Owning property with a customized landscape can be a lot of work to maintain by yourself. Out of all the chores to be done, we can’t stress enough the biggest and most basic one of all – watering. Check out these 10 watering tips that will help your landscape thrive this year.
1. Newly installed plants need more frequent watering than established ones.
Persistence is vital in those early stages. Follow these general rules to make sure you are supporting the proper root growth of your new plant installations.
1 Gallon plant = 2 to 3 gallons of water
3 Gal. plant = 5 gallons
Tree = 15 Gallons
Generally speaking, your water spigot will put out 5 gallons per minute.
How often should I water my plants?
Water daily during the first week (14 days for sod and seed).
Every 2 to 3 days for another 3 weeks.
Every 3 to 4 days for the rest of the year.
2. Water evenly and thoroughly.
Make sure that you are providing enough water so that the soil isn’t dry an hour or two after you are finished. On the other hand, if it’s super soggy, then you are over saturating the soil, which can be just a bad. While your watering, make sure you are hitting the entire surface, 360 degrees around the plant. This promotes even and stronger root growth.
Just remember – deep and consistent watering sessions promote healthier root systems. In this case, less is not always more!
3. Choose the right tools for your property and schedule.
If you can’t get outside to water when it’s needed, invest in an automatic irrigation system or, at the least, a manual sprinkler set up. If you are able to get out there yourself, find the right attachments that works best for you and your yard. We recommend something like this to help soak the base of the plants, but getting a sprinkler system for larger grassy lawns. Take it easy and make watering enjoyable for you.
4. Let the soil lightly dry out in between each water.
If your plant has water, it doesn’t need to be watered again – let it have time to breathe. If you continuously over water, you run the risk of drowning the plant, which means it isn’t able to the get oxygen it needs. Creating this cycle will help promote the roots to absorb nutrients, water, and oxygen so that the plant stays healthy.
Mulch on the surface helps reduce evaporation and retain in the soil. This alone is great when working on increasing your water efficiency and root development. Did you know it can also also slow down weed growth and reduce diseases? At the same time, mulch is an easy way to make your yard look clean and inviting.
There a lot of ‘wins’ when mulching correctly. That being said, it isn’t a simple solution. Overloading the mulch near the base of the plant can actually increase your chances of diseases, while not using enough on your yard can decrease those benefits. Be aware of what your doing with mulch and listen to what your plants – and soil – are telling you.
6. Watch your water efficiency.
We really can’t tell when we are going to get a drought – it just happens. At the same time, we don’t need to be wasting water and our resources even when we do have a rainy year. Being efficient with your water saves the environment, as well as your pocket.
A simple way to not waste water is to be aware of where it’s going. If it’s puddling, it’s not being used efficiently. If your sprinkler or irrigation system is spending more time watering your pavement than your yard – adjust it. Be mindful of how much water you are using, while at the same time making sure all your plants are getting exactly what they need.
7. Containers are different than the ground.
Be aware of the soil in your container gardens or potted plants. The soil in them may be on a different cycle then the rest of your yard, so it’s best to treat them separately.
8. Not sure about your soil? Stick your hand in it!
It’s simple – get down and dirty with your soil. The more you understand about how your soil responds to watering, the quicker you’ll know how to serve each plant in your yard. Higher clay content in your soil (ahem…western North Carolina) means it can’t absorb water quickly, however it does retain water longer than sandier soil. The more you know, the more efficient you can be.
Remember, always check one to two inches below the surface when checking soil moisture!
Become more educated in the needs of your plants, as well as their current placement on the property. Most likely, you have shady plants in the shade, and plants that need more sunlight in open areas. That being said, you will want to water accordingly to their specific needs. It may not be necessary to water equally throughout your yard, especially in shady areas that don’t see much sunlight.
10. Really watch the rain.
Summers in the Asheville often have quick afternoon showers. At the time, these showers may seem like they’re helping your landscape, but they may not be getting water deep into the soil. Pay attention to how much it rained, not just the fact that it did. If you aren’t sure, go outside and check your soil. Often times you’ll find that the soil is still dry and hour later!
Just remember, the more you know and are involved in your yard, the more it will provide you a beautiful outdoor environment for years to come.
Looking for more information on what to do with your new landscape? Check our beginner’s guide page!
-Team Snow Creek