Aug 28, 2020

Outdoor Living

Energize Your Yard: Handy Tips For a Healthy, Happy Yard

Nurture your green thumb to create beautiful, lush outdoor spaces. Learn about location, watering and how much to mulch!

If you’re just developing your green thumb and intend on planting some saplings or cultivating a garden, then it’s wise to get familiar with the basics of tree and garden care. The more you know, the healthier and greener your garden will grow! 

When most of us start to cultivate and shape our yards and gardens in our imaginations, we have visions of head-turning curb appeal, shady storybook spots built for family photoshoots, and green, lush foliage that rivals the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. As romantic as that all sounds, the reality is that gardening takes a lot of patience, some elbow grease, a few bags of mulch, and maybe even some help from Rümi's lawn and garden experts to get your yard in tip-top shape. to get your yard in tip top shape. Your green thumb might one day make your neighbours green with envy. #plantgoals

Location, location, location

Did you know that plants feel stress just like we do? Overcrowded plants can create too much humidity, which can become a breeding ground for disease. One way to avoid stressing out your plants is to space them properly so they can react with their full strength if attacked by disease or pests. Be mindful when creating room for new transplants, and always keep track of your already established plants as they grow and spread. These babies need room to breathe!

If you’re planting a tree, location is key. Make sure you have selected a tree that is meant for your part of the country and pick a spot on your property that gets plenty of sun with enough space available for your tree’s full-grown canopy. And believe it or not, it’s not too late to plant that tree you’ve been wanting to add to your outdoor space. Some trees can still be planted in August and into the fall. Safety first! You’ll also need to check for things like power lines and underground utility wires before you dig. 

One last thing: Don’t plant your sapling too deep in the ground. Doing so will cause the bark at the soil line to deteriorate, which will hurt the tree’s ability to grow the way it should. If you’re planting a larger breed of tree that requires a lot of know-how, Rümi’s professional arborists are trained to give advice on this often-confusing part of the home garden game.  

The right way to water

How you go about watering your garden can make a big difference in its ability to thrive. Yes, watering your plants, flowers, and trees is vital, but know that many tree and plant diseases need water to live and spread just like our beloved vegetation does. 

Two great hydration methods that help prevent overwatering are soaker hoses and drip irrigation. If you’re watering by hand, you need to hold the leaves out of the way while you water the roots. Remember, less is more when it comes to giving your plants a drink. The goal is to feed the roots, not the leaves and flowers. Fungi and other hazards love a waterlogged pot of soil to spread around and multiply in. 

How much to mulch?

Natural mulch, such as wood chips or bark pieces are perfect for protecting roots from dangers like lawnmowers. Mulch also provides much needed insulation for our trees during Alberta’s dry summers and frosty winters, and helps the soil retain moisture. And even more beneficial, Mulch can prevent soil compaction and keep those pesky weeds at bay. Two-to-four inches of mulch will do the job for most plants and trees, but you need to be mindful not to cover the base of the plants or the trunk.

Proper pruning

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice haircut and a little pampering? Take your trees and plants to the day spa by providing a little pruning TLC. A proper trim improves a plant’s structure by removing dead material that may be making it difficult for them to truly thrive. If you’re unsure about what to trim or how much to take off, or you just don’t have the time to play outdoor cosmetologist, we’re ready, willing and able to take over this task and perform your pruning properly. 

Prevention is everything

Is it time for you to schedule an annual checkup with your family doctor? Taking the kids to the pediatrician? Bringing the new puppy to the vet? Why not book an assessment for your trees while you’re at it! Spotting the warning signs of plant disease or the presence of pests can mean the difference between a prize-worthy garden and a suburban wasteland. Our trained arborists can spot red flags like cankers, unwanted holes, off-colour leaves and more. Rümi’s experts can also help you develop a plan of action to keep your trees, shrubs and plants looking and feeling their best for years to come. 

With these handy tips, you too can make your yard the lush oasis you’ve dreamed of (and if you need to call in the cavalry for some of those tougher to tackle tasks, we’re happy to help).