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Proper Watering Keeps Plants Healthy

Post Date:05/10/2024 11:50 AM

Soaker HoseTrees and plants depend on water. And in the hot summer months, they rely on you to give them the water they need. These tips will help you ensure your trees and plants get enough water when needed. If you water thoughtfully, you’ll put water where your plants really need it and avoid wasting it.

Water the soil, not the leaves. Trees and plants can only absorb water through their roots. If you’re watering by hand with a hose nozzle or watering wand, direct the water toward the base of the plant. Soaker hoses, laid on the soil surface to slowly seep water, are more efficient than sprinklers. However, a sprinkler can cover a wide area. Be aware that the spray from a sprinkler can be blocked or diverted by trees, shrubs, or even the large leaves of some plants, such as hostas.

Check for soil moisture. What matters to a plant is how much water is actually in the soil. To check, use a trowel to dig down. Water if the soil feels dry three or four inches below the surface. A common rule of thumb is that most plants need the equivalent of one inch of rainfall a week, on average — enough to soak into the soil about six inches. However, in hot weather, plants may need more. Some areas of your yard may be drier than others because trees, roof overhangs, and buildings can intercept rainfall.

Let the water soak in deeply. A light daily sprinkle won’t penetrate very far. That’s not good for plants. If water is only found at the soil’s surface, roots won’t grow any deeper. For healthier roots and more drought-tolerant plants, let the soaker hose or sprinkler run long enough for water to soak in about six inches, and then don’t water them again for several days. That will encourage plants’ roots to grow longer and deeper, increasing their ability to soak up and hold water.

Trees need watering. It’s essential for young, newly planted trees, which don’t have many roots yet. Let the hose dribble slowly into the soil, moving it around to moisten the soil around the trunk. A good dose for a young tree a few feet tall is about 10 gallons — roughly the amount you’ll get from a hose running at medium pressure for five minutes.

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