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What Are The Proper Watering Techniques For New And Established Landscaping?

When you have new plants added to your landscaping, they have different watering requirements compared to established plants. However, established landscaping also requires consistent maintenance and watering in order to thrive. While not all plants have the same requirements, there are many helpful tips and considerations that apply to most landscaping elements. This quick guide will help you with the proper watering techniques for a variety of new and established plants, so your property can look its absolute best, all year round.

At Absolute Landscape & Turf Services, we have over 20 years of experience providing landscape maintenance services to Ellicott City, Clarksville, Glenwood, Glenelg, Howard County, MD, and the surrounding areas.

Watering New Plants in Landscaping

Watering newly installed landscaping is essential to ensure its successful establishment and long-term health.

With new trees and shrubs in general, it is important that they be checked for soil moisture every couple of days for the first few weeks. Annuals and perennials should be checked more frequently. 

When watering, the goal is to have the water penetrate deeper into the soil to help promote root growth down into the ground. Allow a trickle of water from a hose at the base of the plant for up to a minute, then move the hose to another area around the plant. Let it run longer on larger plants before moving around. If the soil feels wet when checking your newly placed plants, avoid watering as it is possible to overwater a plant and cause it to die.

Finding the right balance can be a challenge. Watering plants too much or too little can weaken plants, lead to root rot, fungal diseases, stunt growth, or worse.


6 Simple Tips and Tricks for Watering Your New Landscaping

  1. Morning Watering: Water your new landscaping in the early morning to allow enough time for the soil to absorb moisture before the heat of the day. This reduces the risk of evaporation and fungal growth.
  2. Deep Watering: Instead of frequent shallow watering, give your plants a good, long soak. Deep watering encourages the roots to grow deeper into the soil, making them more resilient to drought conditions.
  3. Soil Moisture Check: Check the soil moisture regularly. Stick your finger about an inch deep into the soil – if it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it’s still moist, hold off on watering for a day or two.
  4. Avoid Overwatering: While it’s essential to keep the soil adequately moist, avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot and other plant health issues.
  5. Water Consistency: Be consistent with your watering schedule. Regular and consistent watering helps establish healthy root systems, especially during the initial growth phase.
  6. Adjust with Seasons: As the seasons change, adjust your watering routine accordingly. Reduce watering during cooler months and increase it during hotter, drier periods.

Unless otherwise instructed by your landscaper, you can reduce the frequency of watering as the weeks and months go on. If you are unable to maintain a consistent watering schedule, you may want to sign up for a landscape maintenance plan. Professional landscape maintenance will ensure that your new landscaping gets the right care and attention it needs to thrive, season after season and year after year.


Watering Established Plants in Landscaping

To consider plants, shrubs, trees, or flowers as established, they must have been in the ground for a sufficient amount of time to develop a stable root system and have acclimated to their environment. The time it takes for a plant to become established can vary depending on the type of plant and local growing conditions.

Annual Flowers: Annual flowers complete their life cycle within a single growing season and typically do not survive winter. They are considered established after they have grown, flowered, and produced seeds, usually within a few months of planting.

Perennial Flowers: Perennial flowers live for multiple years, and they may take one to two growing seasons to establish fully. After their initial growth and successful overwintering, they are considered established.

Shrubs and Small Trees: For smaller shrubs and young trees, they are considered established after one to two growing seasons. They should have developed a healthy root system and shown consistent growth.

Larger Trees: Larger trees take longer to establish due to their extensive root systems. Depending on the tree species and environmental factors, it may take anywhere from two to five years or more for them to be fully established.

Seasonal Watering Frequency

The frequency of watering for established plants in Maryland’s growing conditions depends on various factors such as the plant species, soil type, weather conditions, and time of year. Generally, established plants in Maryland’s climate may require watering as follows:


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