a shiny clear coating that seals in moisture, helping to prevent winter dehydration. It is also great on Christmas trees and wreaths to keep them fresher longer.

Q. Deer are eating my plants! What can I do?

A. We recommend Fertilome’s “This One Works”. It contains a bitter taste that deer hate, along with latex to help it stick to leaf surfaces. Treatments should last 6 to 8 weeks.

Q. When is the best time to plant?

A. Generally, most plants can be planted anytime of year. Fall is an excellent time to plant (when most plants are dormant). Groundcovers and small perennials should be planted in Spring.

Q. How do I control weeds in my landscape beds?

A. Weeds can be tamed chemically by using “pre-emergents” and “post-emergents”. Pre-emergents such as “Treflan” are applied in early spring. They prevent weed seeds from sprouting, but don’t hurt existing plants (a special pre-emergent is applied to groundcovers). Post-emergents such as “Round-up” and “Finale” kill existing weeds, roots and all. Ask our garden center professionals more about this back-saving chemicals!

Q. How do I handle my live Christmas tree?

A. Dig your hole in advance, before the ground freezes. Acclimate your tree to the house by “staging” it in a cool place such as a garage for a day or two before bringing it in the house. Always handle your tree by the root ball, not by the trunk. Place the tree in a bucket of moist mulch or newspaper — never underwater. Keep it in the house for no more than 10 days. Avoid warm areas such as fireplaces or heat ducts. On the way back outside, once again “stage” the tree for a day or two in the garage to prevent shock from sudden temperature changes. Plant the tree using regular planting practices.