Your new plants, shrubs, and trees have been installed. Now what? How do you keep them looking green and vibrant? Customers often want to know how often, and how much water should be given to new plants. Here are some basic tips for keeping your plants well hydrated and healthy! Please remember this is a basic guide. The weather, time of year and area (shade or sun) are also factors to consider.
The best time of day to water your plants (or lawn) is early morning. Watering early in the morning allows the plants to absorb the water and use it for later in the day when the sun is hot. The next best time of day is late afternoon or early evening after the heat of the day has passed. You want to water before the sun has set so the water can dry before nightfall to avoid fungus from forming.
There is not a specific guide to tell you exactly how much to water your greenery. The soil around your new plantings should be kept moist. Too much water (pooling around the plants) causes mold and fungus to grow and root rot which will kill the plants. Not enough water will cause plants to die. The best way to tell if the soil is moist enough is to buy a moisture meter which shows you how wet or how dry the soil is. It costs approx. $15 and is found at most hardware stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc) The old fashioned way works well too. Dip your finger in the soil. The top layer of soil will be dry so be sure to go about 4" deep.
If manually watering, be sure to soak the roots. Watering the leaves is not beneficial. The root is what feeds the plant. Water the base of the plant, at the soil, so the water can seep down to the root ball. If you're using a sprinkler system, one with a rain sensor maintains a consistent level of moisture and takes the manual labor out of it.
If you have mulch on top of the soil this is a bonus. Mulch is beneficial when placed around plants and trees because it helps the plants and soil retain moisture. It stabilizes the ground temperature so there isn't as much variation in the morning and evening hours. Since it is a natural product it decomposes and becomes nutrients.