How much to water?


With the recent hot weather and lack of rain, many lawns, landscapes and gardens are in need of a drink. In general, the rule of thumb is, ”Water deeply and infrequently.” This will force the roots to continue to grow deeper for moisture.

Most lawns will do just fine with an inch of water per week. In many cases, this means watering a half inch twice per week. For those with irrigation systems, this means watering two or three times per week for about 20 minutes per zone. If you use a sprinkler, lay a pan out in the yard where it can collect water. Stop watering when the pan has half an inch of water in it.

Landscape plants will thrive on a surprisingly little amount of water, unless you have freshly installed non-rooted plants. These plants may require a good soaking each day. For established landscapes, an inch of water every other week will suffice except in the warmest of weather. If you detect signs of wilting, go ahead and water.

Gardens and annual flowers, because of their quick growth, blooms and production of vegetables, will require the greatest amount of water. Although you want the soil to dry out between watering, you do not want the plants to wilt. Watering them daily should be routine in most cases.

Exercise water conservation – only water when plants need it. Make sure you water the plants and do not waste water on the concrete sidewalk and driveway. Mornings are the prime time to supply water. This allows the soon-to-rise sun to dry the leaves, reducing the threat of disease moving in on wet leaves. Whenever possible, avoid watering the foliage. Remember, when it does rain, simply subtract that amount of moisture from your watering schedule.