The Q&A Archives: When To Water

Question: I live in zone 6 (N. Central NJ) - when should I turn on my underground sprinkler system (for my perennial beds)for the season?

Answer: The answer to your question really depends on the rainfall patterns and type of soil you have. Most perennials, if planted in well prepared soil, mulched, and in the appropriate conditions of sun or shade should be able to manage on our normal rainfall for much of the growing season. The only way to know when to water is to keep an eye on your plants and to dig down into the soil and see if it is wet or dry. When you water, it is better to water deeply but less often that to water lightly every day. The reason for this is the roots should be encouraged to grow deeper where the soil stays moister longer naturally.

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