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Plant Watering Tips

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Watering Tips

“When should I water my plants?” and “How often should I water?” are the two most common questions we receive from clients everyday.
When it comes to watering, there are no hard or fast rules. It’s a variable that depends on the plant type, the soil, the weather and the time of year just to name a few.


To start, we recommend checking the soil. This is easily done with potted and hanging plants. After thoroughly watering a hanging basket lift it to get a sense of it’s weight. Does it feels light? If yes, it’s time to water.

The “lift test” isn’t practical in your garden landscape or with large containers, but you can use a soil moisture sensor to see if it’s time to water. For a more thorough investigation, push a spade into the soil near your plant and pull it back to see how the soil looks. If it feels moist to a depth of 6 to 12 inches, you’re in good shape. If it’s dry, it’s time to water! If it’s soggy hold off on the water for a few days and check again.

How to water?


Watering is of no value if the water runs down the outside of the root ball, leaving the roots at the core of the plant dry. This can happen if you water too quickly or apply too much water at once. Slower watering is usually more effective. The key is to ensure that water gets to the root zone — whether you are tending seedlings, watering houseplants, watering a row of tomatoes or soaking thirsty shrubs and trees.

5 Must Do Watering Tips

  • Focus on the root zone. Remember that it’s the roots that need access to water, not the leaves. Wetting the foliage is a waste of water and can promote the spread of disease.
  • Water only when needed. Reduce frequency when rainfall is abundant. Too much water can be just as damaging to plants as too little.
  • Water deeply and thoroughly. Lawns and annuals concentrate their roots in the top 6″ of soil; for perennials, shrubs and trees, it’s the top 12″. In heavy soil, it may take hours for water to percolate down 6-12″.
  • Water in the morning. If you do get moisture on the leaves, this gives them time to dry out. It’s much more difficult for plant diseases to get a foothold when the foliage is dry.
  • Mulch everything. Mulch reduces surface runoff and slows evaporation from the soil.

As winners of over 275 awards, Gibbs Landscape Company offers a proven track record of creative, quality landscape design and maintenance. Our team of highly trained, qualified Landscape Architects and horticulturalist can design and maintain a landscape that will add value to your property for years to come. You deserve the best in landscape design/build and maintenance…you deserve Gibbs Landscape Company.

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Water Smart

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Well the drought is officially over in Georgia. I think we have all learned a lot about the great importance of water. We all need to conserve this great resource an use it wisely. All watering restrictions are now removed and you are allowed to water on an odd/even basis. Odd numbered addresses are allowed to water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Even numbered addresses are allowed to water on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. You should never water your landscape during the daytime hours. The most effective way to water is in the very early morning hours before daybreak. This will insure you are losing only the minimal amount of water to evaporation and protect plant material and turf grass from possible fungus activity and burning of foliage. Only water what needs to be watered. This is critical to conservation. Most established plants do not need watering on a regular basis. Look at your landscape closely to determine if plant material needs watering. If so, then water it in. You should water in areas that need water by deep soaking. That is, watering longer one time versus light watering on several occasions. This will help establish a deep root system for your plant material. Remeber, water is a limited resource and we should use it very wisely when caring for our landscapes.
If you are interested in improving your irrigation system or designing a more drought tolerant landscape, please call us today.

Peter J. Copses,
Vice President