Homesteading

What is the best time of day to water shrubs?

Vegetation and foliage can add so much curb appeal to a house while at the same time increasing the perceived value of it.  When you make an investment in plants, shrubs and trees for your home, it’s only natural that you make sure they get off to a great start so that they can thrive.  Part of that is giving it plenty of food, sunlight and water, but how much is a good amount and how much is too much?  Should you water in the morning, during the day or at night?  Does it even matter?  These are all valid questions, but there is no need to stress, we’ll attempt to simplify it in the post.

In short, the best time to water your plants, shrubs, trees and lawn is in the early morning before the temperatures start rising and the wind gusts get stronger.  By doing this, you’re ensuring that the soil retains the most amount of water for the plant to draw on throughout the day.  When you water during the day, much of the water will dissipate due to evaporation.  Watering during the late evening will not encourage the water on the surface to dry up.  As a result, this creates a humid environment encouraging the growth of fungus, bacteria, weeds and other unwanted growth.  If you’re uncertain if your lawn has proper irrigation then you should contact a shrub and tree removal company near you for some assistance.

How often should new shrubs be watered?

Newly planted trees and shrubs need to be watered more frequently than established ones do.  This is because their roots haven’t been given time to spread and seek out nourishment that will be found in the soil.  In general, you can follow the schedule below for any tree that has been transplanted to new ground.  This is the same for a tree of any age.  The establishment of a root system is reset any time a tree is set into new soil.

  • Daily watering – trees that were transplanted within 2 weeks
  • Water every 2-3 days – trees that are 3-12 weeks of age after transplant
  • Weekly watering – trees that are over 12 weeks of age after transplant

How long does it take for roots to establish?

Tree roots are considered established when the root system is at the same width, or wider, than the tree canopy above ground.  In the midwest, this typically takes about 1 to 2 years time.  

Is it better to water deep or more frequent?

The best method for watering your trees, shrub and lawn is to water infrequently but longer sessions.  A deep watering will encourage a deep root system as opposed to light, frequent watering which will encourage a short, shallow root system.  1 inch of water per week is the target to shoot for.  To accomplish this, grab any container (usually a tin can of some sort) and make a marking ½ inch from the bottom of the can.  It will take approximately 1 hour to capture ½ inch of water so a 2 hour watering session should be approximately enough time to water your shrubs, lawn and garden at the same time.  If the area you are looking to water is on a slope then you’ll either need to water for a longer period of time or you’ll need to manually water it to ensure a deep enough penetration. 

In addition to a healthy watering regimen, you should also check to make sure you don’t have an excessive layer of thatch (or dead grass).  If so, the thatch will prevent water from penetrating the soil, but it will also retain moisture and encourage bacterial/fungal growth.  To remove the layer of thatch, you can simply rent a dethatcher from your local big box store.  Simply roll the dethatcher up and down your lawn just like you would a lawn mower.  The thatch buildup will rise to the surface of the lawn and can be easily picked up, thrown in a lawn clipping bag and thrown away.  

With simple lawn and tree care techniques you can easily and simply maintain beautiful shrubbery to make your home look beautiful.  If ever in doubt about how much water to put down, err on the side of caution and throw down more water, the water can always dry up but it’s never a good idea to keep your plants starving.  Good luck! 

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