Springtime Landscaping TLC 2

Protect your investment with 
proper seasonal maintenance

Is your yard ready for spring? Homeowners invest in having beautiful shrubs and plants added to their yard, however maintaining their landscaping is something that is often overlooked.

Chris Crenshaw, owner of Crenshaw Landscaping, LLC, started his company in 1989 providing custom landscaping installation for Nashville, Brentwood, Murfreesboro, Cool Springs, and all of Middle Tennessee.  He shares his advice on both proper maintenance and how you can add beauty to your outdoor living space.

Crenshaw believes proper care of a lawn and plant beds will preserve the health and longevity of your outdoor areas so that you can enjoy them for countless years to come.

Investing in landscaping allows you to enjoy the beauty of your outdoor living space and, in the long run, increases your property value if maintained.

One easy way to prepare your plant beds for spring is by spreading mulch around your shrubs and trees. The purpose of mulch is to keep the sunlight off the soil to prevent weed germination and provide a blanket of protection against moisture loss.

Because of the heat in Middle Tennessee, the soil dries out and it becomes important to have at least two inches of mulch to allow the soil underneath the plants to hold and retain moisture.

Checking your hedges, shrubs and trees’ leaves can tell you if your plants are healthy. New leaf growth indicates healthy plants. If your shrubs or trees are not producing new leaves, or appear to be dead or dying, it’s time to call a professional.

One indicator that a plant is in distress would be the appearance of small black dots. The appearance of these dots could be Azalea Lace bugs. If the dots are appearing on new leaf growth, you need to explore your treatment options.

If you have boxwoods in your yard, May is the time to run your hands over the shrub to look for mosquito-looking boxwood leaf miner adults that lay eggs in the spring’s new leaf growth. As bugs like the protection of the leaves, turn the leaf over and use a hand magnifier of 5x to see them.

Crenshaw emphasizes the importance of early intervention. “Most often when we get the calls is after the plant is too sick to treat. At that point replacement is the only option. Some companies offer tree and shrub-protection spray programs. This might be a good investment.”

If investing in new plants or shrubs for your yard, Crenshaw highly recommends his new favorite, the Abelia “kaleidoscope” or the Hydrangea Annabelle. These plants offer beautiful blooms and rely on new growth in spring.

If you currently have Hydrangea’s in your yard, this is the time of year, especially for the French Hydrangeas, that you need to add ammonia sulfate to maintain the beautiful, blue-blooming color. A Ph average of 7.2 is what Crenshaw and his team consider basic, however Hydrangeas, azaleas and hollies prefer a soil Ph in the 6.5 range.

A beautiful yard is something to be enjoyed. This may be the reason that there has been a growth in outdoor living rooms and living areas as people want to shift their living from inside to outside effortlessly. “Paver patios and seat-height walls, with screening and blooming landscape plants and trees, are the easiest ways to create a new outside room,” says Crenshaw.

By following a few simple tips, and keeping an eye on your yard’s health, you can bask in the beauty of your outdoor living space, all season long.

Chris Crenshaw has his B.S. in Engineering Services from Vanderbilt University. He is the past president of the P.L.A.N.T (Professional Landscape Association of Nashville Tennessee) and is a current member of TNLA (Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association). CrenshawLandscaping.com.