The last 2-3 weeks we have seen some warm temperatures along with a lack of rain. We have also seen some days with gusty winds as well. These conditions are putting 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
It is imperative that trees and shrubs be watered on a regular basis right now. 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
Lawns are starting to brown right now with the lack of rainfall. 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”-2” 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.