Trees are an essential part of your home’s curb appeal and one of the most expensive investments in your landscape. Organic gardening techniques and maintenance can ensure that your investment stays healthy and anchors your organic garden for many years to come.
First, as always, ensure that the tree you choose is right for your region. Native trees or trees that have adapted well would be the best choice. Also check with your local nursery on the expected size and maintenance needed for the tree you want to plant. You don’t want to plant a tree that will need to be removed someday because it grows too big and becomes a hazard to your home or your foundation. Additionally, you don’t want to choose a tree that requires more water than your region and area can easily provide.
The most common mistake with trees comes next – planting the tree. Most trees are planted too deeply and this causes the roots to girdle around the base of the tree and eventually become diseased and die. You want to ensure that the flare at the base of the tree is visible just above the soil line. If the tree trunk goes straight into the soil, you’ve planted your tree too deeply.
So you’ve finished planted the tree and now you want to ring it with pretty plants. No problem – just give the tree at least 18 inches between the tree trunk and the plant’s roots to ensure healthy trees and plants.
Tree care and maintenance is still needed as trees mature. Aeration of the soil and the grass around the tree helps the lawn and the trees. Adding Horticultural Cornmeal to the soil throughout the growing season keeps the tree healthy and looking good even in the hottest days of the year.
Your exposed tree flare can also become covered up over time with mulch, ground cover or soil added after planting. Check the base of your trees at the beginning of the growing season, later in summer and then at the start of fall to ensure the flare is exposed. You can move the soil by hand and cut back encroaching ground cover as needed.
Seaweed foliar spray can help minimize the impact of rust on the leaves, spider mites or other diseases but these only show up in trees that are stressed so it usually a symptom of a systemic issue that can be resolved by reviewing these steps and getting back to the basics of tree care in your organic garden.
Susan LaRocca has experience in landscaping and organic gardening in the Dallas, Texas area. Learn more about organic gardening by visiting her blog http://organicgardenerviewsnews.blogspot.com/
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