Education, News  |  January 29th, 2024

Thoughtful Watering: New Garden | Kinghorn Gardens

Exciting! New plants in the garden! But wait….now what? How much water? When?

Quick considerations before watering: Sun & Shade – Although most may say that shade gardens need less water it’s actually the opposite. The same trees that are providing shade are the same trees taking all the available water first. Wind – Wind is a quick way to dry out soils. Slopes – Watering on a slope is a challenge and this is where a slow soak is needed more. Mini soil damns and mulch help.  Making sure water is able to reach the bottom of those new root balls is extra important on a slope or it simply runs off the top. Seasonal Temperature – Soil is going to remain wet longer in the cooler months so be sure to check the soil moisture before adding to already wet soil.

To ensure the success of your newly planted trees and shrubs the root ball is to be constantly moist for a few weeks as soon as they are planted. Lawn irrigation will not be able to supply the water needed to soak the newly buried root ball because the roots of a lawn are just below the surface and the trees and shrubs are not. Physically check under the mulch for dry or soggy soil and either add water or wait. Too much water/love will result in sick or dead plants. Set the hose on a very slow trickle so that the water soaks in and doesn’t just move across the surface.

When getting new perennial plantings established it is very important to understand how small the root balls are. These small plants need more water often than new trees and shrubs and not as much. Keeping the soil moist for the first 30 days and then starting to back off. Here is the kicker, if the ground is wet already do not add more water. Plants will drown just as quick as dry out. Using an irrigation system is OK, but it does not allow it to be a “set it and for get it” solution for the new plants. Constant up front monitoring is very important. Hand watering is a great way to water and really get to know how your plants are establishing. Some may argue that hand watering is therapeutic.

    The upfront work is sure to reward you with a garden space to enjoy for years to come!

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