The City’s Horticulture experts plant, prune, water, weed and everything in between. Our knowledgeable staff is here to answer all your lawn care, gardening and planting questions. Ask us here!
Pruning, or cutting away dead or overgrown branches and stems, is important for tree health.
Plant Maintenance Tips
Cutting back perennials ensures they will stay healthy and re-bloom in the fall. Here’s how to do it.
Plants and lawns need hydration, especially in the summer months. Here are some tips to do it right:
- The roots need the water, not the leaves. Water the base of the plant.
- Water in the morning to avoid evaporation and prevent disease.
- Slow, infrequent watering promotes deep roots.
- Lawns need 1” of water per week.
It’s never too late to mulch. Spring is the best time to lay down mulch, but any time you can get it down can help prevent weeds, retain moisture, protect from mower compaction, add nutrition to plants, and increase curb appeal.
Avoid piling mulch too high and creating a “mulch volcano” which leads to too much water around the roots, causing fungus, rot and eventually tree death. Instead use a layer only about two-four inches high. Place mulch around the tree in a four-foot circle without it touching the trunk.
May, after the last frost date is the time to plant flowers! Here are some planting tips:
- Tease the roots when planting.
- Check the soil moisture.
- Follow the instructions on the plant tag.
Spring is the time to focus on these areas of the yard:
- Cut back perennials (plants that are present year-round) and ornamental grasses such as Karl Foerster
- Remove any leaves that are left over from the fall
- Pull out any early emerging weeds
- Trim shrubs that do not flower in the spring—avoid pruning those that do flower in the spring such as Forsythia
- Install a fresh layer of mulch on the flower beds no more than 2-4 inches deep—avoid a “volcano” shape piled around the tree trunk which can obstruct root growth
- Edge flower beds, avoiding any tree roots that are on the surface
Horticulture tends to over 80 areas throughout the City, including City buildings, parks, green spaces, bike paths and right of ways. The landscape management plan consists of planting trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals and their proper care; including pruning, water, weed and pest control, mulching, bed design and installation. Additionally, Horticulture is involved in natural area management and maintaining specialty gardens, such as butterfly/hummingbird gardens, sensory gardens and even a medicinal garden.
- Legacy Tree Program – planting a tree and installing a plaque in honor of a loved one – resident pays for tree and plaque, Horticulture plants tree and installs plaque.
- Earth day plantings
- Volunteer plantings
- Ecological assessments/Nature Preserve Management
- Prairies & Grasslands
- Wildflower areas
- Invasive species
- Pond plantings
- Wetland plantings
- Stream restoration plantings
- Bio-retention areas (rain gardens)
- Endangered and rare plants
Formal Landscaping in Mowed Areas
- Park trees-removals, plantings, pruning
- Mulching- trees and flower beds
- Park tree inventory
- Flower beds- perennials, annuals and shrubs
Invasive Species Removal
Plants that are capable of causing economic and environmental damage, and/or harm to human health are often termed invasive. Invasive plants are characterized by fast growth rates, excessive fruit production, and efficient seed dispersal and germination. Exotic plants often escape the natural enemies, predators, and pathogens that keep them in check in their native range. This lack of natural control contributes to their ability to spread
Some invasive plants were intentionally introduced for erosion control, food, forage, wildlife habitat, aesthetics, or medicinal use. Others arrived accidentally through international trade routes. Some invasive plants also escape to natural areas from home gardens.
Approximately 60 species of invasive plants have been identified in Ohio. These plants cause extensive economic damage and do immeasurable harm to our natural resources and the natural heritage of our state. Read more and find resources at forestry.ohiodnr.gov/invasive.
In Dublin, Horticulture staff work to remove invasive species like honeysuckle, one of Ohio’s top invasive plants of concern.
Planting Native Species
A healthy and diverse ecosystem is important for clean air and water, soil stability and provides critical food and shelter for wildlife. Whether adding a few native plants to your landscape or substituting them in for exotic species, there are many benefits to going native:
- Good for wildlife, such as birds and butterflies
- Costs less and saves time due to lower maintenance requirements
- Saves water because natives are best suited for an Ohio climate
- No need for fertilizers or pesticides
- Native plants control erosion and filter storm water
Check with your local nursery to determine what’s available and which plants are best suited to your landscape needs. Read more at ohiodnr.gov/gonative.