Trees provide dramatic vertical layering within the landscape and garden, shrubs are the primary way gardeners can diversity the garden horizontally. Shrubs are also a useful source for food and cover for wildlife on a smaller scale, often down to ground level.
Just as trees create shady microclimates in the landscape, shrubs provide cover for some smaller shade-loving plants. In natural plant communities, these beneficiaries include young trees conditioned to grow up in cover provided by shrubs.
The word shrub comes from an Old English word meaning brushwood. Not exactly flattering! Even lowlier is its variant scrub, one of whose meanings is anything undersized or inferior.
Humble beginnings or not, today there's nothing inferior about shrubs. Often standing midway in height between trees and flowers, shrubs provide a visual transition.
A very important component of any Plant Health Care program is fertilization. If a plant does not have the proper types and amounts of nutrients, the plant will not be as strong as it should be. A vigorously growing plant is not only beautiful to look at but is also able to maintain a higher level of good health by naturally resisting insect and disease attacks. A program of regular fertilization with a balances blend of nutrients will maintain a deeper, more fibrous root system. A deeper root system helps a plant survive prolonged periods of drought and more fibrous roots are better able to absorb needed nutrients and water.
The proper time to fertilize shrubs is when the plants are dormant (early spring or late fall). The fertilizer is injected about 6 inches deep, under pressure in a grid pattern. The fertilizer is injected around the base of the tree and under the entire drip line. Since the fertilizer is injected under pressure, it spreads horizontally through the soil and provides a uniform amount to the entire root system. The root system is literally bathed in the nutrients. Soil microbes then slowly breakdown the fertilizer to provide a slow, controlled release of the nutrients.
The fertilizers we use also have some "special" ingredients such as sea kelp, beneficial rhizobacteria, bio-stimulant complexes, humic acid, micronutrients and soil surfactant. These additional products are designed to modify and improve the soil environment creating a more favorable atmosphere for roots to thrive. While this sounds very technical, what it means is that your plants are getting an excellent blend of products with the deep root fertilization!