Watering your first-year plants

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Do you feel like a fish out of water when it comes to watering your new plants? Lack of enough water in the first growing season is a major cause of plant loss. Watering is absolutely necessary as the limited root system on young plants makes them highly susceptible to dry weather damage.

We asked Lonny Sekeres, a Villa landscape designer, to share some pointers when it comes to watering new plants, such as trees and shrubs.

  • Water two or three times a week unless there is at least one inch of rainfall per week. In hot, windy weather, plants need even more water.
  • Water at the base. Wet the soil enough to soak the root system (12” - 18” for shrubs and 18” - 24” for trees). A slow trickle for 5-10 minutes for shrubs and 20-30 minutes for trees will provide the deep watering needed.
  • Water requirements will vary with soil types. Until plants are fully established (a few years!) continue to monitor dry spells and water as needed.
  • Irrigation systems meant for lawns may not be sufficient to meet the water needs of new plants.
  • Continue watering into the fall. Evergreens require sufficient moisture during winter, so it is important for them to be hydrated until the ground freezes.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to watering plants, shrubs and trees. With each landscaping project, our landscape designers will provide you with a watering guide that cover these tips and more, including watering newly seeded or sodded lawns.

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