The Q&A Archives: Water how often?

Question: Today I planted 100 bulb garden...YAY! I live in the high desert. How often do I water? Also I removed my ice plants and there was white rocks or similar on the roots. What is that and do ice plants come back to life after a while?

Answer: We would all prefer an exact formula for watering plants, but unfortunately, that's not the best way for the long-term health of your plants. There are numerous variables involved, such as type of soil, how fast or slow it drains, sun and wind exposure at your site, temperature, age and condition of the plants and much more. It's important to learn the specific needs of your landscape, both for its health and your water bill. Use the information below to determine how moist the soil is before automatically applying more water. Use a soil probe (any long, pointed piece of metal or wood to poke into the soil) to check how far water has penetrated. The probe moves easily through moist soil, but stops when it hits hard dry soil. The following depths are a guideline for how deep water should reach: Shrubs 2-3 feet Vegetables, flowers, herbs 1 - 1 1/2 feet Succulents 1-2 inches The following frequencies are guidelines only for the summer months when temperatures are in the 90s and winds are drying. Shrubs, 1st year* once a week Shrubs, 2 years every 10 days Shrubs, 3+ years every 2 weeks Vegetables, flowers every 3-4 days Herbs once a week Succulents twice a month *One-gallon size or newly transplanted shrubs may need twice a week, every other day or every day. It's important to water slowly, deeply, and infrequently so that salts in the water don't accumulate around the roots of the plants and water seeps out to where the new roots are growing. I hope this information helps you.

The rocks on the roots of your ice plant are probably perlite, an organic potting soil ingredient. When the plants are started at the nursery they are often grown in perlite, which can cling to the hairy roots of iceplant. Sometimes iceplant will come back and sometimes not. If you removed the plants any roots remaining in the soil have the potential to sprout new plants.

Best wishes with your new bulbs!

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