The last few weeks we have seen some warm temperatures and then some cooling along with a lack of rain that we don’t normally see until July. We have also seen some days with gusty winds as well. These conditions have started to put some stress on newly planted landscape plants and lawns. We have little control over the weather but there are things we can do to minimize plant damage and maintain good vigor in plantings.
Watering Trees and Shrubs
Even though we have seen some rain lately it is far from enough for plants that were installed this Spring and last Fall. It is imperative that trees and shrubs be watered on a regular basis if rainfall is not adequate. A good rule of thumb is to water every other day and keep new plants moist. A typical lawn sprinkler system is not adequate for our larger trees and shrubs, but a trickle system can be very effective and will ensure each plant receives enough moisture. Watering by hand is still the most effective way to water new plantings as the plant gets watered directly at the base of the root system and the chance for evaporation is minimal. It is best to water in the morning hours to ensure that foliage dries off rapidly to minimize disease potential
Watering the Lawn
Most lawns in our area consist of cool season grasses such as fescues and perennial ryegrass. These grasses will grow well in the cool months of spring but once the weather warms they start to struggle and sometimes tend to go dormant. Watering is imperative to maintain a good turf stand and to control weed growth. A lawn needs approx. 1” of water per week. It is best to water the lawn in the early morning hours to avoid evaporation and also it will ensure that the grass dries off quickly in order to minimize disease potential.