Frequently Asked Questions
On this page you will find answers to many frequently asked questions as well as some helpful guidelines to follow for the care of your landscape.
Care of New Plants
New plantings should be watered once a week for the first four weeks. These plants should be watered by hand, with a ROSS ROOT FEEDER. Large plants such as trees and ornamentals will require approx. ½ hour of water, while smaller shrubs may only require 5-10 minutes per plant.
Care Of New Sod
The most important thing you can do is water, water, water! Your new lawn should be kept saturated for the first two weeks. During this time, do not walk on it! The ground will be very soft and you will sink in the mud and leave big footprints. After 10 days, check to see if the sod has taken root by tugging up on it. If it has taken hold, turn off water, allow turf to dry for a day or two and then cut it at the highest mower setting using sharp blades. Always bag clippings at this time.
Care Of New Seed
Newly seeded areas should be kept evenly moist, but not flooded, for the first two weeks to ensure proper germination. During this time, activity on the lawn should be minimal. After the seed has reached 3-4″ it can be cut.
Proper Lawn Irrigation
The normal residential lawn will require 2″ of water per week. If you don’t know how long it takes to generate 2″ of water, take a coffee can, graduated to 2″, and set it on the lawn. Mark the time you began watering and the time at which 2″ of water is collected. If you have an irrigation system, you should follow these guidelines:
- Water ONCE per week
- Mist-type heads should run for ½ hour per section
- Rotary-heads should run for 1 hour per section
If you ever have questions regarding your watering, please contact us. There are many problems that are associated with over-watering your landscape and they can be very difficult and expensive to eradicate.
Care Of Annual Flowers
Annual flowers should be watered in the early morning or early evening, never in the heat of the day. Never in the heat of the day. Flowers may or may not require water everyday. It is important to check the soil before watering either with your finger or a moisture tester. Annual flowers also require regular fertilizing. The easiest way to feed flowers is with a hose-end spray jug with Miracle-Gro or Peter’s. Flowers can be fed as frequently as once-per-week.
These items are general guidelines to follow. Plants of all varieties from your lawn to your trees are living, growing things and require the same time and attention that people do. All things will react differently depending on where they are in the landscape, soil type, watering habits, insects, etc. If there are ever any questions or concerns, we will be more than happy to walk your property with you and evaluate your specific site and any problems there may be.
Care and Maintenance
New Sod: Your new sod needs to be kept wet everyday for the next 2 weeks. During this time, do not walk on the lawn! It will be mushy and you will leave footprints. If you must walk on it, use a board to distribute your weight. After the sod has rooted, (if you pull it up and it does not lift) allow the lawn to dry so it can be cut for the first time. The first cutting should be done with a sharp blade, at the mowers highest setting at about half to three-quarters speed. Always bag clippings for first 2-3 cuttings. Each week, you can lower the cutting height until you are cutting at 3” during the summer months. The lawn should be fertilized every 6-8 weeks and you should water the lawn once per week. For more detailed watering instructions, please refer to our FAQ page.
New plants: We watered all new plants upon installation. All new plants should be watered by hand with a hose-attached water wand. Larger plants should be watered with a ROSS Root-Feeder. This is a probe that goes into the rootball of the plant. It is your responsibility to water plants once per week for the first 4-5 weeks. Please note: Some plants will wilt, some plants will lose leaves, and some plants will show fall color. These are normal signs of adjustment. Do not assume plants need water if you see any of these signs. ALWAYS check the soil around the plants BEFORE watering! If the soil is wet, do not water! This may require you to move the mulch and poke a finger in the ground.
New seed: Please keep evenly moist. This will insure proper germination. If the seed is always allowed to dry out, it will take a lot longer to germinate. If kept evenly moist, you will begin to see germination in approximately 2 weeks. Try to keep activity on areas at a minimum and do not cut until seed is 3-4” in height. Do not apply any weed control until lawn has been cut at least three times.
Your lawn should be watered ONCE PER WEEK! The pop-up mist heads should be set to run for 30 minutes.
The rotary heads should run for 1 hour. These are per section times. The system should turn on so that the last section is done watering by 8:00 am. This means that you add the number of zones and the times for each zone and work backwards from 8:00am. to calculate the start time. The zones that run in your plant beds should be
TURNED OFF. (Unless they are newer plants, then consult your plant installer). The only time your plants should be watered is if they appear wilted in the early morning or later in the evening. Most plants will wilt in the heat of the day to conserve energy.
Annual Flower Care
Following are some basic, easy recommendations that, if followed, will enhance your annual flower display for the entire season.
Watering your flowers will be necessary as the season progresses. We recommend checking the condition of your flowers early in the day or late in the day. Do not evaluate watering requirements in the heat of the day. Flowers that are planted in the ground may require water every few days, sometimes more frequently. Flowers that are in pots may require water daily, especially clay pots because they tend to dry out faster.
We recommend fertilizing your annual flowers as frequently as once a week for the first four weeks and then go to once every other week. The easiest way to fertilize the flowers is with a jug type sprayer that can be attached directly to your garden hose. MIRACLEGRO is a wonderful product to use. It is usually possible to buy a large box of the product that comes in pre-measured packets that empty right into the sprayer. There is no mixing or measuring and the box will usually last the entire season. These supplies are readily available at hardware stores and home centers, as well as garden centers.
How do I incorporate my personal style and taste into my landscape design?
Our landscape design team works closely with you to integrate your preferences into your new landscape. We aim to match your style to bring your vision to life.
Can a landscape designer help with plant selection and installation?
Plants are a vital element to a successful landscaping project. We will help you choose the most appropriate plants for your area and your desired overall look. We source all of our plant material from wholesale growers in Northeastern Illinois ensuring quality and performance for our region. All of our materials are purchased per contract. We will only install materials that we purchase and we provide a full one-year guarantee from the date of installation.
Can a landscape designer handle all aspects of my outdoor project, including hardscaping and planting?
We are a full-service landscape company, providing our customers with design and installation for all features, including hardscaping and plants. We also design low-voltage lighting systems to enhance your landscape.
Can a landscape designer incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly features into my design?
Sustainable and eco-friendly features are in high demand for landscaping projects. Let our designer know you want to follow these principles, and we’ll help you choose the ideal plants.
How long does it typically take to complete a landscape design project?
The initial consultation and design process can take 2-3 weeks on average and will provide the client with a full design, plant palette and written proposal. The project itself can take anywhere from one day up to several weeks depending on the overall scope of the project.
What Sets Us Apart?
- 60+ Years of Experience
- We Provide Free Estimates
- Unilock Authorized Contractor
- Family Run Business Founded in 1955
- Member of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association