~To water or not to water, that is the question~
One of the most notorious problems I stumble upon in this industry is watering. It is something I educate clients about on almost a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, even sometimes I struggle. Mainly with indoor plants. I tend to give them a little too much love... a fun metaphor I use for over-watering.
Here are some helpful tips when it comes to watering your plants. I have also included a picture courtesy of 'Safer' (a brand I use and trust in the gardens) which depicts different problems your plants' tell you through their leaves.
FOR NEW PERENNIALS IN THE GARDEN
Many new perennials die because they get too much or too little water. The soil around their roots should be moist, but not soaking wet (this can lead to problems like root rot), for the first two weeks. For the next two weeks or so, water when the soil 2 inches below the surface is dry to the touch. Generally, water every day for the first two weeks, then start to wean off the perennials little by little until you get back to a normal watering schedule.
NEW BULBS: Fall planted bulbs must root before cold weather. Avoid over-watering at planting time since this can result in bulb rot (well-drained soil is best for bulbs). For both spring and summer bulbs, start watering when the flower buds first appear on the plant if the soil is dry. Shallow watering will not do the job.
SIGNS OF OVER-WATERING & UNDER-WATERING
If you know something is up with your plant as it doesn't look its usual self, chances are you are abusing watering.
❀ Signs of over-watering include leaves curling under, yellowing, heavy limp look and feel, browning tips.
❀ Under-watering includes yellowing leaves curling up and are crispy to the touch.
Hot Summer Day
Most perennials wilt on a hot day, regardless of whether or not they need water. Water only when the soil is dry and the plants don't recover from their “faint” overnight. Choose morning watering over evening watering (putting the perennials to bed wet can result in fungus, etc.), and avoid watering during the day.
NOTE: Outdoor pots/ planters in the heat of the summer should be watered everyday!
Regular Watering Schedule
Deep watering encourages deeper and stronger root growth. Therefore, watering gardens about 2 inches or so one- two times a week is preferable. Watering more often, but less deep, only leads to weaker root growth and evaporation. This is all dependent on the weather of course.