How often do I need to water?
That is a question that everyone needs to ask when planting a new plant. The answer is ALMOST EVERY DAY for the first two summers.
Of course there are a few exceptions:
You don’t need to water cactus every day.
You don’t need to water if it is raining.
BUT, if it rains today, you will likely need to water any newly planted trees and shrubs tomorrow. Here’s why: if it rains today, good. The roots have water. They start using it. Soon they use all the moisture in their root ball. On a new plant that will be the root ball you planted. It takes months before the plant roots out enough to be able to use the moisture in the soil around its original root ball.
So, if the ground around your plant is wet you still need to water. The reason is that the plant has used all the water in its original root ball, which can be bone dry even if the bed is still wet. Because it has not rooted out yet, it can not get to the moisture in the surrounding soil.
The number one reason people loose a new plant is too little water, the number two reason people loose a new plant is too little water, the number three reason…well, you get the idea.
How long do you need to water? Long enough for the water to soak to the bottom of the root. You notice I did not tell you how long to leave the water on. Water until the amount is enough to soak the root, then stop. Not a slow trickle for 4 hours, unless you just forget to turn off the hose! You only need enough to wet the roots all the way down.