Maybe you aren’t familiar with this image either. We need rain desperately. And if we say we need rain, we really mean it. It’s bad. It’s a complete dust bowl and every living thing is unhappy. And if you haven’t watering ….. well ….. I can’t even comment.
How we can help? We have some important advice. Read this. Read it again. Print it. And then go water your plants per the instructions. You are welcome!
FIRST, PLANTS ARE LIVING THINGS AND REQUIRE YOUR ATTENTION. Think of them like quiet children. You know those quiet ones. They don’t say a word, never complain and then you find them covered in permanent marker. Only plants wilt, turn yellow, brown and won’t come back to you.
Here are some tips to help ensure your plants, newly planted and EVEN established, continue to thrive. If you have a drip system, use it as a tool, not a replacement for all watering. Follow the guidelines below if you need to provide additional water.
Be observant of changes in your plants. Are they wilting? Are leaves curling or browning at the tips? If yes, they are thirsty. Water deeply to completely saturate the root ball. If leaves are yellowing you may be over-watering.
Monitoring water requirements frequently is more important than watering frequently. Before watering check the soil to see if it is dry/moist/wet. Use a probe (dowel, rebar, broomstick, sturdy tree branch) and push it down into the soil by the plant 8 – 15″, depending on the size of plant. Pull it out and examine it. (Moisture meters can also be purchased at Lowe’s.) If the probe shows:
- wet/muddy throughout – don’t water.
- dry at the top and wet at the bottom – don’t water.
- evenly moist from top to bottom – don’t water, but may need some soon.
- wet/moist at the top and dry at the bottom – water deeply to saturate the root ball.
- dry from top to bottom – water to saturate throughout
If you do this a few times you’ll soon have a sense of very localized issues in your yard and plant needs.
Slow, deep watering is preferred. Place the hose at the base of a plant on a heavy trickle/gentle flow. Water 5-10 minutes for small plants, longer for larger plants or if the plants are dry. It’s best to move the hose around the base of the plant to assure that the entire root system is watered. If hand watering use the hose or a watering wand. Sprayers are too harsh and generally don’t provide enough water.
When the soil feels moist, do not water. Soil must be allowed to dry out a bit between watering. (We’re not talking the Sahara, here!) If a plant is maintained in constantly wet soil, the roots can’t breathe and may rot.
Reduce – but don’t quit – watering as plants go dormant. As the weather cools and the rains come, you’ll need to water less frequently. Monitor the soil moisture. You may still need to water during winter months. If we haven’t had rain for 2 weeks you’ll want to water, even those plants that have lost their leaves. The roots are still alive!
We hope this is helpful. Let us know if you have questions or concerns. Ok, that’s all. Ok, GO. GO WATER!