If you are like most of us, it is hard to remember how much to water, when to water, and how often. Here is a simple guide to help you through your watering wonders...
What should I water?
You should be watering any newly planted grass seed, new sod, trees or shrubs planted within the last year and a half, newly planted perennials, annual beds, and any potted plants.
Plants that are well established generally do not need supplemental watering unless we are in a severe drought.
How often should I water?
This depends on how much rain we have received. This fall, the rainfall has been limited, but in other years, it may be abundant.
If we get an inch of rain or more in a week, supplemental watering is typically not needed for newly planted trees, shrubs, or perennial. If we do not have rainfall, a thorough watering may be needed once a week.
Potted plants should still be checked daily. Because the root systems of potted plants are confined, expanding roots are not able to find more water like those planted in the ground.
Grass seed on the other hand often needs to be watered daily (if not twice a day in extreme heat) until it emerges and develops a root system. If it rains, just be sure to check the seeded area to see if the soil has dried. Newly planted sod also will need watered daily until the root system develops enough to support itself. In cooler temperatures, watering new sod daily is often not necessary.
What time of day should I water?
It is best to water plants in the morning. This gives the plant time to dry out prior to dark, which typically leads to fewer diseases. A good rule of thumb is to be done watering by 3 PM. If you notice you must water something later in the evening, do your best to avoid the foliage, watering just at the base of the plant.
How much water do I use?
The guide below is great for newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials - and should only be done once per week (unless in extreme heat).
General Watering Guidelines for Clay Soil:
1 gal. Pot – trickle water for approx. 15-20 minutes
2 gal. Pot – trickle water for approx. 30-40 minutes
3 gal. Pot – trickle water for approx. 40-50 minutes
4 gal. To 7 gal. – trickle water for approx. 60 minutes
B&B – trickle water for 60-70 minute
Potted plants should be watered when dry (do the finger test and see if the plant needs watered). Water potted plants until water trickles out the bottom of the pot. If your water immediately runs out, wait a little bit and water again. Late in the season, many plants are root bound, making it hard for the water to be absorbed into the available potting mix. Doing a second round of watering in this case will help the water penetrate the potting mix better, helping your beautiful plants get the water they need.
Newly planted grass seed needs to watered enough to wet the area and keep the seed alive, but avoid puddling. A nice gentle sprinkler is great for these areas.
For new sod, you want to water thoroughly to help the roots grow deeper into the soil. Light watering of sod will lead to shallow roots and weaker turf in the future. How long to leave the hose on will depend on the type of sprinkler, amount of wind, and the type of soil.
When should I stop watering?
Watering is not necessary once the ground is frozen.
As always, if you have specific questions, please comment below or give us a call at the store at 319-377-4195!