General Care Guide

*Please note: The following guidelines can be influenced by sun, rain, soil texture, and Mother Nature in general. Over time, you will learn what works best for different areas and plants.

Watering Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials

When you first install a plant, it will have a greater water demand than an established plant. Plant size and type will cause water needs to vary. Tree, shrub, and perennial watering is best done by hand. Generally, you want to count one gallon of water per foot of plant height. This means that for every 15-30 seconds your hose is running, you get one gallon of water. As this is a general guide, ALWAYS use your best judgment to determine how wet or dry the root area is. 

Watering guides when planting in spring through fall:

  • Weeks 1 and 2: water every 1-2 days until the root system is soaked
  • Weeks 3 and 4: water every 2-3 days until the root system is soaked
  • After the first month: every 3-4 days until the root system is soaked

Watering guides when planting in the late fall through winter:

  • Weeks 1 and 2: every 2-3 days until the root system is soaked
  • After 2 weeks: every 3-5 days until the root system is soaked
  • After the first month: every 7 days until the root system is soaked

*As spring approaches, use the watering guides above

*Ensure root balls are soaked ahead of freezing temperatures to help protect the plant 


  • Unless there is breakage on the plant, do not prune anything for the first season. Buds removed in the first year can slow root growth.
  • Trees and shrubs that flower in early spring on last year’s growth (azaleas, rhododendrons, etc) should be pruned immediately after flowering.
  • Trees and shrubs that flower from early summer to fall on current year’s growth (crepe myrtles, some hydrangeas, etc) should be pruned during dormancy (Feb-March).
  • Pruning of conifers should be done before new wood has hardened
  • Tree pruning should be done during Jan and Feb or in mid-summer, depending on the individual plant variety

*Pruning is important for flowering plants (such as roses or butterfly bushes) to promote more growth and a longer bloom time. 


All fertilizers will have 3 numbers on the bag to represent the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. 

At Settlemyre Nursery, we carry a brand of fertilizers called Espoma. 

Espoma products we offer:

  • Garden Gypsum- loosens clay soils
  • Garden Lime- turns hydrangeas pink
  • Soil Acidifier- turns hydrangeas blue
  • All Season Lawn Food
  • Garden-tone
  • Rose-tone
  • Tomato-tone
  • Plant-tone- bigger growth and blooms
  • Holly-tone- evergreen and azalea food 
  • Bio-tone- starter fertilizer
  • Flower-tone
  • Tomato & Vegetable Liquid Food
  • Indoor Plant Liquid Food
  • Bonsai Mix- improves aeration and root growth 

Pest Control

When dealing with plants, pests are natural and sometimes unavoidable. BUT, there are  steps you can take to deter or remove pests. 

Since every situation is unique, we can provide a general list of options that you can try. Feel free to take pictures to send to to get a more specific answer. 

  • Neem Oil
  • Baby soap mixed with soap
  • Malathion (found at most stores like ACE)
  • BT

Planting Guide

      1. Dig the hole twice the width of the container but the same depth as the container. When in compacted soil, be sure to chip/rough up sides of the hole. 
      2. Lightly scratch top, bottom, and sides of rootball
      3. *If using Bio-tone, now is the time
      4. Plant with the rootball above ground 1-2” for drainage
      5. Backfill hole 50/50 with Daddy Pete’s Planting Soil and native soil, making a sandy brown color
      6. Create a bowl/berm with leftover native soil, mulch or pine straw to keep soil cool and to retain water.
      7. Water slow & deep

*See water guide above for watering guidelines 

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