garden shrubs

With mild winters many shrubs do well in the Carolina's. You can plant shrubs any time of year if paying attention to providing enough water.

Spring and Fall are still the best times for maximum growth.
Though many people think of spring as the gardening season.

in the Southeast fall is actually the preferred time for planting most landscape plants. During fall, cooler temperatures and lower humidity not only makes being outdoors more pleasant for people but also reduces stress on new plantings, making it more likely they will establish successfully and thrive in the future. Planting trees, shrubs and perennials in the fall between the beginning of September and the end of December allows them to grow roots now, so when spring arrives they are well established and ready to get growing.

Larger root systems help fall planted plants perform better during summer than those planted in spring. Trees and shrubs planted too deep may die quickly or may linger for several seasons, but never really thrive. Trees and shrubs should never be planted any deeper than they were growing in their container. When digging a hole to plant any type of woody plant, make sure to dig no deeper than the depth of the root ball.

Dig the hole wide enough for the plant’s root ball and still have plenty of room to gently fill the soil back in around the root ball. Inspect the root ball before placing it into the hole. Cut any circling roots to encourage them to grow out into the soil. Do not pack soil back around new plants. Instead, after planting, water in newly planted trees and shrubs to settle the soil around them.

New plantings will need to continue to be watered frequently for the first several weeks after they are planted, especially in sandy soils. Soaker hoses are excellent for watering new plantings because they apply water slowly at soil level, minimizing the amount of water lost through evaporation. Make sure to have the soaker hose very close to the base of newly planted plants to make sure their roots balls are receiving moisture. A three to four inch layer of mulch will help conserve moisture and reduce weed growth around new plantings. Apply mulch evenly over the planting bed but not up against the trunks of trees and shrubs.
(info from NCSU site)planting shrubs

To prune or not to prune?
unpruned plants do better than the pruned ones during the first year.

They put on more growth, and fewer of them die. After two years, the pruned trees catch up with their unpruned neighbors, but pruning takes its toll. The pruned trees, especially those with one-third or more of their branches removed, often have less attractive shapes.