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Don't Overlook the Need to Water Newly Planted Plants

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Don't Overlook the Need to Water Newly Planted Plants

Even though water hasn't been a problem for most lawns and gardens this year so far it is well to review when and how to water correctly. Also, newly planted plants can suffer from inadequate water even though rainfall is plentiful before their root systems have become established in the surrounding soil. Monitor all you plants, especially those that were just planted this year and start planning now for the inevitable dry spells that will come later.

Except for lawns, which are watered with overhead sprinklers, most other plants are best watered by concentrating the water near the base of the plant rather that watering “over the top”.

A good method to conserve water and concentrate the needed relief in the root area of the plants is to use a soaker hose as pictured above around these pepper plants.  A drip irrigation system also works well for plants in containers and in the landscape.

Our Kemper Factsheet on Water Conservation Options for Home Gardeners offers suggestions for other methods to reduce the amount of this precious commodity that we use on a daily basis.

Many FAQ’s at the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening relate to specific plants such as when and how should I water my trees and shrubs? Plant material that was newly planted  this year and in the past 2 or 3 years will need special attention as well as landscaping that is under a large overhang or eave of a building.

Plants in containers require frequent attention and need to be watered more often that those planted in the ground. The frequency and amount of water needed will depend on many variables, including the media, the type of container, exposure to the sun and the type of plant itself.  A thorough watering should given when the soil begins to dry, but not before. Care must be taken to avoid overwatering practices that keep the root system continuously wet and soggy.

Vegetables, bedding plants and perennials are usually small when planted and initially have a rather shallow root system and will need to be watered with a greater frequency than others that are planted in the ground. Encourage an expanding root system by watering well but less frequently as the plants become established.

Watering a lawn will depend on a number of factors including the type of grass that you have and whether or not you want to keep the turf from going into summer dormancy. Complete information on many excellent lawn maintenance practices can be found in the linked Factsheet.

There are many sustainable gardening practices that not only help reduce the amount of water needed in the landscape, but other precious resources as well.

Additional questions about watering or any other gardening related issues? Spell relief by talking to us in the Center for Home Gardening! By phone, call the Horticulture Answer Service (Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. @ 314-577-5143) or visit us in person at the Plant Doctor Desk (Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.).

Enjoy the rest of summer and don’t forget to plan now for those later dry spells!

Posted in: Spring | Tags: watering , lawns , drip irrigation , containers , sustainability | Comments (0) | View Count: (710)
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