Additional Tips for Newly Installed Plantings

We at Kennedy’s appreciate the opportunity to work with you on your new landscaping.  We are proud of our work and feel sure that you are, too.  Newly installed plantings require extra care until they establish strong root systems.

To insure the survival and success of your new plants:

  • Water trees and shrubs deeply the first day by placing a slow running hose near the base of each plant, saturating the plant hole until thoroughly wet.  Repeat this every two days for one week, then continue one to three times a week depending on the weather.
  • Bed plantings may be watered by hand or by sprinkler to saturate soil 6″ deep (watering in the early morning reduces loss of water to evaporation).  Repeat every two days for one week, then continue one to three times per week depending on the weather.
  • Keep in mind that water requirements are subject to environmental conditions.  Hot and dry weather means extra water; cool and moist weather means less water.  Ideally, your landscape should receive one inch of water per week (this includes natural rain fall).  You can determine the amount of soil moisture by taking a soil sample at a depth of six inches and squeezing a handful of it.  If the soil ball holds together when released but is not sticky, soil moisture is favorable.
  • It’s a good idea to mist all newly planted plants with water a few times per day the first week.  This procedure is especially helpful for transplanted plants.  Misting will help reduce wilting and leaf drop.  Most trees and shrubs wilt and drop a few leaves regardless of care, this is a natural process resulting from transplanting shock and should not result in permanent injury to the plants.
  • Continue watering through the summer and fall.  This is especially important for evergreens.
  • Weed all planting beds as soon as weeds appear.  Allowing weeds to establish will increase their populations as well as making their removal more difficult.
  • Add mulch to your landscape as necessary to maintain a 1 ½” layer of mulch.  This will help retard weeds, retain moisture, decrease rapid changes in soil temperature, and give your landscape a fresh, clean appearance.  Maintaining a well defined edging of bed lines will highlight your landscape further.
  • No need to fertilize new plants in the fall.  Your plants were planted with a slow release fertilizer which will last 8-9 months.  No fertilizer is recommended until the following spring.
  • Observe leaves and stems carefully for insects and/or unusual coloring or disfiguring of leaves.  Early detection of insects and diseases will allow for control before extensive damage occurs.  Immediately consult your designer or our garden center staff with any questions or concerns.
  • Mark beds near driveways that require snow plowing prior to the first snowfall.
  • For more info on watering, click here.

New lawns

  • Newly seeded areas should be kept wet at all times until approximately 1″ of growth is apparent.  At that time, begin to water more deeply and less frequently until grass has been mowed two or three times.  Lawn areas require at least 1″ of water per week to remain in a healthy growing condition.
  • Fertilizer for your sod or seed was applied at installation and will remain effective for 30 days.  A second application of turf fertilizer is strongly recommended after that 30 day period along with watering to encourage maximum development.  No weed killer of any kind should be used for the first 45 days.

Do not hesitate to give us a call with any questions you may have concerning your landscape.  Thank you for your business.

Tips for Specific Landscape Plants

Below is a list of additional care tips for some specific plants. This is only a guide.  If you have questions about the health or well being of your plants, please visit one of the horticulture experts at Kennedy’s.  If it is a potential insect or disease problem, it might be a good idea to cut off a branch of the plant and let the staff at Kennedy’s get a look at a fresh sample.  Or bring in photos.


Grasses and Perennials

Most Grasses and Perennials should be cut back every year almost down to ground level.  The preferred time to do this is in late winter or early April before they begin to grow again.  Many of these plants may have aesthetic value during the late fall and winter.  In addition, many perennials benefit from the foliage and leaves that collect around the plant, which give them added insulation and protection from extreme weather conditions.  If you prefer a cleaner look in winter, you can safely cut these plants down in late fall.  For added insurance, Kennedy’s recommends applying a minimum two inch layer of salt marsh hay around perennials and grasses in the late fall.  This is especially helpful for plants going through the first winter in their new surroundings.


Perennials with Woody Stems

Perennials with woody stems such as Russian Sage and Lavender benefit if you leave at least 1/3 of the woody part of the stem sticking up from the ground.

Broadleaf Evergreens

Plants such as Azaleas, Boxwoods, Rhododendrons, Mt. Laurel, Japanese Holly, and other plants that fit the category of broadleaf evergreens may benefit from extra protection in the winter.  These plants are particularly tender during their first winter in your landscape.  Sunny, windy, exposed situations are the most problematic.  These plants are also more sensitive if they have been planted in the fall.  One form of protection is the use of an anti-desiccant spray.  This type of product is similar to wax and it helps protect plants from losing too much moisture.  The best time to spray is a warm day in December.  Sheltering the plants with burlap is another excellent option.  Some customers do both.

Watch Andromeda (Pieris), Azaleas, and Rhododendrons for lace bugs (loss of color on leaf).  The leaves overall look yellow, but if you look more closely it looks as if someone took a yellow pen and tapped the leaves to give it a spotted appearance.  Lace bugs hide under and attack the under sides of leaves when weather is warm (June thru September).  It is a difficult pest to kill with a bug spray.  Usually it is best to use a systemic insecticide to ensure you get thorough control of this difficult pest.  It may be best to bring a sample into us to diagnose and get a good recommendation.



Since many varieties of Hydrangeas flower off last year’s woody stems, avoid pruning them back.  If pruning is necessary to control size or shape, they can be pruned lightly, immediately after flowering.  See Kennedy’s Hydrangea handout for more information.


Fruit Trees, Birches, and Maples

Monitor Birches, Maples, Roses, Flowering Crabapples, Cherries, Plums, other trees in the fruit family for caterpillars.  Look for holes in the leaves, particularly during early spring.  Spray as needed with an organic bug spray.  Consult with our expert staff for the most current information.

Birches are also susceptible to attack by borers and leaf miners.  Borers pose a serious threat and can kill the tree or at least the trunk or branch that they attack.  Look for little entry holes in the bark of the tree, especially during warm summers or times of stress.  Consult us if you find a problem.  Leaf miners are not as serious, but can become a problem if unchecked.  Look for leaves turning brown in the spring.  With close inspection, you can see the worm inside the leaf eating it from the inside out.  A systemic insecticide may be necessary for either insect.  Consult the experts at Kennedy’s for the most current information.