As the weather heats up so does the need to thoroughly water your plants. Here is a how to guide to proper watering techniques for your trees, shrubs & hanging baskets.
Every summer we have many customers who come by with crunchy leaves off their trees and shrubs and tell me that they were watering every day.
Trees & Shrubs
Here is the problem - trees and shrubs don't need a little bit of water every day. If they are established, and we are in a heat wave, they also need a good long deep soaking every 5-7 days. If it is a newly planted tree or shrub then they will require watering every 2 - 3 days.
Standing over the plant with a hose end sprayer, blasting on the soil until it pools and begins to run off, is not sufficient for two reasons. Firstly, you will never have the patience to stand there long enough to water thoroughly. Secondly, most of the water is pooling and running off not soaking through the soil down deep where the roots most need it. A slow gentle sprinkler, or a soaker hose, for 20 minutes is the best method for watering. This mimics rainfall and will effectively soak the soil right down to the roots.
Extreme heat and wind are the enemies of hanging baskets in the summer and watering and fertilizing are crucial to keeping your baskets looking gorgeous. They need to be watered everyday if they are in full sun, possibly even twice a day. Try and find the time to water first thing in the morning and then check them again late in the day when you get in from work. If your baskets or planters are in part shade, or full shade, then they may need watering everyday or every second day. The most fool proof way to check a hanging basket for water is place your hand under the bottom of the basket...if it is heavy then it is fine if it is light then it needs water.
When watering hanging baskets, or planters, the same rule applies, a good long soaking not a little cup of water. Always water until the water runs out of the bottom of your baskets, then you are sure that the roots are soaked right to the bottom. Additionally, any fertilizer the grower would have added, or nutrients from the soil, are long gone by June so fertilize them at least once a week - those poor babies are putting on a show of flowers all summer long - don't starve them. They need food to keep producing blooms just like you need food to keep working all day. Be sure to choose a fertilizer that contains micronutrients.
Remember constant shallow watering encourages shallow root growth in all plants, including your lawn.
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