Don’t wait for the plants to tell you with wilting and leaves dropping off! If that happens, you’ll just be watering to keep the plant’s roots alive so it may possibly come back later. Inspect the soil. Dig around with your hands, soil probe, garden trowel, or shovel. You’ll be able to tell quickly how far down you are actually watering. Learn more about watering them by reading the tips below:

 

 

  • Trees

 

 

How big is the root ball? You aren’t just watering the first couple inches of soil. Your goal is to slowly water the soil/mulch over the root ball so that the water does not run-off and slowly percolates down into the soil, soaking that entire root zone. An average tree that we install has a root ball of 20″-30″ deep. 

 

The easiest and cheapest way to water a tree is to lay a hose at the base of the trunk, a few inches away. Turn the hose on a slow trickle and watch it. If you are getting a bunch of run-offs you need to turn the hose down. You will most likely need to have the hose run for an hour on 3 positions around the trunk.

 

 

  • Shrubs

 

 

The same principles that apply for a tree apply for shrubs, but with a lesser scale. Shrubs come in a variety of sizes of containers and root balls. Understand your goal is to get that whole root ball moist. How big is the root ball? You aren’t just watering the first couple inches of soil. Your goal is to slowly water the soil/mulch over the root ball so that the water does not run-off and slowly percolates down into the soil, soaking that entire root zone. An average shrub that we install has a root ball of 12″-20″ deep.

 

The easiest and cheapest way to water shrubs is to lay a hose at the base of the plant, a few inches away. Turn the hose on a slow trickle and watch it. If you are getting a bunch of run-offs, you need to turn the hose down. You will most likely need to have the hose run for about 10-20 minutes at 2-3 positions around the trunk.

 

 

  • Flowers

 

 

Most of these plants will only have roots in the first 3″-8″ of soil after they are planted. This means a different approach. You won’t have to water quite as long in each location, but you may have that top few inches of soil and mulch dry out quickly depending on conditions. Whereas when you water a tree, the moisture is still down in the majority of the root system even if the top few inches dry out, with small plants, you may need to water more frequently if it is hot and dry.

You can use a watering wand (similar to a showerhead) on the end of your hose and water each plant individually for 15-20 seconds, then give it about a 20-second break (you can move onto the next plant) and then come back and repeat that 15-20 second watering again for that small plant.

 

If you have large areas of annuals or groundcover you may want to consider using an overhead sprinkler. Just be sure you aren’t watering within 3-4 hours from dusk, so the plant leaves don’t remain wet all night and promote fungal diseases. If you are using an overhead sprinkler, you’ll need to run your sprinklers a couple of times a day for about 20 minutes each time.