It's Hot! How much water does my plant need?
It looks like summer has finally arrived to Western Oregon, and that means water will be on everyone’s mind. There are many choices in how to apply water to your outdoor plants, but regardless of what delivery method you use here are some basic rules on making sure your plants get the right amount of water.
Pots and containers often need daily watering, and depending on such factors as wind, type of plant, and size of container, may need more than one watering per day. Water containers very thoroughly, to the point water is draining out the bottom of the container.
Established vegetable and flower gardens should not need water more often than twice a week, except when temperatures are extreme. Water deeply – for most drip systems run 1 to 2 hours, for most sprayers or sprinklers run 45 min to an hour. If hand watering, water entire bed, then water again to ensure good deep soaking.
Lawns need about an inch per week to maintain health, a bit more to be lush. To find out how long it takes a sprinkler to apply and inch, put a tuna can or cat food can in the middle of your sprinkler pattern, and turn on the water. Time how long it takes to fill the can – that is an inch of water. Rather than watering that much all at once, break that time up into two or three equal amounts of time, two or three times per week.
Established trees and shrubs often need no water, but there are exceptions – if in doubt about a plant’s water needs, give us a call, we’ll give you direction. For trees and shrubs that need supplemental watering, water once to at most twice per week with drip system, soaker hose, or hose on bare trickle for at least and hour.
Young plantings often need more frequent watering than listed above. Newly seeded lawns need a constant level of moisture, often two to three brief waterings per day. Newly seeded or transplanted flowers and veggies should be watered at least every other day until they are rooted in (a few days from transplant, as long as a few weeks for some seeds), so if watering older more established plants in the same area they might need a little extra attention. New tree and shrub plantings usually do fine on every other day watering, a deep soak as described above.
Contact us with any questions about watering – we are here to help you garden!