We love landscapes that feature both trees and turf. Open lawn areas are soothing to the senses and promote a feeling of ease and openness, while trees add that visual barrier and contrast and a touch of grandeur. There’s just one catch: trees and turf aren’t always compatible. And that’s why you need to know your stuff before you launch into planting trees in your lawn area.
Trees and turf are both plants, and therefore have the same basic requirements: water, sunlight and fresh air. When planting trees in lawn areas, competition for sunlight can be a real problem. If the tree has dense foliage that is shading the area around it, the shaded area will not support many of the common grass species. However, you can overcome this issue by planting a shade tolerant grass species such as Sapphire Soft Leaf Buffalo Grass.
If your tree is to be a real feature in the garden, take your time choosing it. Do you want a variety that is deciduous or evergreen? What is the height and width of the fully grown tree going to be? Do you want it to produce fruit? Research, take trips to the nursery and be sure before you buy – trees aren’t something you can take out easily once they’re established.
(A good bath for the tree, not yourself – you’ll need yours once you’re finished!)
You’ve chosen your tree and you’re ready to set to work! Before you take up your shovel to turn the soil, give the tree a good soaking while it’s still in its pot. You may be wise to give it a dose of liquid fertilizer at this stage too, to help reduce transplant shock and give it a head start once it’s in the ground.
Grab the spade and set to work! Dig a hole that’s at least twice the circumference of the pot holding the tree. Ensure that the hole is deep enough so that the entire root ball of the tree will be covered. Carefully remove the tree from the pot and place it in the centre of the hole.
Mix the excavated dirt with some rotted animal manure or compost and refill the hole around the tree, watering as you go. Ensure that the soil around the tree is firm. Leave a slight well around the stem of the tree so that when it rains, water will be collected where it is most needed: right above the root system.
Drive a stake into the ground beside your newly planted tree, and attach the tree to it using a garden tie. This will help to support the tree in windy conditions.
Mulch around the base of the tree and water it regularly. Newly planted trees generally require a good soaking every day or every second day for the first few months.
If you have any questions or concerns about planting trees in lawn areas, contact the team at Rivers Edge Turf. Turf is our thing, and your lawn is hugely important to us. Call us today on 02 4579 9009 and chat to one of our friendly staff.