GroundsKeeper Landscape Care takes a horticulturally sound approach to shrub trimming that is much different than most landscape companies. Simply put, from a horticultural standpoint, shrubs are small trees. Most people would not take shears to their trees and rely on professionals to prune them. We recommend the same approach for your shrubs. Properly caring for your shrubs requires the use of the proper techniques and pruning at the appropriate time of the year. In an effort to balance sound horticultural care and the fact that very few people want a permanent gardener, we strongly recommend the following schedule for shrub pruning.
Visit 1 - Dormant Pruning (Feb to Mar): The majority of shrubs should be structurally pruned during the winter months. This helps minimize infections and will help the shrubs get off to a healthy start in the spring. For most woody plants, this will entail removing approximately 1/3 of its branches. Some shrubs may also be rejuvenated (cut within 6”) of the ground at this time.
Visit 2 – Late Spring Pruning (June): This is the proper time of year to prune many spring flowering shrubs (e.g. lilacs). Heavy pruning at other times of the year may reduce or eliminate flowering for these shrubs. Additionally, by this time the spring flush of growth has occurred and can be trimmed back if desired.
Visit 3 – Optional Fall Pruning (September): From a horticultural standpoint this pruning is not necessary, but for those of you who desire a formal look and/or smaller plant sizes, this trimming will help maintain that look and keep your plants at a reduced size.
Mulch can be applied anytime of the year, provided the ground has warmed to approximately 50°F. We normally use (and recommend) a premium, hardwood mulch that is a high quality mulch and appearance. Normally, we also spread a pre-emergent to help keep the weeds under control.
Benefits of Mulch
Mulching can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your soil and your plants. If you have not considered mulching your garden in the past, you may want to reconsider.
Mulches are a labor saving device for the gardener. A layer of mulch will help prevent the germination of many weed seeds, reducing the need for cultivation or the use of herbicides. Mulches also help moderate the soil temperature and retain moisture during dry weather, reducing the need for watering.
While there are many types of mulch, organic mulches such as wood chips, grass clippings, or other locally available materials help improve the soil by adding organic matter as they decompose. They also may encourage the growth of worms and other beneficial soil organisms that can help improve soil structure and the availability of nutrients for plants.
Mulches also can be used to enhance the look of your garden. Many bark mulches provide uniformly rich brown color that contrasts with the plants. The mulch helps keep plants clean by reducing the splash of soil onto leaves during rainstorms, and helps infiltration of the rainfall into the garden.
We perform aeration services in the spring and fall. Core aeration is still best thing you can do for your lawn (regardless of timing) as it reduces compaction, promotes root growth and reduces compaction related weed problems.
Fertilization & Pest Control
GroundsKeeper offers a full range of fertilization services. We are licensed by the State of Illinois and have Certified Arborists on staff for your tree and shrub needs. However, we believe that fertilizing and chemical applications should be used only when necessary. Many times mechanical practices can be used and we prefer an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach to Pest Control and Fertilization. This results in healthier plants and is more beneficial for the environment. Services include:
We offer cleanup services any time during the year. Most customers have cleanups performed in early spring to prepare their beds for spring growth and in the fall to cleanup leaves and prepare their beds for winter. This service is included with our shrub trimming and mulching services and is not separately required for customers receiving those services.