Any landscape has a number of “micro-climates” or areas, which require specialized treatment when it comes to watering. This is true on a 5,000 square foot backyard and is certainly true across the 87 acres of Ford House landscape. The Ford House landscape includes lawns, shrub borders, perennial beds and rose gardens. All of which can be found in the common homeowner’s landscape.
Different types of greenery have different watering requirements. Here are just a few suggested watering tips for common plants found on most landscapes:
The best time to water your lawn is early morning. This will allow for the water to soak deep in the root zone without a lot of evaporation. The recommended amount of watering is about one inch of water per week, this includes rain precipitation. It’s better if you give your lawn a good soaking once or twice a week rather than watering every day. The roots will stay further below the surface and maintain a healthy appearance when the root zone is watered. Always check with your city’s water restriction ordinance before beginning a watering schedule. Personally, I do not water my lawn. I mow on the highest setting, which allows for deep roots and a longer interval between cuttings. As a result, my turf has not gone dormant this summer.
Roses are a complex flower to water. They love water, but are susceptible to black spot, a fungal disease, which is made worse when the leaves are wet. The soil around the rose bush should be thoroughly watered to promote strong root growth. The root zone should be moist but not wet or have standing water. Placing mulch surrounding the rose bush helps retain moisture, keep the soil cool and control weeds but can lead to increased disease pressure.
Newly planted shrubs will need regular watering until established. This may mean watering two or three times per week in a summer like this. Once established, thoroughly water the root zone as needed when the leaves “wilt” or droop. Watering your shrubs should be done early in the morning. This can be done at the same time as the lawn. Hand watering is the best method; however, for homeowners on a time crunch, a soaking hose can do the job. Watering by hand will give you an opportunity to inspect your shrubs for unhealthy leaves or growth. Moist soil will help shrubs to thrive, resist insect infestation and disease. Using mulch around the shrubs will help retain moisture.
A proper, site and plant specific watering schedule should be maintained to ensure a lush, green landscape. If you’ve been slacking this summer, there is no need to worry. You can begin a watering schedule now; just avoid overwatering and saturation of the soil. You won’t see overnight results, but should start to see the green come back before you know it. Developing a good watering schedule now will help you prepare for next summer.