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Watering

The Farmer Sez:

The main reason plants die is because they are either given too much or too little water.  With poor draining, heavy-clay soil in our area, it is especially important to improve the drainage at planting time to help prevent moisture problems. The following tips should help ensure the success of your plants. Remember toalways use Plant Starter whenever you plant trees, shrubs or bedding plants!

 

WATERING GUIDELINES

HOW TO WATER
For most plants, use a hose with a nozzle.  You will want a moderate flow of approximately four gallons per minute.  a good check is to get the water to fill a gallon container in 13-17 seconds.  Put the hose directly at the base of each plant.  This method allows water to soak down two feet into the ground where roots need the water.  use a sprinkler or a hose with a spray nozzle for ground cover.  This methos is NOT recommended for larger plants and trees.

 

 
HOW MUCH TO WATER (use a hose without a nozzle)
General Plant Size                Minutes
1 - 2'                                         2
2 - 3'                                         3
3 - 5'                                         5
6-8'                                           6
1.5 - 2" Caliper                         8
2 - 2.5" Caliper                        10
2.5 - 3" Caliper                        12
3" or Larger Caliper                15
In clay soil with poor percolation, you will find that watering will have to be done in 2-3 minute intervals;  the water will need time to sink in.  To save time, water your large plants first, then water the small ones, then return to the large ones.     
 
 
WHEN TO WATER

The more porous the soil, the more you will have to water. You will need to water more in the late spring or summer.  Plants in shade do not need as much water as those in the sun.  Foundation plants on the south and west sides of your house will need water more often, as the sun is hottest on these sides.  In general, your plants should be watered heavily when first planted, and every other day for their first three weeks in the ground.  Afterwards, water when the soil is dry.