The Q&A Archives: Lawn care/dying shrubs

Question: I have 12 dark green arborvitae shrubs and 4 died. I did a soil test and the results were PH=neutral 7.0, Nitroge=verylow, Phosphorous=High, Potassium=low. I would like to replace the shrubs, but need to know what cause them to die. I also have zoysia grass on the lawn which seems to be in a o.k condition. Do I still need to fertilize it and if so which fertilizer would you recommend.

Answer: To maintain your zoysia lawn, it's important to feed it on a regular basis. Apply a slow-release, high nitrogen fertilizer in the spring and then again in the fall to help it remain healthy over the winter months.

I don't want to venture a guess as to why your arborvitae shrubs died. The soil test shows simply that you have a neutral soil (not too sweet, not to acidic) and that it is low in nutrients. You can adjust the nutrient level by applying fertilizer, either in the form of compost or aged manure or with a synthetic compound. Organic fertilizers will help build your soil, but manufactured fertilizers usually work faster. Choose whichever you are most comfortable using.

Arborvitaes need good drainage and a deep watering once each week, especially during the growing season. Aside from that, they are relatively easy to grow.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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