General Watering Tips
>The most effective time to water is in the morning.
>Soaker hoses and drip irrigation are typically the most efficient means of watering at a controlled pace with mitigated water waste.
>When watering containers or balled plants, make certain that the root ball receives moisture during watering. Watering is of no value if the water runs down the outside of the root ball, leaving the roots at the core of the plant dry. This will typically happen if you water too quickly or apply too much water at once.
>Slower watering is always most effective.
>Check the soil of all plants with your finger when deciding when to water. Most plants concentrate their roots in the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. Also, be mindful of obvious signs of plant fatigue, such as wilting and poor turgor pressure. If the soil feels moist to a depth of 6 to 12 inches, you’re in good shape.
>Water only as needed. Pay attention to the weather and reduce frequency of watering when rainfall is abundant. Too much water can be just as damaging to plants as too little.
>Mulching plants helps reduce surface runoff and slows evaporation from the soil.
How to Water Newly Planted Material
Artificial watering of new plantings during dry spells is necessary for several years. Give the plant all the water the soil about it will take at one time. Make certain evergreens have ample moisture in late fall.
How to Water Dogwoods
In the absence of regular rainfall, dogwoods will need supplemental water during the summer and fall. Watering once a week, in the morning, with a soaker hose is recommended for their shallow root systems. The soil should be watered to a depth of 6 inches. Watering with a sprinkler is not recommended because it wets the foliage, creating ideal conditions for certain diseases.
How to Water Lawns
In order to determine when to water your lawn, maintain a keen eye for certain signs of wilt and dryness. Bluish appearance and curled and wilted blades of grass indicate that lawn is in need of water. Footprints and depressions from objects briefly set on the lawn also indicate that your lawn is in need of water. Even the appearance of grassy weeds can be a sign of insufficient water.
Lawns typically need around 1 inch of water for each week of the year, but this number can increase with severe drought conditions. In order to measure the amount of rainfall you receive for the week, mark a container an inch above the bottom and place the container within the lawn watering zone. Furthermore, the amount of time it takes for the container to fill to the 1 inch line during active rainfall is a safe indicator of how long you should water each area during weeks of drought.
Lawn sprinklers can be an affordable method for watering lawns. Take into account the size and general shape of your lawn watering zone when choosing a sprinkler and consider installing a timer-controlled system for maximizing efficiency (Be mindful of following water restrictions for your individual areas).
In the event of short drought, take care to mow your lawn on a higher setting to shade and mitigate damage to roots.
In the event of abnormally wet periods of weather, be mindful of mushroom behavior. Mushrooms break down organic matter in the soil and typically cause no harm; however, it is important to watch out for a ‘Fairy Ring’. ‘Fairly Rings’ occur when mushrooms grow in a circle that has dark green grass in the middle. The grass within the ‘Fairy Ring’ may die due to direct competition for water with the mushrooms.