Lauren’s Garden Service Newly Installed Garden Care Information


Thank you for choosing Lauren’s Garden Service for your new garden! Here is some information that will be beneficial for ensuring your newly installed garden will thrive for years to come! You can also find lots of info on our blogs and under ‘Garden Care Tips’ on our website.

Plant Replacement Policy

At Lauren’s Garden Service we hand-pick and assess each plant we purchase from quality local growers, and we guarantee that our plants are pest and disease free on the day of installation. If a plant dies after installation, we can replace it at wholesale cost, under the following conditions:

  • If your garden was installed in the spring or summer (April-September), the wholesale replacement guarantee applies through the end of that growing season (the fall of the same year).
  • If your garden was installed in the fall or early winter (October-December), the wholesale replacement guarantee applies to plants that don’t return as expected the following spring.
  • This does not cover plants that die due to too much or too little water, deer or animal browsing, or other natural elements out of our control.
  • Replacement plants must be picked up by the client at our nursery in Ellicott City.
  • If you are unable to install the replacement plants yourself, please contact us for an estimate for the crew to return to your site.

To request wholesale replacement plants, please email us as soon as possible after you notice a plant in decline. Please include a photo of the affected plant(s) and note the quantity needed.

All material is guaranteed as specified and all work completed in a workmanlike manner according to standard practices. All plants are guaranteed to be alive, pest free and in good condition on the day of installation. Plants covered in the guarantee will be replaced one time only, at wholesale cost. Annuals are excluded from this guarantee. Liability not to exceed plant value. We recommend regularly scheduled professional garden care to help ensure the long-term health of your new landscape.

All plants have a “peak” season when they are looking their best, and their appearance can vary drastically depending on the time of year they are installed. When planning your garden, we choose a variety of plants with multi-season interest. If you are not sure if your new plantings are looking seasonally appropriate, please email us a photo, and we’ll take a look.

All guarantees or claims against us are null and void due to: 1) improper watering or care by owner, 2) acts of nature including, but not limited to, flood, drought, insects, prolonged freeze or extreme heat, 3) physical damage caused by humans or animals (deer, mice, etc.)

Please notify Lauren’s Garden Service if you need specific watering instructions. Overwatered and under watered plants are not covered by this guarantee.

There is no guarantee on transplanted plants, annuals, grass seed or plants selected by clients.

The following are expressly excluded from coverage by this warranty: Client supplied plants, transplants, grass seed and sod along with specified plants that might be installed in a location against the advice of Lauren’s Garden Service. Transplanting, in most cases, is successful. However, to insure success we must prune each plant moderately to severely as we see fit before its relocation is started.

Once material is delivered and installed, the responsibility for disappearance, theft, or vandalism shall be the customer’s.

In order to have plants replaced you must notify Lauren’s Garden Service with an email photo of the plant/plants as soon as it starts to decline. Plants will often recover if treated properly to the right amount of water. We cannot replace plants that have completely died with no prior warning of their decline. Please read the literature we have provided for information on proper plant care. Plants planted in the year prior to the summer months will need extra watering attention June-September.

General Plant Care Information

  • The plants that we have chosen for your landscape have been selected based on your particular site and your requests for native, low maintenance, deer resistance, shade, soil type, etc. While we have done our best to select plants that will thrive for your location you will still need to monitor your new planting closely until it is established. This means checking for any damage from insects or animals and monitoring proper watering amounts.
  • If you have asked for a deer resistant planting we have done our best to select deer resistant plants. However, deer tend to not read the lists of deer-resistant plants! The plants may be deer-resistant, but that does not mean that they may not be nibbled on from time to time. To keep deer away, you can use Liquid Fence, motion detector sprinklers, or natural remedies. You can visit our blog post about deer to read more about preventative measures to reduce deer and other unwanted animals in your landscape.
  • At Lauren’s Garden Service, we hand pick and assess each plant we purchase to ensure that we are providing the best quality to our clients. Since are not a wholesale grower and we hand pick stock from quality local nurseries that are pest and disease free, we are not able to refund or replace any plants that have been installed for free. Please send us a photo as soon as a plant starts to look like its struggling and we can help you troubleshoot a solution. If you find that a plant has died, we can replace the plant at wholesale cost.
  • Don’t forget that plants are living and need your attention! They are very forgiving as long as they can get some attention-making sure they are getting watered and have enough nutrients (whether it is just enough, too much, or too little), and pruned if necessary.
  • If you have questions, feel free to send your questions along with any other helpful information, like pictures of plants in question, to our email ( or call us (410-461-2535), or you can visit our site and check out our FAQ page  as well as our Blog
  • There are a variety of factors that will impact the health of your landscape: soil type, amount of rain you normally (seasonally and daily) get, amount of sun/shade different portions of your landscape gets, the amount of attention given to the plants.
  • Please see number 10 under Watering Instructions about a special note for watering in Baltimore area summers! Devising a plan ahead of time is key!

Watering Instructions:

We water thoroughly upon completion of installing your garden. However, your newly installed garden does need extra watering care during the first year. Here are some watering tips for your new garden:

  1. Landscapes planted in the spring or summer will require close attention (inspecting the level of soil moisture to determine if the plants need to be watered) every day until the cooler winter weather arrives. Landscapes planted in the fall and winter will still need attention but not on a daily basis. Even if the fall/winter plants appear established, make sure they get regular water in their first spring and summer. Also- when temperatures warm in the cold seasons, use this as an opportunity to water your plants.
  2. Let the rain water for you as much as possible.
  3. Watering should occur at least twice a week, however, this will change depending on the season, with the potential for a need to water more in the spring and summer, and less in the fall and winter. This is also determined soil type, plant type, temperatures, rainfall, sun/shade, etc. We advise that watering of 1 inch per week is a good starting point. If your garden is in the sun and the soil dries quickly you will need to adjust your watering compared to another garden in the shade that holds moisture well.
  4. Watering is best when it is done in the morning or early evening. This allows for the plants to absorb the water throughout the day, and prevents the water from evaporating quickly on hot afternoons in the summer. Morning is preferable so that they foliage dries before night time. Sometimes a combo of wet plants and cold evening temps can cause a ripe environment for pathogens. That is why applying water at the base of the plant, instead of overhead watering with a sprinkler, is ideal.
  5. When watering, use a water wand or shower setting on the hose attachment so the plants do not get drowned or damaged by water shooting out of the hose directly.
  6. Do your best to apply the water directly to the base of the plant for maximum benefits, as well as to avoid any damage to the foliage. Sprinklers are not optimal since they tend to water inefficiently and leave foliage wet. If using a sprinkler make sure to water in the morning.
  7. New sod, grass seed, and transplants (plants moved from one portion of the landscape to another and not in a container or a pot before planting) should be watered daily for the first 2 weeks or more, depending on site and soil conditions.
  8. If the soil around the plants is kept too wet, the leaves may sometimes wilt and change from a green to a more of a yellow color. If you are watering every day, try watering every other day, or wait until the soil no longer feels wet.
  9. If the soil is too dry, leaves may curl and turn a brown color. Don’t despair as many plants will spring back to life if the watering routine is adjusted.
  10. A special note about June-Sept in Howard County area. We often get a lot of calls and emails about plants dying at this time of year. If your plants have thrived so far, and then decline quickly in the summer, most likely they have not received the proper amount of watering. This is a time of year when garden care motivation is low, clients are on vacation and its really hot and humid outside. Please devise a watering plan ahead of time to ensure your plantings make it through this time period. A sprinkler or soaker hose on a timer that waters without your need to remember may be a great option! If plants dry out once on one hot day you can lose them. Often they’re still alive but will die back severely and require extra watering care until cooler fall temps.
  11. Here is a link to some other tips/info on watering. And another link to more watering info can be found here: LGS Watering Instructions.


Food for your Plants:

  1. It is advised that you do not use every-day fertilizers that you may get from some landscaping or home improvement stores. They can have many chemicals that will not be absorbed into the plants and will run-off during rain events and eventually hit local watersheds, damaging the ecosystems, as well as the Chesapeake Bay in the long run.
  2. We advise applying mulch, leafgro, and compost to feed your plants. Leaves can be used as compost over the winter to protect your plants, while letting helpful insects over-winter in the shelter that the leaves provide. See our blog post  about leaves for more information on how to use leaves in your garden.
  3. If you are in doubt as to how much you fertilizer you should use, try using compost or manure, as it is more difficult to over-fertilize with those choices. Generally a 1 inch application of leafgro once every few years will do the trick. Make sure your mulch is breaking down and adding to the soil each year. Large sized mulch that does not break down in one year doesn’t add to improving the soil structure the way a good triple shredded hardwood from Clark’s Ace would.
  4. When fertilizer is needed- use an Espoma product (natural, insoluable fertilizer) that will feed the soil effectively without running off in the water supply. Scratch it into the soil around the base of your plants.
  5. Here is a link to some more tips on fertilizing.


Preventative Measures:

  1. To keep deer off of your plants, try using Deer Off or Liquid Fence. Be sure to use as directed on the bottle. If that still doesn’t work (because we know deer can be persistent) try using deer netting which will cover the plants while still making them presentable. There is more information about in our blog post found here.
  2. Inspect your plants periodically to make sure that the insects that are living there are ones that you want and not pests. Proper food and water for your plants will help prevent unwanted pests.
  3. Pruning: prune any dead or dying parts of the plant. Pruning can be done to maintain the shape of the tree or shrub, and encourages new growth. Too much can kill the plant or make it more susceptible to disease or pests.
  4. Mulch helps to reduce evaporation and to suppress weeds that will compete with your plants for the same water.  Mulch should be about 1-2 inches thick, and not touch the base of the plant. Too much mulching will not allow for water to reach the plants, and will develop a mat that does not let rain water through and can cause fungal growth. Mulch once a year with triple shredded hardwood, pine bark much, or double shredded hardwood.
  5. Apply compost 1 inch thick every 2-5 years
  6. Apply a natural fertilizer before applying mulch. We prefer using Espoma holly tone, rose tone, plant tone or many other formulations based on your plants.


Specific Plant Care Instructions:

Trees and Shrubs:

  1. When first installed, trees and shrubs should be watered thoroughly every other day to once a week. Be sure that the soil is drying somewhat in between watering.
  2. Most of the trees and shrubs that Lauren’s Garden Service installs will only need hand-pruning to keep the plants shape and to keep it healthy and growing.
  3. When pruning shrubs, never remove more than ⅓ of the plant size as this may be detrimental to the plant’s health. Unless you are trying to really reduce the size of a large shrub and are ok with potentially losing it.
  4. Winter is a great time for pruning most shrubs and trees. I usually start by removing any crossing branches to increase air flow moving into the plant. This helps avoid diseases! Here is a link to the proper time of year to prune various shrubs. It is a general guideline and we know through experience that these boundaries can be pushed with successful pruning at other times of year but this is a starting point!
  5. Fertilize once a year with a natural product like Espoma. Apply compost every 2-3 years before putting down mulch.
  6. Mulch once a year with a mulch that will break down and add to the soil.


  1. Gently water every other day in the spring and summer when establishing, and 1-2 times per week in the fall until it freezes.
  2. Hand-prune dead portions of the plant throughout the seasons. Dead-head (removing any spent blooms just below the bloom) after flowering to promote continued flowering and cut back perennials to the ground in fall the plant has turned fully brown or you can wait until spring to be environmentally friendly as birds and insects use the dead perennials as shelter to over winter.
  3. Fertilize with a natural fertilizer like Espoma once a year in spring.
  4. Ornamental grasses can be left through winter and trimmed back in the spring. However, they can be cut back to 3-5” if you would prefer your winter landscape without them.


Weed Control

  1. See our blog post  for our favorite hand tools to use while weeding.
  2. For newly installed beds, they may be weedier than your older, more established gardens.
  3. Apply mulch in early spring (or right after planting) to help prevent weeds from sprouting.
  4. Spot weed once a week, or as weeds come up. Keeping up with weeds will help keep them away and keep them from spreading.
  5. Edging your beds will also help keep weeds and grass from spreading in your garden bed.
  6. Don’t forget to always remove weeds by the root or else they will grow back.
  7. Try to avoid letting weeds flower and go to seed. This will help prevent them from really establishing themselves in your landscape. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Our site is always a good place to check for inspiration, other plant care tips, and other helpful information you might need to maintain your new, beautiful landscape!

We provide pruning, weeding, fertilizing and other maintenance services so give us a call if you need help! 410-461-2535.