1915 Old Hwy 124
, AR

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Watering Newly Planted Trees and Shrubs

You may have just invested in new trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and or ground-cover plants in your landscape and would love them to survive. Watering these plantings properly is the most important factor in getting your investment to pay off. You’ve spent good money (and time if you planted them yourself) on these plants and you’re going to spend even more time and money to keep them alive. If you don’t, you’ll be spending it replacing them when they die.

How Much to Water, and For How Long?

This can be tough because the answer changes based on how hot it is, how windy it is, how much clay is in your soil, and what type and size of plant you are watering.The first step is figuring out what kind of soil you have. There are three main types of soil; sand, silt, and clay. Sand of course drains really well, and you may find yourself watering a little more often. Clay on the other hand holds water really well but also takes longer to absorb the water. The next is what type of plant and whether or not it's a water lover or likes it a little more on the dry side. Our seasons play a big part in watering as well. Plants will naturally take up more water during the hot summer months than the cooler fall months. Adjust your watering  schedule accordingly.
   As a guideline, it's best to water plants for longer periods of time (20 minutes to an hour or more) with a slow trickle of a hose as opposed to short frequent bursts of water. Short frequent bursts only allow your trees and shrubs to grow a shallow root system which makes them more vulnerable to drought stress. Long, deep and slow watering encourages a deep and wide spreading root system, which is most beneficial to the plant. You can achieve this long deep soak of water with a hose placed right at the base of your tree or shrub. You also may find that soaker hoses are a simple and easy way to water as well. You may also consider consulting with our irrigation specialist to have a drip system installed on your newly installed landscaping. This is extremely helpful for multiple plantings.
Some good points to keep in mind:

Don’t rely on Mother Nature:
 Rainfall can be very deceiving. You think 45 minutes of thunderstorm just watered your plants beautifully, but half of it ran off into the lawn because it rained so hard, and only the top couple of inches of the mulch is wet. Unless it rains a light to moderate, soaking rain for a few hours, don’t even consider natural precipitation as “watering”.

Standing with a hose is not good enough most times:
 It may work for flowers with shallow root systems, but if you think standing there with a hose for a few minutes on that new tree or shrub will matter, you’re probably not doing enough.

You can water anytime you want:  
Obviously, early morning and evening are better because less water evaporates from the scorching sun of summer, but if you can’t water then, do it another time. It’s better to do it at your convenience, than not to do it at all. Just make sure you are watering at the base of the plant.
 If you have any of those challenges listed, you’ll have to adjust the numbers for your situation. For instance, if it is 90-100 degrees for a week, you’ll have to ramp up your efforts. Be prepared to water frequently for the first year. When the weather gets to freezing, you won’t need to continue watering until it warms up later in the year. You will need to water 3-4 times a week depending upon the heat, lack of rainy days, and soil conditions. If conditions are more severe or favorable, you’ll need to adjust.

When in doubt, dig down a little ways near your plant. You’ll be able to tell quickly how far down you are actually watering. A couple of inches of moist topsoil is not enough.

We realize that there are many factors that are involved here and these guidelines may be subject to change depending upon your specific needs.

 If you take the time and commit to watering correctly, you’ll get the most out of your investment and have beautiful, healthy plants.

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