Watering Your Plants

The best way to ensure the survival of your plants is through watering. How much water needed will be affected by the temperature, how much sun the plants receive, the wind, and the specific water needs of a plant. Temperature, wind, and sunlight work hand in hand in evaporating water from the soil. For instance, windy areas of high sun exposure will dry out the soil quicker than calm, shady areas. Try to picture your landscape in watering zones (sunny areas-high use of water and shady areas-lower use of water). If you water using an irrigation system, water the sunny zones longer. This can be achieved by the use of a timer. If you’re hand watering, you can control this by giving the needed water to the various areas of your landscape. If you have container plants to care for, they have an even higher evaporation rate than plants in the ground. Container plants may need to be watered daily in the summer time when exposed to the full sun.

Moisture Needs of Plants can vary depending on the type of plants in your landscape. Drought tolerant plants like a Juniper can go for long periods of time with little water. On the other hand, trees like the Weeping Willow or the flowering shrub Hydrangea require a constant level of soil moisture.

How to water Always water the plants at their base. It is recommended that one use some sort of watering wand to dampen the water pressure and reduce soil erosion around the base of the plant. The leaves of your plants do take moisture in naturally. Try to avoid getting the leaves wet when watering. The water left on the leaves can collect dust and other particles from the air that can cause various diseases for your plant. Watering can vary depending on the ability of your soil to soak up water. With your hose at a slow trickle, allow the water to run for approximately 1-2 minutes for small plants and 5-10 minutes for large plants or trees. This will ensure that the water will soak down into the soil approx. 6 inches so that the roots get adequate moisture.

Watering Plants During the First Year can take a little more effort. New plants have not established their root systems into your landscape, so watering requirements will be higher. Most new plants need an inch of water per week during the spring (1 to 2 times per week). The summer heat can push the water requirement up to 2 to 3 times per week. The fall months you can cut back to 1 to 2 times per week. The Winter months (most plants are dormant) allows for mother nature to do her share of watering and give you a break. If you experience a dry winter, make sure your new plants get some water at least every 2 to 3 weeks. It takes at least one year for plants to establish their root systems to find water on their own. The most important thing to do is watch your plants. They will tell you if they are getting enough water (looking healthy) or not enough (leaves tend to droop or start to drop off). Leaves will droop or start to drop off as a built-in protection device. The best time to water is early in the morning but if that is not possible water when you are able to as all plants need water to survive.