Watering Plants Correctly & Thoroughly

watering-plants-landscaping ideas-Asheville

With hot weather comes our share of dry days and lack of rainfall. This can cause potential stress on your landscape and plantings. Supplemental watering will help the survival of your investment.  Take these notes on how to adequately water leaving all plants thoroughly satisfied.

Observe for Adequate Moistures

Make observations in the garden. Take a look at the leaves of the plants. Are they wilting? Are there brown leaves at the base of the plant? Scratch beneath the soil’s surface with a small trough to see if the soil beneath the surface is holding water or how dry it is. Dig several inches down to the root system to tell if there is any moisture. The soil should be moderately damp but not soupy wet. If there is moisture, skip watering. If not, get out the soaker hose and curl around the base of the plant or throughout the planting area. If a drip irrigation system is set up, the emitter can be added to adequately water at different gallons per hour.watering-plants-landscape ideas-Asheville

Watering for Penetration to Root Systems

If watering by hand or spot watering, first water until there is some runoff. Water each plant lightly using the rain dial on the handle instead of the hard pressure jet spray. A slow, steady stream is best to give a good drink to each plant. Water will slowly penetrate better instead of running off the surface of the mulch and away from the plant. After ten minutes of watering, brush away the mulch around the plant and dig down to see how much in inches the water has penetrated. This will give you a good understanding as to how long to continue watering. If setting up the sprinkler in the yard over a period, place a small bucket in the vicinity of the plant. Measure the amount of water obtained in the bucket and how long the sprinkler was running. Check the root system around the plant to see the depth of penetration and follow up accordingly.

Watch the weather forecast each week and observe the health of your plants by taking a daily walk through the garden. Any stress to the plant, whether it is drought, the wind or other conditions can make it susceptible to diseases. Enjoy your plantings for years with regular fertilizing and a water regiment.




Landscape Care After an Installation

The plant material has been carefully chosen for the environment (soil and light conditions) that it’s best suited and you are sitting and watching it all grow and bloom! To keep those blooms coming back year after year, follow a few landscape care tips in order to give your investment a healthy start.

landscape care

A Rain Bird table guideline for how long to run your system (Note: watering times are based on using 1.0 GPH Emitters).

Landscape Care:
Deep Watering Regiment

It will depend on the size of the plant, but it’s recommended to do deep watering instead of a few minutes of hose spray. Install drip irrigation around all your shrubs and trees and connect with a multi-outlet faucet attachment. A timer attached to each outlet (use hose extensions) and attached to the irrigation hose will save time. Set the timer to water 3-4x a week in hot weather, 2-3x a week in mild weather and 1-2x a week in cooler weather. The size of the plant will determine which emitter you choose and how long it’s watering. Also, the number of plants hooked up to one hose will decrease the amount of watering flowing to each plant. Watch this video for more details about how to set up this system.

Watering consistently and deeply is the key. After the first watering, dig down beside each plant to see how far the water penetrated. If it’s not hitting the root area, plan for a longer interval next watering or continue the watering currently for another 15 minutes until the root depth has been reached. Back off the timing, if water is puddling or extremely wet. Too much water can also drown a plant and deprive it of oxygen.

This chore will be one of the most important to be concerned with after the plantings are in the ground. For the best use of water, time your watering during the early morning hours. Late evening hours tend to create mold and mildew conditions after the sun goes down.

Landscape Care: Fertilizing Regiment

We plant our shrubs, trees, grasses, perennials and annuals with soil amendments, compost/organic products and root enhancers containing the sufficient nutrients for the growth needs of the plant for the first year of getting established. The landscape carefollowing spring will be the next time fertilization is necessary.

Landscape Care: Mulching Regiment

Each spring, mulching is necessary around your plantings for a number of reasons. It retards weed growth and also holds in the moisture for your new establishing plantings. It also protects the base of shrubs and trees from weed-eaters and other equipment that might get too close to the base and damage it.

Landscape Care: Weeding Regiment

Weeds deprive new plantings of moisture. Therefore, keep the garden area weed free. Hand pulling after a good soaking rain will make it easier and more efficient after the ground is moistened. Pull from the base of the weed to ensure the inclusion of its roots.

Landscape Care: Pruning

Dead, damaged and diseased limbs and branches should be removed from the plant. Pruning is normally done in the fall to late winter or early spring while in dormancy. Throughout the year, small pruning cuts can be made but too late in the season can promote new growth, which could get damaged in the first frost. Also, certain flowering shrubs get pruned right after flowering so as not to ruin the flower buds forming for the following season. Pruning is best left to a professional or one can take training classes at the NC Arboretum to successfully learn the basics.

As the winter breaks and daylight savings time gives more hours to our days, we venture out to see what’s blooming or growing. Often times we hear that “my plant has died and has no leaves!” Some deciduous plants take longer to form leaves. The earth

landscape care-new plantings

New leaf growth will look lighter in color or varied from the older leaves on the plant.

warms and gives a signal to the plant. Look closely at the branches to see if new buds are forming. Break off a small branch in an inconspicuous spot to observe green growth. If so, the plant isn’t dead. It’s just prolonging coming out of dormancy. Mother Nature will wake it up when it’s time.

New growth will emerge on the tips of the plant and be tender to the touch. New growth is usually lighter in color or a varied color for that particular plant. New growth is a good sign that your plant is receiving the necessary nutrients and watering needed.

If these instructions are followed, the plantings will do well under normal circumstances. Unusual circumstances could occur when there is abnormal rainfall or a drought condition. Making adjustments in the water schedule and assuring your drainage is adequate around the beds will ensure healthy plants. Severe cold and wind can take a toll on plants and cause either winter or freeze damage.

Keep an eye on your plants and enjoy your garden!