how to care for your lawn

We appreciate the opportunity to work with you on your recent landscape project. Please take a moment to review the required maintenance, as your immediate attention is necessary to insure the survival of your plant material and sod. 


All plants have been watered thoroughly at the time of installation. However, your care is required to re-establish strong root systems on these plants. To accomplish this you must:

Water large balled & burlapped trees by placing a hose running at a slow rate near the base of each tree. Let the water run for approximately 10 minutes or until 15 gallons of water has been applied. Repeat every 7-10 days. For large spaded trees, contact us for further information.

Shrub plantings can be watered by putting a hose running at a medium rate by each plant for approximately 30 seconds. You can also put a lawn sprinkler in the shrub area and water until the soil is wet to a 6-9" depth. Either procedure should be repeated once a week.

Flowers should be watered lightly on a daily basis for a 2-week period after installation and then every 2-3 days.

Important Information
About Watering Rates

All watering rates are given under the assumption that there is little or no natural rainfall. Water requirements are subject to environmental and site conditions. Hot and dry weather may require extra water; cool and moist weather will require less water. Clay soil will require less water; sandy soil more water. Ideally, your landscape should receive 1" of water per week (this includes natural rainfall). You can determine the amount of soil moisture by taking a soil sample at a depth of six inches and squeezing it. If the soil ball holds together when released, but falls apart to the touch, soil moisture is favorable.

Irrigation Systems

Irrigation systems are great labor savers as well as efficient water users. However, we find that all too often the customer believes "more is better". Most of the soil in the Twin City area is clay loam. Therefore, subsurface drainage is very poor and trees can drown easily. Approximately 90% of all our tree replacements are due to over watering.

Generally, most irrigation systems apply approximately 1/2" of water per hour. It is our suggestion that on newly installed sod the irrigation system be run for thirty minutes per zone, twice daily for the first 2 days. Following this period, the system should be reduced to 2 times a day at 20-minute cycles until sod is rooted. One thirty-minute cycle twice weekly should be sufficient for the spring and fall months. More cycles may be necessary during the hot summer months. These rates are for the large gear driven irrigation heads.

Small spray head zones should be run half as long as the gear driven. If rainfall has approached 1/4", the system should be shut off for that day. Be sure to keep the system shut off if rainfall continues.

Your system has been installed with a rain sensor to automatically shut the system down after 1/2" rainfall. They are not foolproof. You should check to verify that it is working.

Maintaining Your Lawn

Fertilizer for your sod was recently applied in the sod field and will remain effective for 30 days. After this time, we recommend that you apply a starter fertilizer. An application of winterizing fertilizer should also be applied in mid to late-October. Newly installed sod can be mowed approximate 10-14 days after installation. Pull up on the sod to verify that it has rooted before initial mowing. Cut back on watering 2-3 days prior to mowing and cut approximately 3 to 3-1/2" in height. No weed control products should be applied the first growing season. Core aeration should be done annually in late September/early October.

General Maintenance

Continue to water, especially during hot and dry weather and also late in the fall to be assured of adequate moisture through the winter months. This is extremely important for evergreens.

Trim off dead or undesirable branches with a sharp pruning shears.Weed all planting beds as soon as weeds appear. It is not uncommon for a few weeds to grow in your planting beds even if a weed barrier has been installed. If you feel the problem is excessive, please contact us for recommendations. Application of a preemergent herbicide such as Preen in spring will help prevent weed growth throughout the summer.

Re-mulch your planting beds as necessary to maintain a 3" layer of mulch which will help retard weed growth, retain moisture, decrease rapid changes in soil temperature and give your landscape a fresh, clean appearance.

A Note About Sensitive
Trees and Shrubs

Some varieties need special attention. Listed below are some trees and shrubs which are very sensitive to over watering:

  • Deciduous Trees

  • Northwoods Maples
  • Sugar Maple
  • Lindens
  • Evergreen Trees

  • Balsam Fir
  • Austrian Pine
  • Norway Pine
  • Shrubs

  • Azaleas
  • Lilacs
  • Roses
  • Rhododendrons
  • Perennials

Observe leaves and stems carefully for insects and/or unusual coloring or disfiguration of leaves. Early recognition of insects and diseases will allow for control before extensive damage occurs.

Do not mow your lawn too short, especially during the summer months. Mowing too short may cause problems. We recommend that you mow newly laid sod at 3-1/2", and then reduce height to 2-3".

Thin barked trees such as maple, locust, flowering crabapples should be wrapped in late September to prevent deer rubs & sun scald. Wrap should be removed in spring.