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It's Officially Summer, Here's Our Guide on When & How to Water


When Mother Nature does not provide adequate rainfall ( ½ inch to 1 inch ) a week during the growing season, it is imperative to supplement with watering to keep your lawn and plants healthy.


Grass:

Water grass immediately following each mowing or within 24 hours. Deep Saturation once a week is better than watering multiple times a week. Watering multiple times a week hinders deep root growth. Deep Saturation (4-6 hours) once a week trains the root system to grow deeper and develops a more drought tolerant plant. During excessive heat, the plant will conserve the resource of water and resist going dormant.

             

Sod:

The key to successful sod is to not let the sod dry out at all for the first 2 weeks. Water for 2 hours a day, twice a day for the first week. 2 hours of watering in the morning and 2 hours of watering around dinner time. This can be reduced to 1 time a day the second week. 2 hours a day, preferably in the morning. Continue watering as needed after the second week. Always water after mowing if rain is not provided naturally.

             

Seed:

Newly seeded areas need constant small amounts of water 3-4 times a day. ¼ inch to a ½ half inch of water a day should do the job nicely. This process should continue until the grass has reached a height of 4 inches. At that time, mow the turf as closely to 4inches. Continue watering 2 times a day until the seed has matured. Once matured continue watering every time the turf is mowed if natural water is not provided by Mother Nature


Small Trees:

It is best to provide 10 – 15 gallons of water for every caliper inch of tree one time a week during the growing season. (Caliper is determined by the diameter of the trunk 6 inches from the base of the tree.)

If watering by hose, turn it on a slow trickle and lay the hose on the highest spot at the base of the trunk. The idea is to saturate the root mass and the dry soil around it. Dry soil will wick water away from the tree or plant. It is very important to water the area surrounding it as well as the root mass.

                           

Shrubs & Perennials:

Follow the procedure of watering small trees but reduce the amount of water to 5-10 gallons of water per week.

                           

Annuals:

Most annuals require frequent watering. This could be daily in times of intense heat. Temperatures above 90 degrees may require watering twice a day. Early Morning and Late Evening. Try not to water annuals during blazing direct sun. Some annuals do not require daily watering and are ok with water 2-3 times a week. Petunias would be an example of an annual that does not need frequent watering.

 

Is it possible to overwater?

YES! Roots need oxygen too! Even aquatic plants need oxygen. Most plants root systems need to dry out before receiving water again. This is a good opportunity to train the plant to handle drought stress. The roots will learn to conserve the resource and keep the overall health of the plant in good standing by deep saturation watering. Deep saturation watering is the key to developing a strong, healthy, resistant and drought tolerant plant.

 

Special Tips:

  • Water the ground around the plant and avoid watering the leaves. Specifically, if it is hot and sunny. Water laying on the leaves will burn the surface of the leaf causing unneeded stress to the plant.


  • A two inch layer of mulch around the plant will help retain moisture and slow the process of evaporation. NOTE: Do not let the mulch be two inches deep directly against the plant trunk. Only on top of the root mass.

 

  • If your schedule does not allow you to water during the recommended times above, water when you can. The plant will thank you.

 

  • Observe the plants look. Sometimes the plant will just want more and will show you by the color of the plant and or wilting. Do what is asking you to do. Water me!

 

  • Hot and windy days will require more watering. Heat and wind will initiate faster transpiration in the plant. The plant will show you that it thirsty by wilting or the color of the plant will fade. Look for light greyish hues.

 

  • Soaker hoses are best for trees. Wrap several rings around the base of the tree and around the existing soil surrounding the root ball.

 

  • Battery operated timers are your best friend if you do not have an irrigation system.

 

  • Let the hose run for a minute before watering the plant. Black hoses really heat up the water in the line and can burn the plant if applied directly on the leaves.

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