Trees & Shrubs
The roots of trees and shrubs must not dry out completely. This is especially important during the first growing season, since stress may kill the plant.
Trees and shrubs are typically planted in a combination of on-site soil, topsoil and planting mix. This is considered a light soil, which should be watered as follows (on average*):
- April 15 - May 15: 1x/week
- May 16 - September 15: 2x/week**
- September 16 - October 31: 1x/week
Follow up with a thorough final watering in mid-November to ensure adequate moisture to sustain the plant through winter.
To properly water trees and shrubs, remove hose nozzle and place the hose on the ground approximately six inches from the stem or trunk. Water flow should be a small stream about ¼ inch in diameter (it should take about five seconds to fill a coffee cup). Shift the hose around to ensure even watering. Duration depends on plant size.Approximate watering times*:
- Small to medium shrub: 1-2 minutes
- Large shrub: 2-3 minutes
- Evergreen and deciduous tree: 20 minutes
**During hot, dry summers (multiple days above 90◦ F), increase watering to three to four times a week.
PERENNIALS/GROUNDCOVER/ANNUALSMost of these plant materials have shallow roots, so they only need a light watering every other morning. With a nozzle or long-stemmed watering wand, gently, yet thoroughly, wet the perennial, groundcover and/or annual plant bed almost to the point of run off (typically, five to ten seconds per plant). You may need to return to each plant multiple times for adequate watering.
DETERMINING WATERING DEPTHAdjust watering patterns based on the rainfall throughout the growing season. Most plants require about an inch of rainfall per week during establishment. Keep in mind, the majority of heavy rain will run off and not be absorbed into the soil.
To determine if you need to water, check the soil near the base of the plant. Take your index finger or a piece of metal hanger wire and press it into the soil two to three inches.
- The plant has been properly watered if the soil feels moist and there’s a small amount clinging to your finger or the wire.
- If the soil is loose and muddy (about the consistency of pudding), the plant is getting too much water.
- If the soil feels dry and is difficult to penetrate, follow the recommended watering methods immediately.
- Plants can easily be overwatered, suffocating the roots and killing them.
- Soaker hoses are another watering option using your spigot(s). Install them in runs of less than 100 linear feet, and if you need more than one, create multiple runs. On average, run soaker hoses for 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the output of your soaker hose.
- Check the soil after the first few waterings to determine if you should adjust the method or timing. It’s important to check routinely throughout the growing season.
- Avoid shooting jets of water directly at a plant. This can damage a plant, potentially causing it to defoliate. Water spots on foliage subject to direct sunlight may cause burn marks on the plant.
- Please note: Your failure to appropriately water any plant materials will void your warranty with Rice’s.
- See tips on watering your newly seeded or sodded lawn.
To make watering your landscape easier, consider installing an irrigation system. Rice’s has expertise in irrigation design and installation.