How To: Watering

How to water and how much!

When you go home with new plants for your garden or when Verdego staff come and plant trees or palms, you are often given watering instructions.

Why do you need to hand water? Newly planted plants/trees have immature root systems and it will take quite awhile for the tiny fibrous roots that reach out into the soil for moisture, to grow back. This is especially true of “dug” palms or trees. The larger the plant- the longer this will take.

Some things to remember about watering:

• Irrigation is not designed to get new plants established unless there is a direct drip line set up and scheduled to water frequently.
• Don’t rely on Mother Nature. A 20 minute Thunderstorm rain, which will mostly run off, is not a rain that can water your plants. If it is a good soaking rain for an hour or two- your plants will get watered well.
• Don’t water the foliage- water the roots at the base of the plant. The leaves may look wilted, but they will not absorb the water and it may encourage fungal disease.
• Water early morning or early evening- not in the hot sun.

So how much to water?

It will depend on the rootball. Your goal is to allow water to seep down in the soil and soak the entire root ball. An average tree or palm has a root ball of 24” – 36” deep- which is why standing there with the hose for 2 minutes won’t accomplish much. An average shrub has a root ball of 12”-24” deep.

Frequency? The larger the plant- the longer you hand water. Large palms and trees could require additional water for 6 months to a year whereas smaller plant material – 4 to 6 weeks.

Don’t wait until your plants are wilting or drooping to water. You will just be playing catch up then and the more often this happens, the weaker the plant becomes.