July and August tend to be very hot and dry in Ohio so watering plants is an important landscaping task this time of the year. Proper and adequate water is critical for plant survival and new root growth. Water should be applied as needed, not by a calendar or clock. This requires careful monitoring of the root ball (area at the base of the plant) to ensure it’s moist but not overly wet or dry.
A slow, gentle soaking of the root ball is the preferred way to water large trees. Trickle water over the root ball for 30-60 minutes 2x a week. Using gator bags to slowly water trees is also a good practice. Fill the bag with water once a week (twice a week during drought periods) and it will keep the tree root ball well watered.For newly planted shrubs and perennials, water them at least 3x a week for the first 4 weeks. After that, water them at least 2x a week (depending on rainfall) until the ground freezes in November. How much to water each time? – If using a hose, turn on the faucet half way and hold over the center of each plant for 20-30 seconds until water starts running off the ground. Let it soak into the soil for a minute and then water them again for up to 10 more seconds.
The #1 reason new plants die is due to under watering! BUT, over watering can also be a problem. Poor drainage and saturated soil due from over watering displaces oxygen from the roots and results in transplant death. Avoid this by constantly monitoring the soil moisture level of the planted root ball itself. Plants should always be watched for the need of watering up to 3 years after planting. In extreme dry conditions, watering all landscape plants may be required no matter how old they are. Don’t get caught out in the dry so keep an eye on your landscaping!