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How to Properly Water New Plants

Written by Burkholder on . Posted in .

Every living thing in your landscape needs water to thrive, and watering correctly is vital, whether you are hand-watering planters, or using a sprinkler system to achieve a lush green lawn. We will help you understand how to properly water new plants and established ones. If you lack the time necessary for such care, we can also help you by installing a customized sprinkler system.

Tips for Watering New Plants Properly

New plants may have different requirements than those that are established already. The Burkholder team has some tips for properly watering new plants and established ones.

Check all plants weekly

Properly Water New Plants and Established Plants -Plant Bed Irrigation - Burkholder Landscape

Check newly planted trees and shrubs every few days for the first two weeks. Annuals and perennials should be checked more often. After that two week period, check every 7 to 10 days. Simply dig around the root zone with your fingers to a depth of 2-3” for small plants and 6-8” for larger ones and for trees. Water generously when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Provide slow, deep watering

This type of watering is accomplished by placing the hose at the base of the plant, at a heavy trickle. Water for 30-60 seconds for small plants – longer for larger plants while moving the hose to a few locations around the plant.
Avoid watering when the soil feels moist

Soil must be allowed to dry out between watering. If a plant is maintained in constantly moist soil, the plant’s health will deteriorate over time. A plant weakened by over watering may die of oxygen deprivation or become susceptible to pest and disease. For this reason, lawn irrigation systems, if not designed correctly, can be hazardous to ornamental plantings.

Tips for Watering Established Plants Properly

As your landscape grows more mature, your watering practices may need to be adjusted. Below are a few tips to ensure optimal plant health.

Use a sprinkler system

Controlled and proper watering of established plants, trees and shrubs is still important, and an automatic sprinkler system can be programmed for each area of your landscape.

Provide deep watering

Just as for newly planted specimens, established plants and trees need to develop deep roots over time. These deep systems can help the trees survive periods of drought in the summer.

Water early

Morning watering allows plants to take in all of the water, whereas if you water in the heat of the day, some will evaporate.


Mulch allows the most efficient use and retention of the water available.

Monitor Water Requirements Frequently

Monitoring water requirements frequently is more important than actually watering frequently. Monitor your plants’ water requirements for at least the first two to three years. Plantings close to buildings where heat may reflect and plants under roof eaves require closer monitoring. During the hot summer months and early fall disregard natural rainfall. Often, rain received during these periods produces mostly run-off and contributes little, if any, to increasing ground moisture.

The Value of Mulch in Helping Your Landscape Thrive

Using mulch in general is a good idea because the mulch aids in retaining water. In addition to that factor, mulching around trees and shrubs enables them to more efficiently take in water. Grass around trees and shrubs competes with them for water. Since a healthy grassy area has a dense root system, the trees and shrubs are prevented from developing roots for water intake in the top layers of soil. Having mulch in place of grass allows the trees and shrubs to take in water more easily, so they grow more quickly and with more vigor.

Maintain a 2-2 ½ mulch layer to help conserve ground moisture, prevent weeds, and retain moisture. Remember, excess amounts of mulch will result in poor air circulation and reduce plant vigor. The Burkholder team installs 3” at the time of planting. Install only 1-2” each year thereafter.

Why Use a Sprinkler System for Proper Watering of Plants?

Stress-free, hands-off irrigation of your lawn is possible with an automatic sprinkler system. Today’s sprinkler irrigation systems have zones, so that you can program the right water levels for each aspect of your landscape. So your plant beds can have long deep watering cycles at the desired frequency, and your grass can get the right amount of water as well.

Grass watering requirements can vary according to rainfall, whereas much of rainfall is unable to be used by trees and shrubs due to runoff, as previously mentioned. Your irrigation system can be programmed to allow for rainfall’s impact on water levels. You can also be sure that your plants and trees remain healthy when you go on vacation if you have a sprinkler system.

Call Burkholder For Fine Main Line Landscaping and Sprinkler System Services

The team at Burkholder wants you to enjoy one of the best landscapes in your neighborhood, and that requires someone to properly water new plants, established plants and your grass. For more information and helpful ideas, visit our site or call us today for a landscaping design consultation.


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Malvern, PA 19355


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