Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch, such as Master Nursery’s ‘Forest Bark’ or ‘Mini Bark’. This will keep the roots cool and lessen watering needs. Keep the mulch 4 inches away from the trunk of the plant to prevent possible crown and/or root rot. Mulching beds, borders, and/or large open areas will also help to conserve water, reduce weeds, and beautify.
Since we live in a Mediterranean climate, watering needs to be done on a regular basis during our long dry season. Ideally, each plant should be watered slowly and deeply. This encourages proper rooting and will lead to strong root growth. Check the moisture level in the soil before watering. Do not water until the top 2-3 inches (1/2-1 inch for a #1 or 4 inch sized plant) of the root ball is dry. Please be aware that the watering needs of new additions to an established landscape will be different. Do not adjust the entire garden’s watering system for the new plant(s) but rather check the new plants daily to be sure they are receiving the appropriate amount of water. It usually takes 6-8 weeks for a new plant to become established enough for it to survive on the watering regime of the rest of the garden.
After the plant is established and is beginning to grow in its garden location, fertilize with a product such as Master Nursery’s ‘Formula 49’ or E.B. Stone’s Organic ‘All Purpose Plant Food’. Feed in early spring and again in mid-summer. Do not fertilize after the middle of August as this may cause a new flush of growth and inhibit the plant’s ability to enter dormancy. In alkaline soils, apply an application of ‘F.S.T.’ at the time of planting. Additional applications may be needed if the plant does not respond to fertilizer applications.