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4 Things to Know About Deep Watering Trees

When should you water your trees and when should you allow nature to do what it wants to do? It can be very difficult to learn about the needs of your trees because they don’t talk like humans do and they don’t run around your feet in circles like a pet might do. Instead, a lot of the work you have to do is estimation, which can be troublesome for people who haven’t worked with trees before.

“Deep watering” isn’t really a new concept, but it is something that people are starting to learn about for the first time. Deep watering, or deep root watering as it may be known, is a tactic that quenches a deeper thirst of trees – usually when it is dry in the summer months. Still, there are many things people do not know about deep watering that might help you better understand why it is important in some cases, and why you might not always want to do it.

4. It Really Does Go Deep

  • You are watering the roots
  • 12-18″ deep in some cases
  • Some plants even need it deeper

When you water your plants on a regular basis, you are probably watering the leaves and dampening the soil around them. This is enough, you may think. The truth is that, according to Slate, most plants aren’t able to absorb water through their leaves. Instead, they get whatever tricks down into the roots of the plant over time. In the hot summer, this means that they might not get a third of what you used because most of it will evaporate.

Deep watering requires more water and more time because it is going to go really deep into the ground where it will meet the root systems. When the ground is wet already, that water will stick around. However, the water tends to dry up quickly in dry ground.

3. It Won’t Work for All Plants

  • Vegetables don’t need deep watering
  • Some grasses and ferns don’t either
  • Flowers are a case-by-case scenario

Many people think that deep watering will be the answer to all of their problems, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. The idea of deep watering isn’t useful for perennials, including ferns, grasses, and many flowers, because they tend to have shorter root systems that stay nearer to the surface. You do have to water these plants, and you should always look for signs that you are over watering or under watering, according to Gardeners.

You should water these plants and deep watering won’t really harm them unless you do it too often, but it is likely that this will be a waste of water anyway. Hand watering might seem laborious, but it really is the best approach for perennials and vegetables.

2. Soakers Are a Good Choice As Well

  • Help you to water regularly
  • Can be used in a system so everything gets what they need
  • Be careful about over watering, however

If you aren’t the type of person who really wants to be in the garden all that much, investing in an inexpensive soaker hose or system may work well. This is simple a black rubber hose that has small holes where the water comes out instead of at the end. You can put this onto your traditional garden hose and snake it through your garden. Then, you can simply turn it on every few days so that you can slowly, but deeply, water your gardens. Many people believe in this method more than others because it is easy, though once again you do have to keep water usage in mind. Still, they are better than the traditional sprinklers that many people use (and are even banned in some places) because they direct the water right where it needs to go. You can even DIY these for your own garden so that the water goes perfectly where it needs to go.

According to the DIY Network, you can even buy or make a system that has a computer control with it so that you do not need to be at your home – this is great for people with rental properties or those that go on vacation for long periods of time.

1. Trees and Shrubs Should Be Watered Deeply

  • Roots tend to go very deep into the ground
  • Also spread out like a fan
  • In a drought, trees are the most vulnerable

If there is one thing that you do deep water, it should be your shrubs and trees. These are the things in your yard that have to fight the hardest for the water, and they are probably the ones that have roots that sometimes don’t get water in the hottest time of the year.

According to the Morton Arboretum, “There is no reason to water the leaves of a plant. Water the soil, where the roots are. The Arboretum recommends watering within the drip line of a tree, from the trunk out to the end of the branches, to reach the roots most effectively. The water-absorbing roots are within the top two feet of soil; you want to keep these roots moist but not wet.”

This means you don’t want to completely saturate the ground, but you do want to put some water in there. Once again, it will help you are able to read the signs of over watering and under watering.

It might seem simplistic, but everything about watering really comes down to paying attention to your trees and trying to understand what they need. The same goes for almost all of the other living things inside and outside of your home. Tree care is important, and if you want your trees to be beautiful and provide you with shade, you want to do all you can to keep them healthy.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you at other times of the year as well.

Header photo courtesy of Dirkus on Flickr!


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