The Q&A Archives: Watering

Question: After setting year old trees in the ground and watering and applying miracle grow with several gallons of water, how often should they then be watered.

Answer: Most landscape trees and shrubs will be happy with about one-inch of water per week, either from rainfall or from the hose. I find the easiest way to water is to build a basin or water ring beneath each plant. A water ring, sometimes called a water well, is a mound of compacted soil that is built around the circumference of a planting hole once a plant has been installed. The water ring helps to direct water to the outer edges of a planting hole, encouraging new roots to grow outward, in search of moisture. The height of the mound of soil will vary from a couple of inches for 3 gallon shrubs, to almost a foot for balled and burlapped trees, especially those planted on a slope. Mulch over the ring will help to further conserve moisture and prevent deterioration of the ring itself. Once a plant is established, the water ring may be leveled, but you should continue to mulch beneath the plant. Once a week fill the water ring, allow to drain, then fill a second time. This concentrates water over the root system and allows it to trickle down, wetting the entire root mass.

Best wishes with your new trees.

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