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Watering Guidelines

There are no written rules for watering.  Watering requires your own personal judgment as to how much water your particular landscape requires.  These suggestions are only that - suggestions.  You need to make the final decision.

WITHOUT IRRIGATION SYSTEM

  1. For larger trees and very large shrubs, try using tree bags that you fill with water and gradually drip into the ground.  Refill when empty.  Try punching a few holes in a gallon milk jug, filling it with water and placing it at the base of the tree.  You will need to fill this more frequently.
  1. If using a sprinkler, leave it on for several hours in one location several times a week. This will help the water soak deeply to access the roots of all large trees and shrubs.  If you only have flowers beds, less times per week is adequate.  Water in the morning to prevent fungal diseases and to give the plant all day to absorb the water.  Nighttime watering will only create problems of disease. Watering throughout the day is also acceptable, but not as efficient as some of the water will evaporate in the hot sun.

The size of your trees and shrubs will be the determining factor on how long and frequently to water.  If you have shrubs newly planted (within the last 3 years) that are 3 feet tall or greater and/or have trees 8’ or larger, you must water deeply and frequently to soak all the way to the bottom of the root ball.  Watering just the top inch or two of soil will not save the plant!

Roses prefer to always be watered at the base of the plant, not on the leaves. Watering from above will cause the disease black spot. Other flowers can be watered from above with a gentle spray of water, but they would also prefer to be watered at the base.  Watering with a hose on every plant and shrub can be very, very tiring and we usually do not give adequate water when using this method in a drought.  Be patient to ensure adequate water.

  1. If using a hose, water your trees and large shrubs by removing the hose nozzle and placing the hose at the base of the plant in order to water the root ball directly.

Turn the water on at 1/3 or 1/2, its full amount and leave it for 30 minutes or more, depending on how frequently you have been watering.

  1. Install soaker hoses on a timer. Wrap the hose around each plant and hold in place with pins.  Battery operated timers can be purchased for $40-$50.

WITH AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM:

CAUTION:      Irrigation systems put out a lot of water in a short time.  Be very careful not to over water.  

  1. If all your plants, shrubs, trees and grass are green and happy, do nothing.  Your system is set with adequate water.
  1. You will need to address your grass and planting beds separately.  Grass can require and handle far more water than plants.
  1. During the summer and the drought, water your grass every day or every other day for about 15-20 min.  Do not water for longer periods.  Grass roots only go about 2 inches – not requiring deep, deep watering.  You can set your system for a custom cycle for everyday, or set for odd or even days of the month.  Grass zones are set in Program A and C.
  1. Planting beds and drip lines are set in Program B.  Normal conditions require once a week watering.  Now you will need to increase that time to two or three times per week for 10-12 minutes per watering.  The frequency and length depends on the size of your trees and shrubs.  The bigger the trees and shrubs, the more water they require to reach down deeply to the bottom of the root ball.  If they are small shrubs and flowers, less water is required.

REMEMBER.  IT IS EASY TO OVER WATER AND DROWN PLANTS WITH IRRIGATION!

THE SUGGESTIONS ON THIS SHEET OR ONLY THAT.  THEY CAN NOT BE CONSTRUED AS DEFINITE WATERING SETTINGS NOR IS THIS A LEGAL DOCUMENT THAT CAN BE USED IF YOU UNDER OR OVER WATER YOUR PLANTS AND THEY SUBSEQUENTLY DIE.