Conifers and shrubs are widely used in landscape design and ornamental gardening. Amateurs and professionals are attracted by the beautiful appearance and longevity of such plants. They blend harmoniously with many garden plantings, although they can also be used for individual plantings. Caring for conifers in the spring and during the rest of the year is simple, it does not require a lot of labor and time, and even beginners can easily cope with it.
Planting dates for conifers in spring and summer
Spring is the best time to plant conifers and shrubs. A favorable period for planting such plants in open ground is the period from April to the end of May. The exact terms in each specific region will differ, so you need to focus only on the weather conditions.
You can start planting conifers in open ground immediately after the ground thaws. If the spring is late and cool, planting of plants with a closed root system (from containers) can be done at the beginning of summer, choosing for this morning or evening on a cloudy day. The success of such a planting is largely determined by the age of the seedling. The older he is, the less likely it is to succeed.
Important! In the summer, after the establishment of hot dry weather, it is impossible to plant conifers.
Planting conifers in spring and summer
You can start planting conifers in open ground after the ground has completely thawed. In the middle lane, this is approximately the beginning or mid-May. Depending on the weather, the favorable time for planting can stretch until the beginning of summer, then all work on planting conifers must be stopped. Otherwise, the planted plants may simply die due to the so-called biological drought - the state of the plant when the root system that has not taken root in a new place will not be able to replenish the amount of moisture evaporated by the crown of the tree.
Selecting and preparing a landing site
Most conifers feel better in the open sun or in partial shade, therefore, an appropriate site for planting them must be chosen. The soil at the planned planting site is preferable to be loose, well-drained, with a neutral or slightly acidic reaction. In places where water stagnates after heavy rains or melting snow, conifers grow poorly and often get sick.
Important! Plants with a green crown grow better in an open place, species with variegated or blue needles - in partial shade.
In order to provide the plant with a balanced diet for many years, many gardeners completely replace the soil with a special soil mixture consisting of peat, river sand and raised land from a coniferous forest. This soil is versatile and suitable for growing almost all conifers. You can prepare it yourself or purchase it in specialized stores.
When deciding to plant a coniferous tree, it is necessary to take into account its future dimensions. Over time, large sizes can become a problem, as the wide crown will begin to cast additional shadow. Therefore, large forms of conifers must be planted away from beds with sun-loving crops, as well as from buildings and structures, the foundation and walls of which may be damaged by the roots or branches of the future tree.
It is better to prepare pits for planting conifers in advance. It is best to dig them out in the fall, then before spring the soil will have time to settle and be well saturated with air. Drainage must be laid on the bottom - a layer of large crushed stone, expanded clay or broken brick. The size of the planting pit itself should be larger than the earthen clod on the roots, along with which the seedling will be transplanted.
The main requirements for the landing site of conifers are shown in the table:
Type of plant
Planting depth, m
Shadow, partial shade
Sun, partial shade
Sun, for Japanese - partial shade
Sun, variegated varieties - partial shade
Sun, partial shade
Sun, light partial shade
Coniferous seedlings are best purchased in company stores or specialized nurseries. They are sold, as a rule, in special containers filled with nutrient soil. It is very important to keep this earthy clod on the roots intact when transplanting coniferous seedlings into open ground in the spring. Therefore, the container must be handled very carefully.
When choosing seedlings of conifers, it is necessary to pay attention to the appearance, color of the needles, and the absence of dry branches. Quality planting material is the basis for the future health of the garden. You should choose the strongest and most developed seedlings aged at least 4 and not older than 10 years.
For planting conifers, a cool, cloudy day is best. To painlessly remove the seedling from the container, 15-20 minutes before starting work, the soil in it must be spilled with water. It is necessary to get the plant as carefully as possible so that the earthen lump on the roots remains intact. The seedling is vertically installed in the planting hole and covered with soil, while the root collar should be flush with the ground. It is impossible to deepen the root collar of conifers. When backfilling, you need to ensure that voids do not form in the roots. For this, the earth is periodically compacted during backfilling.
After the end of planting, the near-trunk circle of a planted tree or shrub is poured abundantly with water, and then mulched with needles, bark or peat. Mulch retains moisture well in the soil and prevents it from drying out. The first time after planting, young conifer seedlings are shaded, thereby limiting their heating and evaporation of water from the surface of the needles.
Important! Newly planted coniferous tree seedlings after completion of work must be fenced off with a small trellis or a frequent fence.
Such a precaution will limit access to them for dogs and other pets, which will necessarily seek to mark a new tree. The urine of animals has a strong alkaline reaction and at its high concentration the seedling may simply die.
Conifers, whose age does not exceed several years, can be transplanted to a new place in the spring. Such a procedure may be necessary due to the mistakenly chosen initial landing site or for some other reason. In this case, the ground around the trunk of the plant is pre-bayonet, and then a tree or bush is dug up along with a lump of earth on the roots. The very same procedure for planting conifers does not differ from the usual one.
Coniferous care in spring and summer
Caring for conifers in the country in the spring begins from the moment the winter shelter is removed from the plants. At this time, trees and shrubs are examined, the existing damage to the crown is identified and measures are planned to eliminate these defects. And also the following types of work are included in the complex of measures for caring for conifers after winter:
- treatment against pests and diseases;
- top dressing.
Watering conifers in spring and summer
Watering of conifers should be started in early spring, before the snow completely melts. In different regions, such a time occurs in March or April, it is important that night frosts stop at this time. Spring watering will allow the conifers to quickly restore the water balance disturbed during wintering. It is better to use slightly warmed water (+ 12-15 ° C) for this in order to quickly warm up the frozen soil in the root zone. You need to water the conifers in the middle of the day so that the water has time to be completely absorbed. If there is stagnant water in the soil, watering of trees and shrubs should be limited or stopped altogether.
Watering conifers in summer is carried out only during periods of stable hot weather. At such a time, most plants respond well not only to root watering, but also to crown irrigation. However, it is necessary to do sprinkling of conifers only in the early morning or evening hours, so that the plants have time to dry before sunrise. This will avoid burning the needles under the influence of bright sunlight, focused by water droplets.
Spring dressing has a beneficial effect on the appearance of conifers, improves the decorative effect of needles, which, thanks to fertilizers, acquires a bright saturated color. Conifers are usually fed in the spring with granular nitrogen fertilizers, for example, nitroammophos, scattering it in the near-stem circle. Granules have a prolonged action, such a substance will slowly dissolve and provide the plant with mineral supplements for a long time. A good option is to use specialized preparations for conifers, such as Needle or Green Needle, for feeding in the spring.
Important! Before using feeds for conifers, you need to carefully study the instructions and strictly observe the recommended dosages. Excessive fertilization can kill the root system of conifers.
Loosening and mulching
Conifers do not need regular loosening. In many plant species, especially dwarf ones, the root system is close to the surface, so any care work in the near-stem circle must be carried out with great care. Mulching the soil of conifers is necessary. This procedure solves several care tasks:
- Retains moisture in the soil and reduces the frequency of watering.
- Limits or inhibits the growth of weeds.
- Increases the decorative effect of the planting as a whole.
As a mulch for conifers, you can use tree bark, crushed cones, painted wood chips or peat.
In the spring, usually in early or mid-March, the conifers are sanitized. At this time, all dead and dried branches are removed from trees and shrubs, damaged and diseased shoots are cut out. In the same period, young conifers are also formed. Decorative species are cut in accordance with the selected type of crown, pruning excess or oversized branches. For pruning conifers, choose a cloudy, but not rainy day. Before work, all tools must be properly sharpened and disinfected so as not to infect the wound.
Important! After pruning, the cuts of conifers are not treated with garden pitch. Under it, the wood begins to rot. It is better to treat the wounds with a solution of potassium permanganate, and then cover with oil paint.
When cutting conifers in spring, all precautions must be taken. Avoid getting the resin on exposed areas of the body and clothing. It is imperative to use protective goggles and gloves.
The subtleties of pruning conifers in the spring - in the video:
Treatment of conifers in the spring from diseases and pests
In the spring, as soon as the air temperature rises to + 5-6 ° C, you can start sanitary pruning, and then the preventive treatment of conifers from diseases and pests. If during the inspection, signs of the appearance of fungal diseases were found (drying out of branches, gray or brown bloom, red spots or black dots on the needles), then you need to start work immediately.
Important! Young conifers and shrubs are most susceptible to diseases, so they need to be examined especially carefully.
To prevent the development of fungal diseases in the spring, conifers are sprayed with solutions of fungicides, for example, Bordeaux liquid, iron or copper sulfate. Processing is carried out in cloudy weather, in the evening or morning hours. After 10-14 days, the trees are sprayed again with the same composition. The crown of conifers is treated completely, bypassing the trees in a circle and spraying each branch.
In the spring, pests also appear on the conifers, which overwintered in the near-trunk circle or in the folds of the bark. These are sawers, bark beetles, scale insects, Hermes. At the same time, sucking pests, such as aphids or spider mites, may appear on the needles. To prevent their appearance, plants are treated with insecticides, acaricides or biological preparations, for example, Hom, Aktellik, Iskra, Decis, etc. Conifers are processed several times at intervals of 10-14 days, while changing the type of agent used. This significantly increases the effectiveness of the tools used.
An important role in protecting conifers from diseases and pests is played by constant monitoring of plantings. If the disease is detected at an early stage, most often the plant can be saved. Neglected diseases respond to treatment much worse, and in some cases it is not possible to cure an infected plant at all and it has to be destroyed.
Caring for conifers in spring and summer includes quite a lot of different jobs. If you do all of them on time and in full, then the plant will feel great for a long time. However, there is no need to strive to carry out all these events at any cost. For example, in some cases, watering, fertilizing, or pruning can harm conifers rather than benefit. Therefore, it is necessary to focus, first of all, on the principle of reasonable sufficiency, as well as to control the state of the plant and the conditions in which it grows.