An established garden needs 1″ of water per week during the normal growing season. Dry soils and warmer weather mean plants will need more water! Here are helpful tips.
    • If you don’t have an irrigation system, use inexpensive and effective watering aids to help. Along with a sturdy hose and a good sprinkler, a hose timer and a rain gauge help with setting regular intervals for watering and measuring how much water your garden has received.
    • Water plants before they need it. Water before plants show signs of stress, like wilting. Wilting is a natural occurrence that helps a plant slow water loss by exposing less surface area to the sun’s evaporative rays. This condition can mean insect or disease problems, but it’s mostly attributed to lack of soil moisture.
    • Water deeply. Surface soil dries out quickly. Watering deeply means to water so that it soaks at least 8″ into the soil, where most plant roots are situated and where they seek water and nutrients for growth.
    • Newly installed plants (planted within a year) don’t have an established root system and thus will require additional watering to help keep them hydrated and encourage root growth. Watering during the summer may be required each day, and if temperatures increase above 80 degrees, a second watering during the hot part of the day will also help.
    • Established plants also need watering. A 35′ tall tree transpires 30 gallons of water on a hot summer day. During a dry spell, large trees must be watered to ensure good health.
    • If you have an irrigation system, make sure it is set to run 2 or 3 times each week. Check the entire garden for dry spots after the system has run, and soak those areas with a hose until you can adjust the irrigation heads for even coverage. Cut back foliage or relocate plants or features (such as a birdbath) that obstruct the irrigation head’s spray path. You can also lengthen the height of an irrigation spray head to ensure all areas are watered.
    • Trees & Shrubs: Place the open end of the hose at the base of the plant and allow it to gently flow into its root ball. The rate of flow should be such that it soaks into the soil without running off or puddling. You can water each plant individually, 5-10 minutes per 4′ of plant, or place a sprinkler to cover the area for 2-3 hours.
    • Groundcover & Perennials: Because these plants have much smaller root balls than their woody companions, they will need more frequent watering. Sprinklers are an easy way to apply water. A sprinkler should be set to run for 1-2 hours to allow water to penetrate the top 8-12″ of soil.
    • Lawns: If you walk across your lawn and your footprints remain, it’s time to water. For best results, use a high-quality oscillating sprinkler. Keep your lawn at a 3″ height to reduce plant stress and retain moisture.