Terry Soares, owner of Hatchville’s Soares Flower Garden Nursery, agrees with Stevens that evergreens planted seaside should be wrapped lightly in burlap. “You know, it’s interesting, but this is a subject I’ve just recently been discussing a lot with other landscapers,” says Soares who has been a landscape professional on the Cape for 29 years. “Some people feel that wrapping too tightly can cause more problems, leading to damage and disease. We like to wrap the exposed evergreens loosely, perhaps around several stakes to protect the plant.”
Soares says that she has noticed that cedars, like Leyland cypress, also prefer to be planted in the spring. Her nursery, which specializes in unusual and old-fashioned perennials and annuals, also plants lots of perennials in the fall. “It’s also a really good time to divide perennials,” says Soares. “But it’s really important with perennial divisions that they are properly watered until the ground freezes.”
Beach grasses, a huge favorite of Cape and Islands’ homeowners, should not be planted in the fall, says Soares. “We have learned that it is better to wait until mid-April or so to plant the grasses,” says Soares, noting that these perennials are susceptible to wind and ice damage, especially since ice can settle in the stalky crown of the plant, leading to root damage.
When planting perennials, trees, or shrubs, Soares likes to amend her soil with a combination of compost and peat moss. “I like to fill a wheel barrow with compost and peat and have it on hand if the hole we have dug needs better soil,” says Soares. “If the soil isn’t good enough, we mix in a few shovelfuls of that mixture. Either way we like to top dress the new planting with a few inches of the soil amendments.”