The North Texas summer is here, so it’s essential to open up the water faucet. With temperatures in the nineties and not much rainfall, your plants, especially newly planted ones, must have additional watering to keep them healthy. Don’t be fooled by a light summer sprinkle; your plants will still need a periodic deep soaking.
Here are some fundamental things to keep in mind so you can protect your new plants:
- Sprinklers don’t adequately water newly planted trees and shrubs. A typical sprinkler waters the soil only 3-4 inches deep unless you leave the water on for a long time. This helps, but it isn’t enough to water a newly planted root ball, so make sure you’re still giving a slow hand-soaking with a water hose at least three times a week.
- Container potting soil shrinks when dry. If one of your containers is very dry when you start to water, soak the pot, move on, do some more watering, and then come back and saturate again. The peat-based potting soils that most of us use will shrink when dry, and if you don’t first plump up the soil with an initial watering then finish off with a later soaking, you’re going to have your water run down the sides of your container instead of soaking through the root area.
- Finish off every planting bed with a 2″ layer of mulch, and also put a shallow layer of mulch on the tops of your containers. Mulch will help the soil to retain moisture a little longer, plus it looks good!
- Water in the morning. If you can’t water early, water when you can, but plants prefer watering to start the day, not a dunking to make up for being very dry all afternoon.
Follow these watering steps to have the best success this summer!
Remember, there’s no substitute for a good hose watering.