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Some plants not doing well

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by fool32696, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    I just got an email from a customer that I did an install for about 3 months ago. They want me to start doing lawn maintenance for them (so they're not upset or anything), but mentioned that a number of a certain type of plant that I installed isn't doing well and seems to be dying. I'm guessing I should do a soil test and talk to my nursery? How do I go about doing a soil test? I won't know what's actually having problems until I go by on Tuesday. Here is a list of what went in the ground: holly, boxwood, indian hawthorne, aztec grass, podocarpus, gardenias, and ligustrum. Will keep everyone updated as I find out more.
  2. cgll1135

    cgll1135 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 89

  3. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 984

    those plants shouldn't have any problems. If you didn't ammend the soil with some good organic matter your Problem could be dry soil. florida soil is so sandy they are probobly not holding on to water.
  4. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    The soil on that particular job has a lot of clay in it and we've been getting rain almost daily. Now that I think about it, the soil may be too wet in certain areas. Thanks for the advice so far. I'll keep you guys updated.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Might be one of those deals that you need to amend the hole again. I've come to the conclusion that if I dig out a hole, it's never big enough and I get extreme in some situations by digging to hole way bigger than I probably need to, but, better safe than sorry.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    More often than not it is a water issue. In clay it is very easy to leave air pockets in the root zone, which of course will dry and kill the affected roots tips.
    If they are balled open the burlap and check the soil inside to be sure it is ok. People leave the root balls closed in burlap nowadays, which makes it very difficult to get the water in.
  7. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    Based on an email from the homeowner, the affected plants are Hollys, not sure of the variety, will talk to my supply yard tomorrow. A little research yielded possible soil drainage issue or root rot (hopefully not!). Will take some pictures when I go by tomorrow!
  8. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    About 17 3gal are affected. Of those 12 are completely dead and the rest are on their way. Looks like my guys screwed me on this one. They were planted too deep and there were air pockets around the roots. Oh well, $100 in plants and an hours labor and the customer will be happy again.
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    At least it isn't that bad. Doesn't sound like your going to be out that much. Could have been much worse I guess.
  10. Merlin300

    Merlin300 LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Posts: 156

    Plant them high they won't die, plant them low they won't grow. A VERY OLD guy that owns a nursery told me that when I was teenager working there. 20some yrs later it still holds true.

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