Mahoney's Garden Center | Feature
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A MUST READ: Watering Wisdom

When we talk about the importance of newly planted trees and shrubs becoming “established” in the garden, we are referring to the development of a healthy root system. This root system is the basis for the plant’s top growth and long term health. And water is the key ingredient in developing that root system.  For the first two years of its life in your garden, the tree and its roots are particularly sensitive to water deficits. As the tree matures, its roots reach deeper into the ground and are able to tap water sources there. 

New shrubs and trees will require supplemental watering throughout the first growing season, right up to the onset of winter, and again in the second growing season. Water needs to be applied in the form of a gentle and deep soaking, down to the bottom and around the entire circumference of the root ball. Importantly, plants will require this watering at least once a week, and oftentimes twice a week in order to prevent any part of the root system from drying out.  

How much water a plant needs depends on its size. A small shrub will need 2-3 gallons of water each time it is watered. A larger shrub, 3-5 gallons. A small tree will need 5-8 gallons.  Mid-sized and larger trees, correspondingly more.   

 

Water can be delivered in several different ways: 

  • A garden hose turned on at a slow trickle and set near the base of the tree or shrub should be moved around the tree so that the circumference is equally watered.  
  • If you enjoy the peace and quiet of the garden, holding a watering wand attached to the end of a hose is a pleasant and effective way to water plant material. Allow the water to form a large puddle under the first tree or shrub. Move to a second tree or shrub and form a puddle there. As you are working with the second tree or shrub, the first puddle will be soaking into the soil. Move back and forth between these trees and shrubs 3 or 4 times to ensure a deep soaking.  
  • Soaker hoses can be placed around the base of trees and shrubs in concentric circles to cover the root mass circumference, or wound in a serpentine pattern up and down a row of newly planted trees and shrubs. They can be set on a timer and left to run for several hours depending on the size of the plant material. 
  • Traditional sprinkler systems are intended for watering lawns or beds with annuals and perennials. They are not the best way to water new trees and shrubs because they do not allow for sufficiently deep watering. It is recommended that you supplement with any of the methods described above. It is worth noting that systems are available that utilize special drip lines and emitters that allow for longer watering cycles. 

 

Two watering strategies that will not serve your plants well: 

  • Watering frequently but lightly does not benefit the tree or shrub as it encourages root development at the surface, making the roots particularly vulnerable to drying out in times of water deficit.  
  • Keeping a plant in soaking wet conditions day after day will deplete the oxygen in the soil, not a good thing for any life form! Hence the need for deep watering followed by a period in which the soil is allowed to dry out.  

New England experienced drought conditions in 2015 and 2016. The spring rains of 2017 were certainly welcome and while the official drought designation has been lifted, our trees and shrubs, even established ones, may still be feeling the effects of the drought. Parts of their root systems may have died back and it can take some time for the effect of that to be seen in the top growth. By providing supplemental watering we can encourage new root growth and mitigate the long-term drought damage. 

Even as night time temperatures cool and the grass is moist with dew in the morning, it is important to keep up your program of supplemental watering.  Scientific data indicates that plants need one inch of rainfall per week throughout their lifetime. While we can hope for a soaking rain every week, it is not something we can rely on, so it falls to us to be good stewards of our landscapes. 

What’s In Store: September 15, 2017

We’re filled to the brim with fall color! Mums, asters, ornamental cabbage, kale, and many late-blooming perennials are now in to refresh your window boxes and patio planters. It’s the best time to shop our incredible selection of Spring flowering bulbs too! Plant now and enjoy in the Spring- daffodils, tulips and more! Plus, our nursery yards are loaded with fresh trees and shrubs… it’s the best time of year to plant!

REWARDS MEMBER EXCLUSIVE: 33% OFF SPRING TREES & SHRUBS

Hurry in, our BIG sale starts today! Mahoney’s Rewards Members get 33% Off* all yellow tagged Spring trees and shrubs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Not a member? Sign up at the register today!

*Does not apply to purple or red tagged items. Sale excludes perennials and roses. No returns or guarantee on sale items. Discount taken off original price at the register.

SPECIAL: 3 GAL. PERENNIAL GRASSES $19.50

reg. $29.98

It’s the best time to stock up on beautiful texture and movement in the fall garden. Adding beautiful interest to the yard all winter long, ornamental perennial grasses are an essential part of any landscape. Please note, supplies and plant variety selection will vary at each Mahoney’s location.

What’s In Store: September 7, 2017

Autumn is upon us and that means we’re loading up with truckloads of fresh plants daily! Visit our nursery for beautiful new trees, shrubs and perennials! Take a peek at our special on 3 Gallon Ornamental Grasses: Only $19.50! (reg $29.98). Our greenhouses are filling up with hues of orange, yellow, reds and purples to decorate the doorstep with lovely fall color. Spring flowering bulbs are now in too– plant now for spring blooming daffodils, tulips and more. Plus, check out our garden shop for festive fall decor to refresh the home!

Simple Tips for Designing and Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs

Bulbs are the gateway to the garden. Plant them now and forget about them. By the time spring rolls around, the garden will be full of buds ready to blossom. And, with cooler temperatures, fall is the best season for planting. Whether you’re beginning a garden for the first time or tending an old one, planting flower bulbs has never been easier. Bulbs are a fantastic way to start or maintain a garden because they spring back up each year without any effort. But the key is to plant them correctly now. Don’t worry! The hardest part is deciding which flowers and a color scheme to use.

bulb-tonePlanting Bulbs

Planting the bulbs is simple. Follow the steps below to create a flawless garden.

  1. Dig a hole 3-4 times deeper than the bulb height.
  2. Set bulbs firmly in place, following spacing guidelines.
  3. Sprinkle in a fertilizer made for bulbs such as Espoma’s Bulb Tone
  4. Cover with soil.
  5. Water thoroughly.

Design ideas

Remember when planting bulbs, plant more than you think you need and avoid the temptation to plant in single rows.

  • For the most natural look, group them in a pyramid, rectangle or circular shape.
  • For a camouflaged look, plant low bulbs in front of high. As the high ones die back, the low will cover the dying foliage.
  • For a layered look, plant small bulbs in the same hole as large bulbs.
  • For an entire spring of color, stagger bloom time by planting early, mid and late-season varieties together.

Flower bulbs are a low-maintenance way to expand or start a garden and create a stunning look year-after-year. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful array of color that pops up in the spring.

Buy spring flower bulbs now to prepare for the upcoming fall-planting season.

What’s In Store: September 2, 2017

We’re welcoming fall with a color palette fit for season. Mums, cabbage, kale, grasses, and many cold-tolerant annuals are arriving daily perfect for refreshing your window boxes and patio planters!

A Big Thank You

Today was an incredible day. We are so grateful and humbled by the acts of kindness from our customers, employees and many local residents. In just 24 hours, we collected an unbelievable amount of donations for Boston’s ‘Help for Houston’ drive. We trekked into City Hall this afternoon and delivered 2 box trucks and a van’s worth of diapers, formula, food, clothing + toiletries– all headed for Houston tomorrow. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Refresh your Window Boxes and Planters with Fall Color

It’s the perfect time of year to refresh your tired summer window boxes and patio planters with fall color. Now arriving daily- mums, cabbage, kale, and cold-tolerant annuals in festive hues that will take you through the fall season.