The more you reduce stresses in your landscape, the healthier it will be, and at the lowest cost.
There is a balancing act going on in your landscape: vigorous life; and death, that recycles nutrients and organic matter for the benefit of the living plants.
Only the healthiest plants are “allowed” to live. Others are wiped out by insects and diseases. Of course, we work to commute this death sentence u sing nutrient supplementation and medicines, and supplying water as needed. Nature also provides systems to keep balance so insects and diseases don’t become unintended killers.
There are many things to consider in achieving as stress free an environment as possible, given the vagaries of weather conditions and imported pests which h ave no local enemies to keep them in check. Here are the first three.
First, learn how to provide water properly to each area of your landscape. It will take some patience and experimentation on your part, but well worth the effort!
Second, provide mulch to all shrubbery beds, and around trees (which will protect them from injury). Three inches of mulch will conserve moisture, provide organic matter and some nutrients, and will directly con tribute to keeping leaves healthier.
Third, provide periodic insect control. This will help limit damage and avoid more serious infestation s. Keep in mind that hot, dry weather increases insect activity.
We don’t know who ordered this study, but Dr. Cranshaw from Colorado State University found out that slugs prefer fresh beer (to drown in). Their first choice was Budweiser, followed by Michelob and Bud Light. Thanks to Dr. Cranshaw, now you can choose your “weapon” smartly.