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How to properly water new shrubs?

Posted by kim31kim z6: Mid-TN (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 26, 06 at 10:19

Could someone please gives me tips on how to water my new holly shrubs properly? (ie, how often and how much each time) Also, how can I tell that I've watered enough? Should the top of the soil be moist to a certain depth?

I've done a lot of research and it seems that watering is critical but I can't find any detailed instructions on the right way to water the shrubs.

I read here on gardenweb that you can turn the water hose on so that the stream of water is about a pencils width and then just lay that at the base of the shrub for about 20 minutes. We have 15 new Needlepoint hollies and I'm wondering if there is a quicker way to do this. Some say that the soaker hoses don't do a very good job. Could I make my own custom hose with a little hole at each bush and then let it leak out directly onto the base?

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to properly water new shrubs?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 26, 06 at 13:15

Frequently, until well rooted out. Need will vary with weather conditions and soil textures involved. Put on enough to moisten entire root mass. It's not like checking the oil in a car, where there is a standard method that works for them all everywhere. You have to learn how to judge the situation on your own. If completely new to this maybe take a similarly sized potted plant that is looking dry on top of the potting medium or starting to feel comparatively light (both common indicators of a likely need for watering) and see how much water it takes to remoisten the entire soil column in the pot. This will give you a general feel for what is involved, anyway.

RE: How to properly water new shrubs?

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 26, 06 at 14:57

Once you figure out how much water they need, and how often, the most efficient method would be a drip irrigation system, with 1-2 emitters for each plant. The number of emitters is based on how much time you want to leave the system on to provide the appropriate amount of water. This delivers water to the shrubs only, with minimal evaporation. You can buy kits and parts at Lowes or HD, and install it easily.

Soaker hoses work very well, but aren't as discriminating with the water delivery. They work just fine in densely planted beds and along rows of veggies and such. All my nursery beds have buried soaker hoses, approximately 4" below the surface. Costco frequently has specials on them, and I stock up. This year, I'm going to bite the bullet, and buy a bulk coil or 2, with the fittings, and make my own.

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