Plant watering varies between plants. It is easy to plant a few shrubs and trees in the yard, they look great when they come from the nursery but how do we get them to grow, flower and look healthy at all times? We do live in the desert southwest and temperatures can range from the low 30’s some winter nights and over 110 degrees during hot summer days.
Plant Watering and Your Plants
With over half of the water use in your home possibly going to water your lawn and landscape it is important that you have somewhat of an understanding how much water your landscape needs to keep the plants healthy and at the same time keep your water bill under control!
Here are some helpful hints to be sure your plants are getting the right amount of water.
How can I tell if my plants are getting enough water?
- Small plants such as flowers, groundcovers and cacti should be watered to a depth of 1 ft.
- Shrubs should be watered to a depth of 2 to 3 ft. depending on type and size.
- Trees should be watered to a depth of 3 ft. or more depending on type and size
You may use a piece of rebar to drive into the ground to determine how moist the soil is around your plants. As long as the soil is damp, the rebar should easily penetrate the ground.
How can I tell if my plants are getting to much water?
Plants which are getting to much water will begin to turn a lighter green or even yellow. This is caused by the lack of oxygen in the soil. There should be no standing water around your plants within thirty minutes of watering. Eventually this will cause root rot and the plant will dry up quickly even if the leaves are still green.
What are the signs I should look for to tell if I am watering my lawn properly?
Signs of Under watering
- Lawn will begin to look dry and bluish-gray in color
- The lawn will not spring back up when you step on it
- The lawn will not feel cool to your feet after the sun goes down
Summer lawns should be watered to a depth of 10 inches and winter lawns to a depth of 6 inches. You can test this by penetrating the lawn with a large screwdriver, push it down until it stops.
Signs of Overwatering
- Water is puddling in areas and does not go away within 10 minutes
- Grass will begin to grow mushrooms or algae and will smell musty
- Soil wll be very soft or even mushy and can begin to breed mosquitoes
LAWN WATERING GUIDE
|Seasonal||Planting||Seasonal watering time settings|
|Grasses||Time||At planting||Oct – Feb.||Mar – May||Jun – Sept|
|Burmuda||May – Aug.||3 times||8 min.||10 min.||12 – 15 min.|
|Hybrid||daily||1 day / wk||2 days / wk||3 days / wk|
|Winter||October||4 times/day||5 days / wk||6 days / wk||Rye will die|
|Rye Grass||4 minutes||5 minutes||7 minutes||in summer|
How should my drip irrigation system be set up to water my plants and trees?
With so many different soil conditions and plants available in the southwest it is critical that your drip irrigation system is set up properly for optimum control of how much water your plants receive each time you water. Separate irrigation zones should be set up to water your plants, trees, fruit trees, seasonal flowers, pots, vegetable garden or even a rose garden. You may also want separate zones if you wish to have a desert scene in your front yard and a tropical oasis in your back yard!
How do I determine the number of drip emitters to install on each of my plants, trees, etc?
Emitters are sized by the Gallons per hour (GPH), use the table below as a guide to help you. The table is based on number of emitters normally installed by professional landscape companies.
The amount of time you set to water your plants will vary based on the amount of penetration you are getting due to the soil conditions in your area. If your plants and trees are set up to share water, additional adjustments will be necessary.
PLANTS AND TREES WATERING GUIDE
|Gallons||Seasonal time settings||schedule|
|per hour||Oct – Feb.||Mar – May||Jun – Sept||frequency|
|Flowers||1||10 min.||20 min.||30 min.||5 days/wk|
|Ground Covers||2||30 min.||45 min.||1 hour||3 days/wk|
|shrubs||4||30 min.||45 min.||1 hour||3 days/wk|
|Palm Trees||6||30 min.||45 min.||1 hour||3 days/wk|
|Canopy Trees||16||1 hour||1.5 hours||2 hours||1 day/wk|
|Fruit Trees||12||1 hour||1.5 hours||2 hours||1 day/wk|
Green ServPro LLC provides free estimates and consultations for Lawn, Landscape and Garden Care. We would be glad to assist you in your efforts to ensure your home maintains the curb appeal and outdoor living space we all want to enjoy. We would be glad to give you a free irrigation system analysis to determine if your system is set up properly for the optimum health of your plants and trees.