Q: How do I know when to water?
A: The simple answer is when Mother Nature doesn’t provide rain and/or when the ground is dry. The best way to determine ground moisture is to dig down 3” to 4” – if the soil is damp, you don’t need to water. Remember that plants in this climate are used to periods of heavy rain followed by periods of drying out.
Q: How much water should I apply?
A: The best rule is to thoroughly drench the root zone of the new plants. Heavy deep watering (interspersed with periods of drying out) will promote deep healthy roots. For all areas hand watering with a garden hose works best. For large areas that may be impractical to water by hand, we recommend soaker hoses. Light watering (i.e. sprinkling with small amounts of water) will lead to shallow roots that will suffer during drought. A thorough watering is like a 1”rain.
Q: Is it possible to over water?
A: Yes! Overwatering is defined as watering too frequently. It is essential that between watering that air be allowed to reenter the root zone (roots need oxygen to survive). Allowing the soil to dry out is also nature’s way of controlling “root rot” diseases which thrive in constantly wet or saturated soil conditions.
DO NOT WATER YOUR PLANTS EVERYDAY—the roots will drown!!
More new plants die from overwatering (watering too frequently) than die from drying out!
Q: What should I do?
A: As a rule of thumb:
- Plants need the most water immediately following planting
- When it rains ½ inch or more that will replace one watering
Water thoroughly twice per week—for the first three months and then once per week for the rest of the year (usually safe to end in mid November). It is a good idea to water on the same days each week (i.e. Monday and Friday)