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Planting in pots

Watering 101

Watering 101

Watering properly will not only help your landscape flourish, but also save you water. Read on to learn the best watering practices for your Landscape!
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Plant Type
Is it newly planted (under 2 yrs old) or establish?
New plants require more frequent deep waterings until a root system is established.
Is it planted in a container or in the ground?
The same plant will require more water if planted in a pot versus in the ground.
Ask your nursery professional to determine if your plant has high, moderate or low water needs.
High ample moisture
Moderate regular moisture, soil should not be too dry or too wet*
Low Less than regular moisture; may need soaking every 2–3 weeks
*In dry years, 1–2 days of water is an adequate amount for most plants in Sacramento.
Soil Type
Describe your soil type. Is it sandy, loamy or clay soil? Soil testing kits are available to determine what soil type you have.
Sandy Soil
Sandy Soil
Coarse texture, large pores
  • Doesn’t hold moisture well.
  • Soil drains quickly.
  • Plants may need more frequent
  • watering.
Loamy Soil Texture
Loamy Soil
Medium texture, ideal soil!
  • Composed of clay, silt, and often organic matter.
  • Holds moisture well.
  • Checking soil in between water- ings will prevent over-watering.
Clay Soil Texture
Clay Soil
Fine textured, very small pores
  • Retains water a long time and doesn’t drain quickly.
  • Needs slow, deep watering to allow the water to percolate down to root zone.
Plant Size and Location
Typically the larger the plant the more water it will need, unless the plant is drought tolerant or established.
Determine how much sun your plant is getting throughout the day. Adjust watering times on irrigation systems accordingly.
The ground is warming up, plants are coming out of dormancy.
Drip Irrigation
  • May turn back to regular schedule, but adjust according to weather and water district recommendations.
  • Trees and shrubs must go on separate valves as their watering requirements differ.
  • Adjust emitter size from year to year as plants grow.
Plant Specifics
  • New plantings: keep soil moist, but not soggy.
  • Established plants: allow soil to dry slightly before watering again.
  • When most watering mistakes tend to occur.
  • Soil should not be soggy especial- ly overnight. This increases disease and pest development.
  • Daytime temps can be extreme; however plant stress does not always mean water more.
Drip Irrigation
  • Check that all drip emitters are flowing properly.
    Adjust emitter size from year to year as plants grow.
Plant Specifics
  • Small plantings need deep watering often.
  • Established shrubs and trees need deep, infrequent watering.
  • Established natives need only occasional watering; possibly soaking every 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Warm daytime temps and cool evening temps.
Drip Irrigation
  • Monitor drip according to temperatures.
  • Adjust emitter size from year to year as plants grow.
  • The ground is cold and will retain water longer.
  • Do not let the soil go completely dry.
  • During a freeze and times of drying North Winds, it’s crucial for plants to be hydrated.
  • Water before applying frost cloth to insulate your plants.
Drip Irrigation
  • Adjust according to weather. Irrigation systems can be turned off during Winter.
  • Supplement by hand watering con- tainers and plants as needed.
  • Adjust emitter size from year to year as plants grow.
Plant Specifics
  • Most shrubs and trees are dormant, but still require occa- sional watering.
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