Tree Care Services of Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR

Is Deep Watering Right For Your Trees?

By AK Timber in Tree Care

Is deep watering the right option for your yard?  Many people believe every trend that they read on Facebook or Pinterest. Others don’t believe anything at all. When it comes to deep watering, we have heard plenty of people on both sides of the argument.

Is deep watering the right option for your trees? It could be. Here are some things to consider before using it as a method for your yard:

4. Use a Soaker For Easier Watering

  • Great for people that aren’t home regularly
  • Could be a DIY project
  • Do not over water with this system

Standing outside in the hot sun, watering your plants and sweating doesn’t sound great to everyone – that isn’t something to be ashamed of. And you aren’t alone in thinking this way.

If this sounds like you, you may wish to purchase a soaker tube or soaker system. A soaker pipe is just an attachment to your traditional garden hose. This attachment has holes periodically, holes that are smaller than the actual hose opening, yet still large enough to let out water. As soon as you put this onto your hose, you can then wind place it into your gardens as well as position it where you require it to be. If you aren’t interested in buying an irrigation system or a drip hose, you can make your own thanks to this tutorial from the DIY Network.

These still make use of a little bit of water, but they are taken into consideration to be much better compared to the typical lawn sprinkler since they place the water directly where it needs to be, not up into the air initially.

This type of system benefits people that don’t or cannot take care of their backyards, individuals who are frequently in need of someone who will water their yards for them, and those who just have way too much to stay up to date with when it concerns caring for their lawns.

3. Deeply Water Hedges, Trees, and Shrubs

  • Tree branches tend to go deep
  • They will certainly additionally spread everywhere around the tree
  • Trees are one of the most vulnerable in a drought

The Morton Arboretum explains it best: “The top 8-12 inches of soil should be kept moist around trees during periods of drought, at least as far as the branches spread (dripline). It is impossible to give a formula on how much or how often to water a tree to keep the soil moist 8-12 inches deep. The amount of water required will vary with local site conditions, but without adequate rainfall, established trees may need to be watered as often as every 10-14 days. Don’t wait until your plants show signs of stress, such as wilting or yellowing. Any of several methods of watering work well. Remember, you are not watering plants, you are watering their roots.”

So in order to keep this a reality for your shrubs, you want to aim for the most susceptible parts. Shrubs and hedges, in particular, require quite a bit more water than many other types of plants. If you aren’t deep watering your trees and shrubs, it is likely that you will not water them enough. The water can drip down the trunk, but it is even more likely that the water will evaporate into the air before it gets to the roots.

One thing you want to be aware of around trees and shrubs in particular? Shifting dirt – by drip irrigation and being careful about how much you water, you will be able to avoid shifting dirt.

2. It Won’t Help All Plants

  • Deep watering will not help plants with shallower root systems
  • Most won’t be hurt by it either, so you can try both approaches in mixed gardens
  • Valuable for annuals as well as bigger plants

One common error that people make is that they believe that deep watering will help all of the plants that you can grow in your garden, and this isn’t the truth. As a matter of fact, perennials and vegetables don’t need deep watering since they do not have origins that go as well deeply right into the ground, according to Gardeners.

Instead, they have roots that are closer to the top of the ground. You will only be wasting water if you are deep watering these plants in your garden.

As always, you will want to check out your plants to see if there are signs of over watering or under watering.

1. Just How Deep Should The Water Go?

  • The roots must obtain the water, not the leaves, stems, or flowers
  • Go 12″ to 18″ deep, depending on the plant
  • Some plants may not need watering that deep, some require deeper

What do you do when you water your plants? It is possible that you aim your hose to spray some water onto the leaves of your plants and maybe the dirt around them.  This isn’t the best method. Many plants do not have leaves or stems that are able to absorb the water you are spraying. Most plants will use their root systems to get there. Will it drip down? Eventually, yes. The trouble is that, when it is warm outside, the water evaporates right away and then ends up not getting to the plants.

Slate has some great final advice on deep watering: “Water infrequently and deeply. The traditional rationale, rather moralistic, was that shallow watering allowed the plant to get used to finding water near the soil surface, thus making it lazy and ill-prepared to go deep in case of drought. But the real rule is this: Water when needed. The answer to when it’s needed is, “It depends.” Observant gardeners begin to see that different plants have different needs at different times.”

No matter what type of trees, shrubs, or plant life you have, you want to keep them watered as much as possible. Your soil can only do so much to keep the water going to the roots, and then you will need some help to back you up. Contact AK Timber Services for all of your tree care needs – we can help you at any stage of the tree process, from planting and taking care of your tree to pruning and cutting it down to watering. Call us today at (360) 635-1076 for all of your tree care needs – we offer free estimates.

Header photo courtesy of LadyDragonflyCC on Flickr!