You may have noticed that it’s been a bit warm of late. While the heat makes me a little cranky, newly installed plants will be just fine IF you keep them well watered. Here’s how I take care of new plantings:
Sod can dry out really fast. If you think about it, it makes sense. There’s an inch or less of soil and root mass until the sod roots in, which isn’t a whole lot. The trick is keeping sod really well watered. I recommend watering in the morning and the evening, 15-20 minutes each time.
How will you know if your sod is rooting in? Grab a handful of grass in the middle of a piece of sod and tug gently upwards. If you get resistance, it’s rooting well. I also check my sod this way when deciding if I can give it the first cut of the season. Sucking entire strips of sod into a mower deck is only hilarious when it happens to someone else.
Trees and Large Shrubs
I’m a lazy gardener at the best of times. Hey, I worked in the field from age 16 to 24 – I earned the right. Anyhow, I have an easy method for ensuring my large plants get the slow, deep watering they need. I drag the hose to the base of the plant and turn it on a bare trickle. I go back inside, set a kitchen timer for 20-30 minutes, and do something productive. Timer goes off, I go out and move the hose to the next plant, and so on and so forth till I’m done. As long as you’re watering deeply you can usually water trees and shrubs every 2-3 days, so you can stagger what you water. It beats the heck out of spending eight hours watering.
Perennials and Annuals
Because of their shallow roots, these plants are a little more demanding and finicky on install. Unless you have an irrigation system your best bet is hand watering with a shower-style watering wand to disperse the flow. I make certain the soil is good and soaked before moving on to the next area.
You’ve made a significant investment in new plants. Let’s keep them well watered!