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Finding the right method of watering for your lawn, trees, and shrubs is important, especially during the hot summer weather we get here in Moline. If you give them too little water, their roots will suffer, their leaves will wilt, and they just won’t beam as they should. On the other hand, too much moisture is an invitation for disease and may cause your plants’ roots to rot. While watering isn’t one-size-fits-all, we have some helpful tips on when and how much to water your lawn and shrubs to keep them luscious all summer long.


When to Water Your Shrubs

Before deciding on a watering routine for your shrubs, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, you should know what the specific moisture requirements are for the plants and shrubs in your garden. Plants with large or thin leaves require more water than those with thick, fleshy leaves, like cacti or succulents. Tropical plants are accustomed to the humid heat of tropical rainforests, and will also need lots of moisture.What are the natural soil conditions of your landscape? If you’re dealing with quick-draining, sandy soils that find it hard to retain moisture, you’ll have to water all of your plants more often than they would usually demand. On the contrary, if you’re stuck with dense, clay soils that retain a lot of moisture, you’ll want to be extra careful of overwatering.

You should also remind yourself which shrubs are aged veterans, and which ones are newer additions to your garden. Older plants are already settled into their roots and are able to withstand longer bouts without water. Newer plants, however, will require more moisture to help their roots become established. If they’re brand new, they might even need water daily for the first few weeks, and then every few days for a few months after that.

Of course, you should also consider the weather forecast. Are we in for a rainy week? Maybe it’s better to hold off on the irrigation and let Mother Nature do its thing—provided you get at least 1.5 inches of rainfall to hydrate your shrubs. If we’re headed for a dry spell, your plants will appreciate some water. This goes for your lawn, too!

With all this in mind, you should have an idea of how often your shrubs and trees will need to be watered. In general, those with established roots, average moisture requirements, and average soil conditions might need watering every 10-14 days, or more often during the dead of summer.


symptoms underwater overwater shrubs moline


How Much Water do Shrubs Need?

So now that you have a good idea of when you should water your shrubs, you’ll need to know how much to give them! In our experience, it’s better to water infrequently, but deeply. Frequent, light waterings don’t allow water to reach deep into the soil, meaning the roots aren’t driven deeper either. Allow the top inch or two of soil to go completely dry, and then give it a good soak—about 15-20 minutes of watering on each plant, applied directly over the root ball. Avoid getting the lower leaves of your shrubs wet, since this can encourage bacteria and disease.

Remember, you should always look for signs of stress and check the soil conditions before watering your plants.


Signs of Underwatering Shrubs

Here are some tell-tale signs that your plants are feeling a little neglected, and would appreciate a drink:

  • Wilted leaves
  • Curled or yellowing leaves, usually starting from the bottom
  • Stunted growth
  • Dry soil conditions


Signs of Overwatering Shrubs

Signs of overwatering are sometimes mistaken for signs of underwatering, so make sure to pay close attention to what your plants are telling you! Here are some red flags that might indicate overwatering:

  • Wilted leaves, but wet soils
  • Yellow or brown leaves
  • Falling leaves—except for during Fall!
  • Swelling and/or bursting of the leaves
  • Root rot, leading to grey or brown, slimy roots
  • Very wet soil


watering lawn moline


When to Water Your Lawn

Regardless of the irrigation system, keeping your lawn properly watered doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. But like the rest of the plant life in your garden, you’ll still have to consider things like soil conditions and weather before deciding on a system and a routine.

Your lawn needs about 1 inch of water every week to retain its bright green color and vigor. During a moist summer, you might not to manually water your lawn at all! However, if soil conditions are poor and sandy, supplemental watering might be a good idea.

Of course, you’ll also want to keep an eye on your grass if we’re experiencing a dry spell. Yellowing grass is a telltale sign that your lawn is thirsty, but it doesn’t have to come to that. If you notice that your grass isn’t bouncing back up after being walked on, and footprints are remaining on your lawn, water it immediately and prevent the discoloration from happening altogether.

If you want to keep your lawn fresh, green, and pristine, you should also know when not to water it. Avoid watering in the afternoon—especially on hot, sunny days—when most of the moisture will simply evaporate before it gets a chance to quench your plant’s thirst. Instead, water your plants when the soil is cool, either early morning or late evening, as they’ll retain more moisture that way.


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Once you establish a watering schedule that works for you and your garden, keep it up well into the fall. A common mistake is halting irrigation as soon as temperatures begin to drop in late summer and early fall. You can safely water your plants until the ground begins to freeze, which will give them ample stores for the coming winter.

Host garden gatherings with family and friends in confidence this summer with your happy, healthy, flourishing garden. Meyer Landscape is here to help you keep your yard bright and beautiful with proper watering and irrigation. We offer a range of landscaping services, including irrigation system installation.


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