Proper watering is the most important factor in the health of your landscape. The number one reason plants and trees die is over watering. This typically happens because the fresh sod requires extra water for the first 7 – 10 days to establish itself. If the watering rate is not turned down after this period significant drowning will occur. Also, over watering your lawn causes the grass to adapt to excessive water. This means the root system will establish closer to the surface making the grass week and unable to handle droughts.
Another important consideration for your new landscape is to avoid blowing grass clippings in to the rock or bark mulch areas of your landscape. Grass clippings (often with seeds) quickly decompose and provide an environment for grass and weeds to grow in your landscape beds. The other thing to watch is making sure you don’t cut your grass too short. Grass should be cut to 2.5” – 3.5” height. Taller healthier grass better prevents weed growth and is more tolerant of very hot or dry conditions.
For most plants the time to trim is when they are dormant. Generally the best time is late winter (Feb – early Mar) before any new growth has begun but it does vary by plant type. Late winter trimming minimizes the amount of time the wound is exposed as new growth is about to begin. If trees must be pruned or are storm damaged in the summer a wound dressing may need to be applied to prevent disease or infestation. Some trees and shrubs bloom early on last year’s growth and should be pruned immediately after they finish blooming (flowering). This included the commonly used plants like lilacs and magnolias. As a general rule do not remove more than 33% of any tree or shrub in a season.
Some amount of weeding is necessary with any landscape. In general if you live in an area where everyone has nice weed free yards and there is very little “wild areas” around there will be very few weeds. If you let weeds mature and seed, or your neighbors do, you will have significant amount of work to remove them. Regardless of your environment the optimal way to deal with weeds is to do make a quick 5-10 minute walk around the house weekly to pull them out from the roots. If you don’t it can quickly become a 1hr – 2hr chore to pull the much larger weeds/ Also as they get larger it becomes increasingly difficult to get enough of the root system pulled out so they don’t grow back immediately. One weed that flowers and goes to seed can create a hundred or more new weeds in the vicinity.