New and experienced gardeners alike commonly take for granted the action of watering their landscape. Watering is widely perceived as a thoughtless and mundane task, when in fact it can truly make or break a landscape. Too little or too much water can quickly make a plant’s environment uninhabitable causing it to die. Today we will address 5 of the most common watering myths and see how they stack up to our scrutiny.
- Spraying the entire plant will enable the plant to soak up the most water possible on a hot day.
False. Wetting the leaves will actually hurt your plants. On a sunny day the water droplets collected on the leaves will act as a magnifying glass and actually burn the leaf. Plants in our climate can only suck up and obtain the essential nutrients they need from the water through their roots.
- A sprinkler is the easiest and most effective option for watering.
True and false. A sprinkler, if used properly, can be a very effective method of watering your flora. A true example of this statement would be the early morning saturation of sod. This method will effectively saturate your grass with little effort and when applied in the morning will allow for the water to dry up before the hot afternoon sun can do any harm. A false example of this statement would be when one applies this method on their plant material. As discussed previously, broad leaves will burn from getting wet and by spreading the water over such a large area, water will be wasted, and individual plants may not receive the appropriate amount. To get the best results, when it comes to bushes, shrubs and trees we recommend hand watering or the slow drip method.
- It rained yesterday, no need to water.
Once again, true and false. This statement’s validity is all dependent on the type of rain. Generally speaking, a full day of rain would make this a true statement. However, a light shower will do little to properly saturate your soil and even a moderate shower, after a dry spell, may not be enough to fully penetrate the plant’s root ball. When a plant becomes dried out the root ball can actually repel water and cause the water to flow away from the plant. The best way to combat a dried out plant would be a slow drip to slowly penetrate the root ball. This slow drip will create a teardrop runoff effect around the roots which creates optimal growing conditions.
- One can never over water a plant.
False. It is entirely possible to kill a plant from over watering. Over watering, just like under watering, creates unfavorable conditions for the plant. Providing too much water will eventually cause root rot. Once root rot begins it is near impossible to cure and will take the life of your plant. A good way to prevent this is to ask your friendly Wiesner Bros. employee what the watering requirements are for your plant. In general most plants hardy in our zone require similar amounts of water, however there are always exceptions to this rule. We are here and more than willing to help.
- 30 seconds per plant and on to next one!
False. Plants are like people; all are different and require different care contingent on the surrounding environment. Generally the larger the plant the more water required and vise versa, but this is not always true. The plant species and variety and even the type of soil you have it planted in can affect the watering needs of a plant.
For more information or help related to this topic come down to the nursery, have a visit, and talk with our knowledgeable and friendly staff about a plan that’s right for you, and more importantly, your landscape.