Plant survival is directly related to the care your plants receive after they are planted. One of the most basic concepts is adequate watering and moisture. Without it, plants cannot survive. Water requirements for newly installed shrubs and trees are fairly simple. The roots should never become completely dry or waterlogged. If too dry, plants leaves will wilt, crenate (roll-up) and/or drop. Waterlogged conditions can be fatal. Look for puddling water and leaves yellowing, wilting, and dropping.
General Guide to adequate watering levels
|Plant size||Amount of water per application|
|Small shrubs (< 3 feet)||4 – 5 gallons|
|Large shrubs (> 3 feet)||7 – 10 gallons|
|Small trees (< 2” caliper)||7 – 10 gallons|
|Larger trees (> 2” caliper)||10 – 20 gallons|
The above guide is the starting point. Extended rain can reduce supplemental watering demands. Dry, hot weather increases watering needs.
Soil sampling The soil should be moist around the entire root zone. Dig down approximately 4-6” just outside the root mass of the plant and water only if the soil feels dry to the touch. Feeling the soil for moisture content is the BEST method for gauging dryness. Only sampling can tell you when the soil is adequately moist, too dry, or too wet.
Measuring Turn on a hose to a low trickle rate. Note the faucet settings. Place the hose in a bucket with a known volume (a standard five (5) gallon bucket can work). Time how long it takes to full the 5-gallon bucket (ex: 9 minutes). Suppose your tree is less than 2” caliper and requires 7-10 gallons of water. Nine minutes (time to fill the 5-gallon bucket) times 2 (caliper inches) equals 18 minutes. Position the hose at the base of the plant where water will trickle for 18 minutes.
First two weeks For the first two weeks, be sure to water at least every three (3) days. Rain is not always enough. In the following weeks, water once every 5-7 days depending on the weather conditions. Remember, “moist not soggy”!
Timing Watering in the morning is preferred to watering during the day or night.
Other options Tree gators can be installed to provide a known water volume per plant allowing for water to trickle into the root zone. Soaker hoses, drip line and irrigation systems can also be estimated and installed by Lynch. Lynch irrigation has dedicated crews that specialize in watering management.
Mulch Maintaining a 2 – 4” layer of organic mulch greatly reduces water loss to evaporation. Mulch should be slightly away from the plant’s stem.
Winter We strongly recommend an Anti-desiccant application each Winter to prevent damage from cold temperatures and wind damage to new plants. Please contact us at the number below for an estimate.