Landscape Architects serving Central Illinois     Call Today 309-925-5277
Landscape Architects serving Central Illinois
Call Today 309-925-5277

Landscaping Tips

We've put together a helpful guide to caring for your plants and lawns broken down by each month. Be sure to take proper care and contact us with any questions!


Watering Guidelines

Every situation is different, so pay close attention and adjust the guideline as needed.

  • Water for newly installed plants is extremely important.
  • Soak all new plants deeply & thoroughly the first watering
  • Deep infrequent soaking promotes roots to seek moisture instead of frequent shallow watering
  • Focus on the root zone not the leaves
  • Soak entire bed. Dry soil near the root zone will pull water away from the roots. This may require you to set up a sprinkler to soak the entire bed
  • The goal is to get the roots to move out of their own root ball into the existing soil
  • Morning watering is best-more may be needed in afternoon heat/wind
  • Many times a half inch or less rainfall is not enough to soak thru mulch/rock into root zone
  • Pull mulch/rock aside to check moisture and water accordingly
  • Wind & low humidity days can dry plants out very quickly
  • Know your soil type-Sandy soils will require more frequent watering while clay type soils won’t dry out as fast
  • Make sure boxwood, broadleaf evergreens,( boxwood, rhododendron, Hollies), and evergreens are watered well before the ground freezes in December.

New Trees

  • Water thoroughly & deeply 2-3 times per week for first 2-4 weeks
  • The deeper the root ball, the deeper you need to water-min. 24” deep
  • A slow pencil stream of water or lower volume watering with no run off is the goal to get the water to soak in deeper
  • After that period, 1-2 times per week 
  • Less in fall or cooler weather

New Shrubs

  • Water 6-18” deep
  • Water thoroughly 3-4 times per week for first 2 weeks
  • Weeks 3 & 4 water 2-3 times per week
  • Past 4 weeks, 2 times per week unless cooler weather
  • Note: Some hydrangea may need watering daily during summer. They can wilt during the heat of the day and perk up in the evening.

Perennials & Groundcover

  • Water 6” deep
  • Ornamental grasses tend to dry out during hot windy days
  • Water every other day soaking root ball and surrounding area in week 1
  • Week 2 & 3 water 2-3 times per week
  • Week 4 water twice per week 

Seeded Lawn

  • Keep moist (maybe daily watering during warmer periods)
  • 1st soaking requires heavy watering but not to run off (may require frequent light watering to achieve a soaking without runoff)
  • Maintain a moist soil after initial soaking
  • Be very aware of drying heat, sun, wind, low humidity-more water is needed
  • Once germination occurs, seedlings must be kept moist since they have very few roots.  One hot windy afternoon can cause death to young shoots
  • Leaf drop can suffocate new grass seedlings, rain can cause leaves to mat together causing suffocation, use a blower to keep the leaves off when the soil is dry , don’t compact the soil by walking on it when wet


  • The initial watering must begin within minutes of sod installation
  • The first soaking requires heavy watering to the point of not being able to walk on it without sinking in.  Keeps pets from walking on it as well
  • Maintain a moist soil after initial watering, 2-3 times/day
  • Early morning watering is best or late afternoon. Anytime when dry.
  • Be very aware of drying heat, sun, wind, low humidity- more water is needed
  • Pay close attention to edges where sod borders curbs, sidewalks, and driveways.  These areas will dry out faster than the rest of the lawn.
  • Your best indicator for your sod’s water needs is wilt or lack of wilt.  Wilted sod will have a dry, dusty, grayish green appearance. Properly watered sod will always look full, lush, and green
  • If you do not have an irrigation system, impact type sprinklers give better coverage

Above all else, if you are having problems or are not sure about your plants’ health, please call or email us.  We want you to be successful and able to enjoy your landscape.

Maintenance Timeline

January & February

  • Summer flowering shrubs can be pruned in winter, however spring flowering shrubs should be pruned right after they are done blooming. General pruning rules: trim out dead branches, branches that rub, duplicating branches, branches that cross or will eventually rub.
  • Begin planning and gathering ideas for your next landscape project. Contact Stuber Land Design, Inc. for professional design and installation solutions
  • Check pond heaters regularly


  • Cut back roses, grasses, and perennials

  • Grasses can be burned down if in an appropriate site

  • Apply pre-emergent herbicides to landscape beds

  • Fertilize roses with rose food plus systemic insecticide

  • Prune panicle hydrangeas if not done in the fall


  • Apply crabgrass preventer on lawn about the time Forsythia bloom

  • Still time to apply pre-emergent herbicides to landscape beds

  • Fertilize trees and shrubs with the appropriate fertilizer

  • Treat aphids as they appear on Spirea and Roses


  • Begin foliar sprays for diseases as leaves emerge using fungicides

  • Prune back early blooming shrubs after they bloom

  • Begin insect sprays on Boxwood (for Psyllids) when Weigela blooms

  • Spray for scale when Catalpa trees bloom

  • Begin spraying for Borers

  • Start watching for rose sawflies. First indications are silver spots and tiny holes in leaves

  • Watch for sawfly worms on pines (especially on Mugho pines)


  • Prune evergreen and broadleaf shrubs (boxwood and yews)

  • Scout and treat for early infestations of bagworms

  • To detect spruce mites, shake branches over white paper, green/gray moving spots are an indicator that treatment is needed.  Red spots/streaks are predatory mites. DO NOT SPRAY

  • Apply rose food again

  • Japanese beetle watch about mid-month

  • New growth on Macrophylla hydrangeas should be out.  Prune off all dead branches.  


  • Deadhead perennials for prolonged blooming

  • Stella daylilies can be cut to the ground and allowed to regrow and bloom

  • Another application of pre-emergent herbicide is recommended on landscape beds

  • Trailing annuals can be pruned back now for better blooming in late summer

  • Continue spraying for Japanese beetles


  • Watering, deadheading, and weed control

  • Not a good time to prune Boxwood or Yews (new growth may not have time to harden off in the late fall)   

  • Prune Oakleaf Hydrangea

  • Make preparations for fall seedings


  • Watch for second generation of Rose sawfly

  • Lawn weed control (except in areas to be seeded)

  • New lawn seeding and over seeding

  • Aerate Lawns


  • Wrap young trees against deer damage early in the month

  • Systemic drenches on trees and shrubs to help with Japanese beetle control for the next year

  • Fertilize trees and shrubs

  • Apply winterizer fertilizer on lawns

  • Can begin cutting down perennials

  • Plant fall bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, crocus, etc.


  • Water evergreens and broadleaves if rains have been inadequate

  • Prune deciduous shrubs except early bloomers

  • Apply Wilt-Pruf to newly planted evergreens and broadleaves against dehydration

  • Apply dormant oils to plants with scale infections


  • Any of the November chores that were not completed as weather allows

  • Tree trimming

Landscape Pests to
Look Out For

Rose Sawflies

  • Tiny green worms on the undersides of rose leaves that make holes in May and September

  • If populations are high enough, can defoliate the rose bush

  • Control with Sevin, Pyrethrins, Cyfluthrins as active ingredients or rose food w/systemic insecticide

Japanese Beetles

  • Adults have a metallic green body with brown wings flying mid-June thru July

  • Skeletonize leaves of Linden, Birch, Chokeberry, Apples, Peaches, Cherries, Roses, Burning Bush, and more. They change food sources about every 3 days

  • Control with Cyfluthrins for 2-3 week residual control except when new leaves or flowers emerge. Sevin on fruit trees but does not last long.

Flea Beetles

  • Tiny black beetles about 1/16 “ long that jump that make small holes in the leaves

  • Feed on Lythrum and Panicle type Hydrangeas in June and August

  • Control with Sevin or Cyfluthrin sprays as active ingredient

Bag Worms

  • Feed on Arborvitae, Junipers, Firs, Spruce, Pines and some deciduous trees as well in Early July

  • Control by picking off as many bags as possible

  • Begin spraying with Dipel, Spinosad, and Cyfluthrins in Late June thru July


  • Can be green, yellow, red, or black bugs on the tips of new growth June thru August, makes leaves sticky

  • Control with Pyrethrins or Cyfluthrins as the active ingredient

Spider Mites

  • Pin head size or smaller insects on the underside of leaves in June thru August

  • They make whitish or beige spots on the top side of the leaf making it look dull

  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Burning bush, and really any plants with leaves can be affected

  • Shake branches over white paper and watch for moving spots to detect mites

  • Spruce mites in June, Red spotted mites in July and August

  • Control only with Miticides or regular spraying of the underside of the leaf with water

Boxwood Psyllids

  • Small 1/16” jumping, flying insects that make the leaves of boxwood curl and turn yellow

  • Control in mid-May to early June with Spinosad, or Cyfluthrins as active ingredients

Boxwood Leaf Miner

  • Yellow spotted leaves turn to brown spots

  • Adult flies are about the size of a pin head and yellowish orange

  • Control adults with Sevin, Pyrethroids, and imidacloprid as active ingredients when Weigela blooms in May and a 2nd application in July

Euonymus and Pachysandra Scale

  • White spots on stems or underside of leaves is how they overwinter

  • Control with insecticidal soap, Cyfluthrins in Mid- May spraying 3-4 times at 10 day intervals to kill all stages of the crawlers which are hard to see.

Pine Needle Scale

  • White spots on needles

  • Control crawlers with Cyfluthrins as active ingredient when the Vanhoutte spirea are blooming in mid- May  and again when the Queen Anne’s Lace Blooms

Deer Rubbing

  • Protect young trees up to 6 “diameter from Bucks that can shred the bark on trees as they begin to mark their territory in early to mid- October.

Landscape Services

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