The Q&A Archives: How Often To Water

Question: I have planted new plants this fall for next spring, tulips, daylillies, iris, clematis, primrose, hibiscus etc. Our weather has been very mild, it has been below freezing but continues to be 40 to 50 degrees during the days for weeks. Since these plants are new should I continue to water them, if so how often and at what point do I stop watering so they can lie dormant and thrive.

Answer: You are right to be concerned about watering since the weather has been so mild. Usually the fall rains are enough to keep the soil moist and we don't need to water much if at all by mid fall right on through to spring. Check the soil with your fingers to see if you need to water or not. The soil should be a bit moist but certainly not sopping wet. The frequency is less and less as the weather cools, but periods of warm or windy days can certainly dry it out. A layer of mulch can help reduce watering needs. Once the ground is quite cold the plants will slow down dramatically and use much less water; once it is frozen you will not need to water at all.

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