Of all the watering tips we offer as landscape professionals, the most important one is to follow the adage, ‘Right plant, right place”. Appropriate design and plant selection ensures your garden beds will be lush and full during most of the year, regardless of the weather. There is a time however, when even well designed gardens need supplemental watering. That time is the first two years after planting, or the establishment phase. Read on to ensure your plants are well established and that you are watering appropriately!
General Watering Tips
- Water regularly for the first year after planting to get new plants established. If your landscape is designed well, supplemental water is only necessary the second year during periods of drought.
- If possible, water in early morning. In hot afternoon sun, water evaporates rapidly, and in the evening, plants are not actively utilizing the water which can stimulate disease. Encourage maximum plant growth with deep but infrequent watering.
- Consider days of extreme heat, cold, rain, or wind and adjust the frequency and amount of water.
- Observe your plants! Wilted plants mean you should increase watering. If you have been watering well and leaves are wilted and yellow, you may have a drainage issue. Check with GreenWeaver if you need help.
- To maximize water efficiency and minimize your efforts, water only the root zone and soil immediately surrounding the plant.
Watering Tips for Trees & Shrubs:
- Water the entire root system deeply and thoroughly; for a large tree, it may take up to an hour, for smaller shrubs, it may take 10 minutes. Time depends on the rate of watering, the size of the plant, soil properties, and percolation rate. Take into account recent rainfall when watering.
- Water extensively 1-2 times per week.
- Slow release watering bags or 5-gallon buckets with a small hole in the bottom allow the water to soak into the ground over time and speed up the process of watering numerous plants.
Watering Tips for Perennials:
- Cover the entire root system deeply and thoroughly. Do this by hand, using a garden hose, or to cover large areas, a sprinkler.
- In the spring and fall months of year-one, water 3-4 times per week.
- During hot summer months of year-one, water 3-6 times per week.
Watering Tips for Lawns (Sod):
- Use a sprinkler to water sod until thoroughly saturated.
- Water edges of sod by hand using a garden hose, as they tend to dry out faster.
- Daily watering is necessary the 1st week following installation.
- Water 3 times per week until established (usually about 3 weeks).
- Water as needed for the rest of the season – weekly in the summer months.
Watering Tips for Lawns (Seed):
- Use a sprinkler to reach all areas of seed.
- Seed should be constantly moist, but not saturated.
- Water at least 1 time daily for first 2 weeks following installation.
- Water regularly through establishment.
Design your landscape well, water it frequently during establishment, and you will be rewarded with a beautiful, useful, and healthy landscape for years to come.