1. How often should I water my plants and trees?
There’s no good answer to that. We drink when we’re thristy and it’s the same with plants. Too many variables can enter the picture: light, wind, rain, temperature, humidity and the type of plants installed... Some general guidelines are as follows: after installtion keep the plants moist for two weeks, water everyday if it doesn’t rain at least a half inch. For the next two weeks water three times per week, or everyday if it is hot and dry. You will need to keep the new installation watered carefully for the first year. The plants should then be rooted in well enough to withstand a little stress. This does not mean no water! Water your plants when they are dry. Look at the soil to see if it is dry, learn to recognize drought symptoms. Your plants will tell you when they are thirsty. Check them daily and water as needed. Look for any or all of the following symptoms:
Wilting merely indicates root damage. Always feel the soil to make sure it’s not already too wet. If the plant is wilted and the soil is dry, water. If it is still wet, let it dry out before watering again.
Folding or Cupping
Many plants merely fold up their leaves when they are dry. Lawn grasses are excellent examples. Their leaves either fold like a book or roll like a newspaper.
Some plants never wilt, fold or curl when dry. Their leaves simply lose their rich green coloration. Hollies are excellent examples. Their foliage, when dry, turns a dull metallic green color.
Low maintenance is low maintenance, it is not no maintenance.
*Points to Remember
Deep watering encourages deep rooting. Shallow watering invites drought damage. Soak the soil thoroughly when you water, then allow it to dry slightly before watering again. Your plants' root system will grow downward in search of the moist soil. Good watering equipment is one of your most important investments. Remember the requirements; whichever equipment you use must distribute water uniformly and efficiently, with a minimum of runoff and evaporation. Water well before freezing weather in the winter, dry plants are more likely to be damaged by freezes.
2. How often should I water my lawn?
Water your new lawn frequently and lightly at first, since its roots will be shallow and quite vulnerable to extreme moisture. Gradually reduce the frequency and increase the dosages. Once well rooted, letting the soil dry to a depth of several inches will help the grass develop deep roots. Remember: no lawn can survive a hot Texas summer without extra watering. Fact is you'll need to water your lawn during other seasons as well. Grass roots remain alive during the winter, and a good soaking every few weeks may be the key to pulling the grass through in prime condition.
3. What about lawncare and fertilizing?
Lawn Care And Fertilizing
Fertilize lawn grasses at eight to ten week intervals during the growing season. The first application should be made six to eight weeks before the first expected killing frost. Apply a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio fertilizer at each of these times. Rates of application will be listed on the package.
Obviously, excessive rainfall and other climatic factors can result in more frequent feedings for newly installed lawns. Start your fertilizing 6 weeks after installation. Use no weed killers for 10 to 15 weeks.
Most young grass is very sensitive and it is safer simply to wait, instead of taking the chance on chemical damage. Mowing will eliminate most of the weeds. Mow at recommended heights, don't let your grass get long and lanky.
There are several non chemical alternatives for use against insects or fungus, or organic fertilizers. An excellent resource is the Internet.
4. What is the best mowing height?
The specific heights at which you mow your lawn will depend on the type of grass, the season, and any special conditions such as heavy shade or high traffic density. Here are general guidelines for average conditions:
- Type of Grass Best Mowing Height
- Bermuda-common and dwarf ¾ to 1 ½ inches
- Buffalo 2 to 3 inches
- Tall fescue 3 to 4 inches
- Rye 1 ½ to 2 inches
- St. Augustine 1 ½ to 2 inches
- Zoysia 1 to 1 ½ inches
5. What's the best shrub, tree and groundcover fertilizer?
- 1. 3 - month time released fertilizer.
- 2. Osmocote 14-14-14.
- 3. Sierra blend 18-7-24.