Watering tips for maintaining new trees & shrubs:
- Check the soil moisture before you water. It's a good idea to never assume your plant is thirsty needs water without checking first. Until the roots are established (which takes about a year) your new transplant will need generous amounts of watering to support the root system. Check the ground around your tree or shrub to determine if the soil is dry or saturated. If the soil is dry, water completely so the water can seep down into the root ball - which is usually about 12" - 18" depending on the specimen. You want to deep water about 2-3 times a week, or when the top 3" of soil is dry.
- Don't rely on your irrigation system to take care of your trees and shrubs and established perennials. Sprinklers are designed to "top water" the surface. The water does not travel deep enough to reach the roots of your plants, and they will often suffer for it. Be generous with your watering, especially when the temperatures rise. Be sure to let the hose run long enough to water deep into the ground.
- If your annuals are planted in the ground, check the moisture level by poking it with your finger (about 2" deep). If the soil is dry, then water.
- If your annuals are in containers or hanging baskets, they are going to need more frequent watering, so check daily when the weather is sunny and hot. You may be able to skip a day if it's cloudy out. Hanging baskets will need watering 2x a day when the temps are above 90, or if it's unusually windy. The soil dries quicker in hanging baskets, so take care to monitor them daily during the summer. Water until it drips out of the drainage holes in the bottom, that way you'll be sure the roots are hydrated.
- DO allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again.
- DO make sure to "deep water" using a hose (not a sprinkler or watering can) You want to insure that the water reaches the root ball. Water your new tree or shrub at least 2-3 times a week for the first year until the roots become established.
- Do always check the soil before you water. If it's a potted plant, stick your finger about 2" down to determine if it's thirsty.
- DON'T over water your plants. Too much of a good thing can kill your plant. The roots need water and oxygen. If you overwater it takes the oxygen away and the roots will suffocate. If you have good soil with proper drainage, it should not be a problem.
- DON'T rely on your irrigation sytem to deep water your plants.
If you're really unsure about watering your plants and have concerns, give us a call (804-378-0700) and we'll give you the advice you need.