WHY MAINTENANCE IS CRITICAL
Maintenance for anything, whether it's your garden, home or a community space is critical to the health and effect on the environment. For each area, maintenance is different. It can include a fresh layer of paint for an older building, or just some weeding of a community garden. No matter what, maintaining a space can increase community aesthetic appeal, as well as provide citizens the chance to truly engage the place in which they live and the people with whom they share it.
If you are starting a garden from scratch, using native plants can prove very successful since they are already acclimated to the atmosphere of your garden, thus lowering maintenance. For pest issues, shrubs and trees should be planted around the garden to attract birds that will eat these insects. In addition, ladybugs and green lacewings can be bought from garden supply stores which will also help to fight destructive insects from destroying the garden. Active maintenance of flowers includes pruning, pinching and deadheading. Through using organic mulch and frequent weeding, garden maintenance not only keeps the garden looking its best, but maintains the health and longevity of the plants.
Trees are one of the world’s most valuable natural assets.
They produce oxygen, without which the living planet cannot exist. They provide unparalleled building materials. And, they have great character and eye appeal throughout the seasons. When it comes to tree maintenance, here are some key factors to keep in mind:
- Water. Check soil moisture a few inches below the surface in the root ball.
- Mulch. Layer 3 to 4 inches above the ground around the tree but not touching the tree trunk. The area should be four times the area of the root ball. Do not use treated or dyed mulch.
- Prune only if necessary. See the “Tree Preservation” section for more details.
- Stake only if necessary, early in the trees life.
- Check for mower/weed whip damage, vandal damage and animal damage regularly.
- Check for any insect or disease problems on the tree and surrounding trees. Contact a forester or arborist if a problem exists.
- Do not fertilize. Fertilizer applied especially to newly transplanted trees can excessively dry roots (burning).
- Remove all tags and twine from the tree to prevent girdling.