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Tips for Smart Watering

Smart watering means healthier plants. Watering too much or not enough produces weak plants that are susceptible to pests and disease. Proper watering = beautiful landscapes.

Where to Water

For efficient watering, water where the roots are located. Watering the plant's leaves can cause sun scald and fungal growth.
  • Focus on watering the soil instead of the plant itself.
  • Water trees and large shrubs slowly (for 1 hour), using only a trickle of water from the hose.
  • Water deeply so the plant establishes deep, spreading root systems.

How Much Water

Water should be applied as quickly as it can be absorbed by the soil. Applying too much causes erosion and wastes water.
  • Check soil moisture using a moisture meter shown below to determine how much water should be applied.
  • Stick the moisture meter 4 inches into soil.
  • Apply a 2 inch layer of mulch around your plants to retain moisture.

How Often to Water

The soil should be allowed to briefly dry out between watering. Over watering literally drowns plants, rotting their roots and inhibiting nutrient absorption.
  • Large shrubs/trees: For summer installations, slowly soak daily for 1-2 hours per tree. For spring/fall installations, soak 1-2 times/week for the first year.
  • Small shrubs/perennials: 1-2 times/ week for the first two months after installation. Use a water meter shown at right to determine when to water after the first two months.
  • Resist the urge to water! In the picture shown at right, the moisture meter shows that the soil is wet. Hot temperatures, not lack of water, are causing wilt.

General Watering Tips

Use common sense - if it has rained significantly (1 in. or more), your plants do not need water. Likewise, if temperatures are 80 degrees and above for 3+ weeks without significant rain, check your plants for moisture.

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