HORTICULTURAL PROFESSIONAL

Plant Care

Watering

When Mother Nature isn’t cooperating with occasional rainfall, we gardeners need to get out the hose and take care of watering our trees and shrubs properly.

watering

It’s really critical that you watch the watering on newly planted trees, shrubs, evergreens, perennials and even annuals. With their young root system, they are trying to get established, and can dry out easily. It’s a real balancing act between natural rainfall and using the hose.

One thing that really helps hold the water in soils is a natural mulch such as wood chips, bark, or even cocoa bean mulch. These mulches keep soil cool and prevent water from evaporating. If you are unsure if the ground is dry, it is as easy as sticking your finger in the soil (pull aside the mulch to do this) and see how dry it is. Of course, plants will wilt, and although that is usually a sign of dry soils, it can sometimes be a sign of overly wet soils as well, so you cannot use it as your only indication that it is time to water.

When you do water plants, it is best to give them a deep, thorough watering less often, than it is to water lightly every day. Soaker hoses are great for this purpose.

As plants grow and mature, you’ll find the need to water less often. This doesn’t mean, though, that during extended dry periods you won’t need to water. Consider this: if your garden does not get 1” of natural rainfall per week, you may want to consider supplemental watering with a deep soaking.