Tracy DiSabato-Aust (Garden Designer and Author) gives expert video advice on: How often should I water new plants?; How often should I water established plants?; When is the best time of day to water garden plants? and more...
How often should I water new plants?
I like to water by hand directly after planting, and to make sure that things are watered in very well. On newly established plants, we need to come in almost every other day and check on the watering, because you've got to remember that we have a fairly small root system. Particularly, if we're doing a lot of herbaceous perennials. They haven't rooted out into the ground yet, so we need to keep them moist until they start to establish. Usually for the first couple of months, at least, we're checking every couple of days to every three days to make sure that the plant is establishing and not wilting.
How often should I water established plants?
Watering established plants is something we need to be very cautious of and careful. As stewards of the land, we really need to look in how much water we use and so often, homeowners, gardeners, have automated irrigation systems which I sometimes call irritation systems. But this will usually supply a shallow watering very frequently. This is the worst type of watering for established plants. What we want to do is we want to water less frequently, we want to water more thoroughly so that our plants will root deeper into the soil and be more drought resistant. So, you can set that on your irrigation system to water less frequently, more thoroughly and your plants will establish better.
When is the best time of day to water garden plants?
Usually first thing in the morning is the best to water garden plants so that the plants have time to dry off. Late evening waterings can often lead to disease and the spread of disease.
How do seasonal changes affect plant watering?
We need to look at what area we're working in and if it's an extremely hot climate. If there's a lot of wind, that will increase the water that's required for a plant and so just certain times of the year when there's more wind. When the heat index rises we will need to water more. As things cool off, as we get into the autumn and go through the winter, we usually make sure that the plants go into the winter moist so that if they lose any moisture from their leaves, they have moisture in the soil. But we do very little watering, normally in the mid west and east, during the winter months.