Water is a critical factor to the successful establishment of landscape plants. Here are some rules for keeping your plants healthy and happy.
• Excess or insufficient water will impede formation of new roots.
• Always water the area deeply after planting.
• If you can’t put your plants in the ground right away, then you must water plant containers or burlapped balls DAILY.
• Newly planted trees or shrubs must receive adequate water weekly during the entire first growing season to become established. On large caliper trees, weekly watering may be necessary through the next growing season also. Rainfall alone rarely provides adequate, consistent moisture.
• A gardener must pay attention to the weather, the weekly rainfall, the temperature and the wind.
• As a general rule, large trees should get 10 gallons of water 2-3 times a week. Smaller shrubs should receive 5 gallons of water 2-3 times a week. It is recommended to use an open ended hose for watering. This is about 2 minutes of a hose on a slow steady stream for 5 gallons and about 5 minutes for 10 gallons of water.
• Sprinklers are for shallow roots plants, such as grass, not for shrubs and trees.
• If there is a drought, then water 3 times a week. If it is very windy, water three times a week. If you received a sprinkling of rain today, that does not count as watering. If it poured out for five minutes, this does not count as watering. This rain is generally too fast to soak in and usually just runs off.
• The best way to check your soil is to put your hand underneath the mulch or fabric at the base of the plant. If the soil is soggy, cut down on watering, if dry, increase the water. If conditions
are dry, watering may have to start as early as March or continue into November.
• Always mulch whatever you plant. This will reduce the drying out of your plants.