When do I Water?
The most common cause of stress to plants is improper watering. It is important to apply enough water to wet the entire root zone whether watering by hand or with sprinklers. To determine when to water, dig into the soil two to six inches deep to feel the soil. If the soil is dry add water.
Water each plant by letting the water puddle up on top. Then, move to the next plant doing the same thing. Once the water has soaked into the ground repeat the process once more.
Depending on the variety of plant, some cannot tolerate drought and need constant wet soil. Others cannot tolerate wet soil, so the soil needs to dry out completely before watering again. However, so not allow a plant to wilt before watering, this causes stress to the plant.
Remember the best time of the day to water is in the morning. While the plants stomata is open transpiration occurs and the plant can actively take up water that it is given. In the heat of the day the plants stomata closes to conserve water. Therefore, when it is closed transpiration cannot occur and the plant will not take in the water that it is given. During that time most of the water applied will either evaporate from the soil, or seep down past the root zone becoming unavailable to the plant.
Morning watering also allows the sun to dry off any water that may be on the leaves. Wet foliage on certain plants can cause fungus or diseases. If morning watering is not possible, water in the evening when it starts to cool off again. Be sure to water at the base of the plant as much as possible to avoid getting the foliage wet.
Watering Potted Plants
When growing plants in pots it is important to remember they have a limited root zone and can only access water given to them in that pot. Pots also tend to dry out faster than the ground and need more frequent watering. When watering a potted plant, water slowly just until the excess water comes out of the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot. Allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
Watering hanging Baskets
Apply water to the top of the basket slowly until the basket is saturated and water drains out of the bottom of the basket. Allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
Your Yard and Garden
Options for watering your yard and garden include Hose-End Sprinklers and In Ground Systems. Both can be effective when watering your grass areas. Penn Landscaping wants you to
Ranging in complexity, cost and durability, hose-end sprinklers are portable and can provide uniform and consistent coverage when properly placed and maintained.
During the growing/watering season, perform routine maintenance to check for blocked outlets, leaking or missing gaskets and misaligned sprinkler heads.
Water uniformity can be accomplished by simply using 4 to 6 empty flat bottom cans (cat food, tuna fish, etc.), a ruler and a watch.
- Arrange cans at random distances from any sprinkler.
- Run the sprinkler for a specific amount of time, or until there is at least ½ inch of water in one can.
- Measure the amount of water in each can. Some variation is expected, but a difference of 25%-30% or more between any two cans will require adjusting or relocating the sprinkler.
Watering difficult areas such as slopes and under trees requires special attention to achieve maximum coverage and uniformity.
For slopes, refer to Watering Tip #3.
Irrigation systems require professional installation, routine adjustments and proper maintenance to be effective. The greatest mistake made by the owner using in-ground systems is the “set it and forget it” philosophy that fails to account for changing seasonal water requirements to maximize turf growth or allows the system to operate following an adequate rain. Another frequent problem is when sprinkler heads get out of alignment and apply water to the sidewalk, street or house-siding, rather than to the lawn. Water timers can help provide consistency and even be pre-programmed to turn on or off. Some timers measure the amount of time water flows through the device, while others measure the number of gallons used. If irrigation is installed we will be sure you are fully aware of the operating procedure that is best to use for your needs.