Protecting Your Property Investment

How Caring for your Garden Protects One of Your Most Valuable Assets.

Garden design and installation add color, character, additional living space, and functional aesthetics to your home. It also adds significant value to your property. It’s well noted that curb appeal can increase your home’s value between 6 and 13 percent. However, along with new garden installation comes care and feeding of your new baby.

One of the most common questions I get is: “How do I care for my new garden once it’s installed?” Busy schedules, limited time, and physical constraints can create dilemmas for many homeowners in protecting their garden investment. With proper care, your fine garden can flourish for years to come.

New plants, like small children, need looking after regularly until they are established. Think of the first 3 months as the important infant stage, when the plant is in a very delicate state. Regular attention to the soil, the leaves, and the watering is at its peak during this time.

Cultural conditions and soil are the most important factors in plants thriving in an environment. Plants need good soil, water, and food along with the right light and temperatures to be healthy. When gardens are neglected, i.e. not having regular care, gardens can become compromised making plants susceptible to diseases, funguses, insect infestations, and death. Treatments for diseased and injured plants are typically not curative. They nearly always require eliminating the compromised bits and treating to prevent further development of the pathogen.

When you invest in a living garden, it’s the care and detailing that maintains the investment. Moreover, the investment you make in the detailing of your fine garden is a small fraction of the value of your property, making the ROI quite a positive one.

Here are my recommendations:

  • Create a garden design plan before you plant. In order to avoid a disorganized or less than functional garden, it’s always a good idea to come up with a plan before you dig. It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money to get a sound investment with the right planning.

  • I highly recommend being in a proactive monthly detailing program of caring for your investments as opposed to reactive recovery attempts once neglect has settled in.

  • Prior to new plant installation, prepare the soil to receive the plantings - providing nutrients and fertilizers to assist in the plantings' acclimating to the new environment.

Newly installed plant installations should be hand-watered. Follow the watering schedule recommended by your Fine Gardener

  • Soak thoroughly every 3rd day for 3 months from the first of May through the first of October. This may vary depending upon the weather. Soak thoroughly once a week for 1 year. After 1 year, supplement water as necessary. The best time to water is early morning. Avoid evening if possible. Water at plant’s base, rather than at the top of plant. Water each tree a minimum of five minutes with a stream of water that does not wash the mulch away. Water each shrub a minimum of two minutes with a stream of water that does not wash the mulch away.

  • To water efficiently, use a breaker that decreases the force of the water stream without reducing the hose volume. Wand combinations with breakers and shutoff valves work best, but a standard multi-setting spray nozzle set on ‘gentle shower’ works well.

  • Watering effectively may require pausing to allow water to percolate into the soil. If the soil surface is dry, it can initially repel water. Foster absorption by moistening the soil surface first by watering slowly or pausing to water an adjacent plant and coming back after a few moments. Water until water puddles at the plant base. Watering is complete when small puddles no longer percolate rapidly into the soil.

  • Water the roots and the soil. Try to avoid wetting the foliage to minimize disease. If plants wilt, check the soil moisture. Soil at the plant base should be moist. When soil is wet and plants still wilt, do not water until the soil surface dries. Excess soil moisture causes the same wilting response as inadequate water. If you are unsure, call Casey & Company Bespoke Design immediately. Plants do not drown or dry out overnight! Call us at (850) 333-6035, or email at when you see signs of stress.

  • A Note about Irrigation Systems: Inground spray irrigation systems do not work perfectly for mixed perennial, tree, and shrub installations because of the variety of requirements and sizes of plants. We recommend hand watering exclusively or as a supplement to spray irrigation until plants are well established. If you are using an irrigation system, please monitor the area for pockets of too little or too much water.


Utilize the Watering Schedule provided by your Fine Gardener on installation of your new garden.

Regular fertilizing, weeding, trimming mulching will help the plant appearance and health.

Casey & Company offers Seasonal, Ongoing Monthly, and Periodic Detailing Programs in addition to Garden Design to keep your garden blooming and functioning to its full potential all year round. We have a team of Integrated Pest Management Specialists, Certified Arborists, and Exceptional Fine Gardeners with the knowledge and experience to protect and enhance your investment. Contact us to determine the best program to enhance your investment and assets.