Ask Burton: This week, an observation on the root cause of more than 80% of the plant questions we’ve received in the past three weeks.

It’s been extremely hot, dry, and windy, and newly planted trees, shrubs, and flowers will need much heavier watering than normal until we get to the other side of summer. While it’s certainly still possible to over water certain plantings that require very dry soil (yucca, Mexican feather grass, agave, that sort of thing), for the most part, water aggressively on new plantings until the weather breaks a bit, usually sometime in September.

Once your new plants have been in ground a year, it’ll be much easier to maintain them the second summer, and then little to no care the third summer onward. It gets a lot easier, but give them the care their first year. You’ll see much better results!


Here are a few helpful tips:
• Water more aggressively until the end of summer.
• Mulch all flowerbeds to the depth of 2″.
• Do not depend entirely on sprinkler systems the first summer. They help, but there’s no substitute for a good hose watering.