Nothing is more important to your new plants and landscape than proper hand watering. As landscaping maintenance specialists, we know a thing or two about how to get the most life out of your freshly planted greenery. While it may seem like an outdated practice with the advent of advanced watering systems, there are still many great reasons to water your garden the old fashioned way.
Why hand water?
There are many benefits to watering your garden slow and steady, including
- Conservation of water. Not every plant needs the same amount of water, and you’ll be able to give just the right amount.
- Simpler. Of course watering ‘smart tech’ is smart, but it’s also easy to get things wrong and your plants may suffer as a result. A garden hose is simple, it’s really either on or off.
- Time to check on the plants. If you rely on another form of watering, you may not get that essential one-on-one time with the plants to check on its leaves, flowers, or anything else that needs monitoring.
Hand watering quantity and frequency
Water every day for the first week after your plants are installed. Water three times per week for the next two weeks. Water one–two times per week for the rest of the season and in the summer of the following year.
Water 1 – 2 times daily if temperatures get into the 90s. Water on this schedule regardless of rain, unless you have steady rain for three hours or more on a scheduled watering day. Watering significantly more than this schedule can result in over-watering. Overwatered plants can have the same look as underwatered plants. Annual flower planting will generally require more water than described here.
Below are watering techniques for shrubs, perennials, groundcovers, and trees. In general, water slowly at a low rate so the water can soak into the soil. Ask us about automatic temporary watering system options.
Hand watering shrubs
The best way to hand water shrubs is to adjust your hose nozzle or your spigot valve so that the water comes out at a relatively slow trickle. Next, put the hose at the base of the shrub and let the water soak into the soil around the base of the plant.
The water should disappear into the soil, not run off. Do this for thirty – sixty seconds per shrub, the larger the shrub the longer the soak. Do this for all of your new shrubs then go back to the one you started with and repeat. Do this 3 times per watering session. Some plants, such as hydrangeas, may need more water. If the plant leaves are drooping water them.
Hand watering perennials
Adjust your hose nozzle so that it is a consistent spray, not a mist or a stream but in between the two. Slowly and steadily apply water to the plants so that they get a good soak but the water is not running off. Imagine you are spray-painting something, you want good coverage but you do not want the paint to run! You may want to use a sprinkler when watering planting areas with many plants or on lawns. Give the plants three – five soakings during each watering session. Let the water disappear into the soil between soaking.
Hand watering new trees
Your new trees will need slow deep watering. Adjust your hose nozzle or your spigot valve so that the water comes out at a relatively slow trickle. Next, put the hose at the base of the tree and let the water soak into the soil around the base of the tree. The water should disappear into the soil, not run off. Do this for three – six minutes per tree, the larger the tree the longer the soak.
Do this for all of your new trees then go back to the one you started with and repeat. Do this 3 times per watering session. If your tree has a gator bag on it, insert a hose into the top of the bag turn with your spigot and nozzle fully open; fill the bag each watering session. The water should slowly trickle out of the bag over many hours. If the water quickly runs out or the bag does not completely empty there may be a problem.
Hand watering your lawn
Now you may be thinking that your lawn wouldn’t need hand watering, but in many cases it can be the best way to water it. Sprinklers can often lose a lot of the water to evaporation, but doing it manually means the grass will definitely get watered. The average lawn needs about 2 inches of water per week, and it’s best to do this in the morning before the day gets too hot. Green grass needs lots of water, so get out there!
So there you have it, hand watering is important but doesn’t need to be difficult. If you’re interested in Eichenlaub helping maintain your newly planted landscape, why not get in touch with us? Contact us today!