Even though the chill of winter has barely bade it’s goodbye… spring has made it’s entrance. That means, it’s time to water the garden! New trees, shrubs and perennials, put into the ground, late last spring, summer or fall, will need some waking up. The longer days, and increasing solar power are allowing dormant roots to gain strength and press through the earth in search of nutrients. The plants’ nutrient uptake happens when water hits the soil surrounding them. Clay soil particles have most of the nutrients that plants need… which is why Landis Garden Design always recommends amending native soil when planting, rather than fully replacing the clay soil. Native soil mixed with amendments of compost or LeafGro, made up of nitrogen and carbon, give plants the energy they need, naturally without the aid of fertilizers, to begin building healthy root structures.
It is more important to water deeply… rather than watering frequently. It’s much better for trees, shrubs and even perennials to get a deep watering once per week, rather than a quick hit with a hose, or a sprinkler twice a week. Sprinklers should only be used when watering grass. Putting a hose on the root ball of each plant, a shrub for 30 seconds, and perennials for ten, will get the water where the roots are located. Always water upslope of the plant so the water flows to the root, rather than running off. Trees should be watered with tree bags, filled up at least once per week. We want those roots to dive deep so that they firmly “root” the plant into the earth. Spring is a good time to add mulch to the garden to cut down on new weed growth, and to keep moisture near the plant roots in the heat of summer.
After a year in the ground, your plants should be able to survive on their own with care only during unusual weather. A drought or extreme heat can zap a plant’s strength, and you can often see the results of a good watering immediately. Your plants will thrive with minimal care, and water is always the best medicine!