Welcome to the Hoffner Nursery Care Guide, intended for recent customers but offered to all. In this guide you'll find expert care advice on your new landscape to ensure that your yard always stays beautiful long after the Hoffner truck pulls away.
When watering it's not time you need to worry about as much as how much water is being applied per application. The best way to measure the output of your irrigation system is to use a container with flat bottom and flat sides, place it in the middle of the irrigation zone you are testing: run the system for ½ hour and measure the water in the can. Now that you know the inches per ½ hour you can set that zone to apply ¾ of an inch per application.
New sod will need two applications of ¾ of an inch of water two times per day one in the morning and one in the evening for the first two weeks. After the first two weeks once per day for the third and fourth weeks should be sufficient to get the new sod on its way to be established.
Watering times (general rules)
Rotors 45 minutes
Spray Heads 20 - 25 minutes
IMPORTANT many times irrigation systems will not be enough and supplemental hand watering will be needed.
After 2 weeks an Organic fertilizer will need to be applied the most common types are Ironite and Milorganite. We also have organic turf fertilizers from Espoma at the nursery which is my favorite. Do not use a chemical fertilizer until the sod has rooted into the ground. Chemical fertilizers can burn the roots and will kill new sod if applied to soon.(I recommend NOT to use a Synthetic Chemical fertilizer until the sod has been down for 3 months)
After 3 weeks a granular fungicide should be applied, I can almost guarantee you will get fungus in our Florida climate. I believe it's better to try to prevent fungus than wait until you have a problem that is why the granular application is best as a preventive since it will stay around longer than a liquid application. (Scott’s granular fungus control is a great produce) If you still have problems with fungus you will need a professional lawn spray service the can use stronger product not available to unlicensed persons. DO NOT let these fungal problems go unaddressed or you will lose the entire lawn!
YES – most of the soil in central Florida is very sandy and well drained, in the majority of homes the rules above will apply, the exception is where the soil does not drain well ( many time is occurs in newer neighborhoods where the builders bring in fill that is mostly clay. "Stony Brook and Avalon Park are examples") if you are having drainage problems and your yard is always ¾ of an inch at one time may be too much because it just runs off into the street, in this situation smaller more frequent applications will be the answer.
If you are seeing areas browning in the first few days after the installation, it will most likely be areas that are dry usually and hand watering to get the roots established should solve the problem.
Once you cannot pull the sod up (completely rooted down) and it has begun to grow you can begin mowing, this usually in after 4-5 weeks after the install. Sharp mower blades are a must!
Like all newly installed landscaping trees will require more water than your irrigation system will supply to them. Hand watering is a MUST during the first weeks to get the new trees established. The larger the tree the more water per application will be needed. You will need to hand water all new trees daily for two weeks, for smaller trees in the 15-30 gallon range use a garden hose without a nozzle and 4-5 minutes per tree should be sufficient, larger trees 60-100 gallons should be will need 8-10 minutes per tree and trees larger than 100 gallons will require 15 minutes. After the first two weeks 3 times per week for the 3 and 4 week and then once per week for another month should get the established
After 3 months a general purpose fertilizer for trees that don’t flower (Oaks, Maples, Elms) like a 6-6-6. For flowering trees (Crape Myrtle, Magnolia, Tabibubia) a blooming fertilizer will help the produce the followers you are looking for, an 8-10-10 blooming fertilizer will work very well
As a general rule no trimming will be needed for the several years. If lower branches are in the way they will be ok to remove.
Newly installed shrubs will need hand watering for the first two weeks every other day, this is as simple as this a garden hose with no nozzle and watering each new plant for 15-20 seconds. Irrigation systems should be running for 30 minutes if spray nozzles are covering the shrubs or 60 minutes if the area has rotors covering the shrubs. Irrigation should on daily for the first two weeks the 3 times per week for weeks 3 and 4. After the first month a close watch will let you know if the shrubs will need additional water, wilting leaves are a sign the shrubs still need additional water and have not grown roots deep enough to be efficient at picking up water.
If Hoffner Nursery did the installation we have used 14-14-14 Osmocote on every plant installed, that will take care of all the nutritional needs for the first 3 months. After the first 3 months we recommend an organic approach, Espoma Plant Tone every two month will have all the plants thriving.
All newly installed shrubs won’t need to be trimmed for 4-6 months. For more detailed information of trimming your shrubs see our trimming instructions for the specific plant you are dealing with.