water and a new plant in the ground in October

rouge21_gw(5)October 17, 2011

Yesterday I did my final planting for this year. It was a perennial recently purchased from a nursery. I think I did well in terms of augmenting the soil (triple mix mixed with a couple of handfuls of 'rock dust').

Of course as part of the planting process I did use lots of water but then I thought about this a bit more and considering how late it is in the year i.e. mid October (zone 5) I wonder how I should proceed re further watering as it is possible to get a sudden frost or worse a harder freeze and so excess water around the roots would freeze and of course that would not be good for the plants survival over winter.

Maybe I shouldn't water anymore at all?

How much do the roots take in or really need this late in the year.

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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Eventually the soil is going to freeze, but I think we've still got plenty of time before that occurs, so I wouldn't worry about it at this point. Light frostings aren't going to harm the roots, and until the soil really cools off, the roots will still be actively growing/settling in, so it is important to keep plants adequately watered until the ground freezes.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 8:09PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

No formal training and a fanatic gardener.
I think you should water very well, puddling the plant in, and then leaving it. I do not water in Winter, as things just don't dry out, or in frozen ground, more water would not help. Lots of perennials suffer from wet soil around them for a winter and many suffer from drying winds if the soil is frozen. It would be helpful to know the particular plant,as they are like willful people, that if given what they demand will respond vigorously.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 8:14PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

'Winter' is still two months away. I would water as needed (moist but not soggy) until your ground does freeze. Not be touched by overnight frosts, but freeze.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 9:24PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

it would depend on your soils ability to drain ...

in my sand.. i will check water in the soil thru thxgvg on transplants of trees and conifers .. IF MY FINGER TELLS ME THE SOIL .. meaning the transplant NEEDS it ...

too many peeps close down the water system way to early IMHO ...

though usually.. a good deep watering about now .... either me or rain ... with darn cold nights.. and very cool days.. means no additional water is necessary ... especially if properly mulched ...

but you moved the plants.. so you are responsible to insure.. they stay moist.. NOT sopping wet.. thru ground freeze ..

ken

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 8:15AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Thanks for the advice. Frozen ground could happen in my area in the next 30 days (mid to late November).

I guess I will continue to supplement the rain (if necessary) for the next couple of weeks for sure.

[The plant in question is a persicaria "Golden Arrow" and a "Walker's Low" catmint]

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 10:29AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Heaving will be your greatest problem. When I lived in zone 5, rule of thumb was end of September the last date for planting/moving perennials.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 6:46AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Interesting laceyvail but isnt 'heaving' a problem for any herbaceous perennial regardless of when it was planted?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 8:01AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

No, once the roots are well settled, plants shouldn't heave. It's plants set in too late that heave and heave.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 6:55AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Well it will be an experiment then as just last night (October 19th) I put my last two plastic potted perennials into the ground (both Walker's Low Catmint).

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 7:20AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Fibrous rooted plants like catmint don't usually have problems heaving unless they are extremely small. It's the carrot rooted ones that heave IME.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 8:00AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

we will have a freeze w/in 30 days.. in my z5 ...

but the ground remains workable .... and unfrozen much longer than that ... not that anyone in their right mind will be out there working in it ....

where are you more specifically.. that your ground freeze is so early in z5???

ken

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 8:45AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Actually to be honest I am not sure when the ground is technically considered 'frozen'. Is there such a statistic formally recorded i.e. average date when a particular zone has ground which is considered 'frozen'? How many consecutive days of below 0C (32F) does it take for the ground to freeze up....or maybe it is not that simple.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 10:08AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

So two "Low's Walker" yesterday and 2 Persicarias planted this past weekend.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 10:15AM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

A killing frost/freeze is not the same thing as the *ground* being frozen. A killing frost kills back the foliage of tender plants (note that light frosts don't kill off foliage of all annuals and perennials, depends on how tender the foliage is).

As Ken said, we'll probably get hit within the next month or so (end of Nov.) with a killing frost, but the ground won't be frozen for a while after that, probably not at least until end of December, if that - depends on how cold it gets and if the weather consistently stays below freeezing.

Frozen ground = frozen solid/unworkable 6-8" deep.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 12:16PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

I do understand that FROST is not equivalent to frozen ground so I am pleased to know that my perennials planted yesterday still have time to root but I am also wondering if national weather services have historical data for "frozen ground"....as you said frozen to 8" deep?

Looking back I can bet there are years (more recent rather than earlier) that the ground *isn't* solid until into January (in my zone 5).

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 2:33PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

I do understand that FROST is not equivalent to frozen ground so I am pleased to know that my perennials planted yesterday still have time to root but I am also wondering if national weather services have historical data for "frozen ground"....as you said frozen to 8" deep?

Looking back I can bet there are years (more recent rather than earlier) that the ground *isn't* solid until into January (in my zone 5).

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 2:38PM
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pizzuti(5A)

In certain areas in Zone 5 the ground won't freeze more than 1-2 inches deep at all, especially near the house, under mulch, in sunny areas, and around rocks and dense objects that absorb the sun's warmth during the day and radiate it at night.

Finally, if there is snow piled on the ground before it gets really cold, the soil will probably not freeze at all. You may be able to pile snow on the area when you shovel your walk or driveway, in order to insulate the ground and prevent a deep freeze there.

In the shade, in areas that are not mulched, and in elevated or hilled areas, the soil will be more exposed to deep freezes and freeze deeper or sooner in the year.

In any case mulching makes a big difference when it comes to frost heave... and you have lots of time to water. Water deep (slow and keep the hose/sprinklers there for a long time) and do not water again until the soil is dry on the surface, because you want to stimulate the deepest roots to drive most of the growth.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 2:01AM
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