With us finally arriving into the best time of the year to plant trees and shrubs, I wanted to take a moment and remind you about the watering technique that all plants and trees would love to tell you…but they can’t talk! So that leaves myself to do the talking for them. When a new tree or shrub is planted, it usually has a ball of roots tightly knit together and not much extra room for water. When the root ball is planted, it begins to fight the native dirt for any moisture that might be in it. Typically, the native dirt will win because it doesn’t have all the roots crowded the places for water to attend. With balled and burlap trees, it is very challenging to keep that dirt ball wet.
A side note, for those of you in Atlanta, Ga right now…you don’t have to worry about your plants getting enough water, you have to worry about them floating away to Alabama!!!
Watering a new tree is the most important thing that you can do for it. Even if it has rained, it is still important to give your tree a deep soaking.
Most people stand with a water hose and spray the top of the dirt and watch the water flow downhill away from the tree, and think that they watered their tree. You must give your tree a deep root watering in order to call it watered. Here is the best technique for maximizing the effectiveness and saving water.
Turn your hose on a very slow drip and let it stay on the trunk of the tree for at least 8 hours at a time. Do this no less than 3 times per week. More often in the heat of the summer. Once the plant has gone dormant, usually after the first hard frost, watering becomes less critical. But always pay attention to the ground moisture if you have newly planted items.
If you want to invest in a Tree Gator, a 20 gallon slow release water bag, that will work too. I recommend filling it everyday.