When is the best time to plant? How much water do new plants need? What is organic gardening? When do I worry about drought conditions? Why do my rhododendrons look burned up after winter? These and many other thorny questions plague those who want their garden to look its best through every season. We will address many of these questions on this site, beginning with a few frequently asked questions. If you have questions regarding how you can keep your garden thriving year round, just ASK MIKE @ askmike@landcoll.com. Mike will answer you directly via e-mail, as well as posting your questions and answers here. Mike will also post alerts and advice relating to current weather conditions, such as when and how to counteract drought conditions and what to do to protect your plants from heavy snows. Check ASK MIKE frequently for regular updates.

Question: We just had a new landscape installed. How much do we need to water?

Answer: Great question. Watering is critical to your new landscape. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Newly Planted Trees, Shrubs and Flowers

  • Water 1-inch for the first three weeks after planting.
  • Thereafter, water 2-inches once a week, through the heat of summer and into early fall.
  • Water one last time in early November, before the ground freezes. This will improve the plant's ability to tolerate winter desiccation.
  • In subsequent years, water 2-inches once a week in the heat of the summer, when the soil feels dry and the foliage wilts.

Newly Seeded Lawns

  • For the first 2-4 weeks, while the seed is germinating, it is important to keep the soil moist to prevent the seed from drying out and cracking. Water lightly, frequently, and consistently. Using an overhead sprinkler, water for 5-10 minutes twice a day - once in the early morning and once in the evening.
  • After the first 4 weeks, most of the seed will be germinated, but the general appearance may look thin and patchy. Over the next 4 weeks, while the grass is thickening, water for 10-20 minutes once a day, every other day.
  • After 8 weeks, water 1-inch, once week.
  • Optimal water requirements for established lawns are approximately 1-inch every 4-7 days during normal weather conditions and 2-inches during drought periods.

Newly Sodded Lawns

  • Immediately after installation, water 1-inch. Make certain that you take extra care to water the edges near any pavement.
  • For the first 7-14 days it is important to make certain that the sod does not dry out. Water *˝-1 inch early in the morning, every day.
  • For the next 3 weeks, water *1-1˝ inches, twice a week.
  • For the next 4 weeks, water *1-inch, 2-3 times per week.
  • Optimal water requirements for established lawns are approximately *1 inch every 4-7 days during normal weather conditions, and *2 inches during drought periods.

NOTE: To water accurately, place a straight-sided cup under your sprinkler and determine the length of time it takes to fill to the number inches suggested for watering.

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