Watering Care

Watering Care Guidelines

Here are some watering guidelines for your newly installed plantings.

General Guidelines:

The first growing season is the most important for your newly installed plantings. In our typically clay-based soils, it is necessary to water your plants 2-3 per week. In more sandy soil, like that found closer to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, water 3-4 times per week. Watering of plant material should be maintained through the first season. After establishment, cut back on watering frequency, unless abnormally hot, dry or windy. Keeping in mind that roots also need air, don’t let the soil stay waterlogged for prolonged periods. Try to be mindful of the time of day you water and any recent rainfall, watering in the morning will be the most beneficial for your plants.

Drip Irrigation System Guidelines:

If we installed a drip irrigation system with your new plantings, please follow these guidelines for watering your plants.

Ornamental plant material:

If we installed a drip irrigating system for your new landscape, simply connect the appropriate “zone” and turn on for about an hour 2-3 times a week. Our crews calibrated the system so that the water is properly distributed to the plant material. This system is effective because it applies the water to where the plants need it most, at their root zone. There is little to no waste and it provides watering for all of your ornamental plant material. If you see that the disc emitters are not completely wetting the mulch bed surrounding the perennials, don’t worry, the water is being absorbed by the plants below the surface. Also, since the shrubs and trees are being watered directly at their base, you may not see wet mulch here, either.

This system is not completely self sufficient, though. Working under pressure, some connections may become loose and come undone. Simply turn the water off and re-connect the fitting that has come off. For the black spaghetti tubing, you may need to cut, perpendicularly, an 1/8” or so off the end for a tight fit. If individual emitters have come out of the brown tubing, simply push the emitter, red-tip first, back into the opening. You may need to double check the system monthly or even weekly to keep it working optimally. Please call with any other questions or concerns.

No Drip Irrigation System Guidelines:

If we did NOT install a drip irrigation system with your new plantings, please follow the guidelines listed below:

Trees and Shrubs:

The best way to water trees and shrubs is to use a slow soaking method around the base of the plant. Please do not spray down the foliage, this is a bad habit and will hurt your plants! A soaker hose around the plants or a garden hose placed at the base is the preferred method. With a garden hose, a slow, yet constant, flow is sufficient. A deep watering will ensure proper root growth; light watering keeps water at the surface and promotes shallow (poor) root growth. Maintain the mulch around the base of the plants to help retain moisture, especially during dry periods. Note, please keep the mulch off the trunk of the plant, for that can encourage disease. Our watering recommendations are:


Trees: 15 to 20 minutes twice a week

Shrubs: 5 to 8 minutes twice a week

Groundcovers & Perennials: Groundcovers should be watered with a sprinkler two to three times a week until the beds have been soaked.


Watering for sod should be started immediately after being installed. Ideally, watering should begin as soon as an area large enough to put down a sprinkler is ready.

It is essential that enough water is put down the first time to thoroughly soak the sod and the soil underneath. You can check the moisture content by lifting up a flap of the sod and sticking your finger into the soil. It should be moist several inches deep. By giving the sod a heavy first watering, you will rid the sod of air pockets, which can promote sod dry-out.

Corners and edges of sod need special attention paid to, they tend to dry-out quickly and are hard to water properly (you may need to hand water these areas.

If a newly sodded area does dry out it does not mean it is dead. With proper water application, the area should green up in about two weeks.

After the first watering, water enough to keep the soil under the sod moist, not muddy. In cool weather this may mean watering every 3-4 days, hot weather may require daily watering. Do not allow the sod or the soil to dry out between watering.

In about two weeks the sod should have begun to knit to the soil underneath and the watering can be cut back to once or twice a week depending on weather conditions. If the sod has a pale blue gray color or does not spring back after being walked across, water immediately.

Like trees and shrubs, shallow watering is not good for your sod. After establishment, to promote deep root growth which helps during dry spells, water less often but for longer periods.


Again, these are all guidelines, if we are experiencing wet or dry spells, please adjust accordingly.


Thank you again for your business and enjoy!