When to water my clay soil?

reversethongMay 3, 2009

Ok, so I put a semi-dwarf Cara Cara and a 5 gallon Wonderful Pom in the ground 3 weeks ago. I did a really deep soak after planting. I've only watered one since because my moisture meter keeps saying the soil is wet. I have reddish brown clay soil and this is a new home 1 1/2 yrs old. The clay is staying moist, but I'm worried that it is just the soil type and I may need to water more. I did no amendments based on recommendation on this forum. Do I watch my meter or do I water on a schedule? I'm new to in ground planting. Any tips would be great.

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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

To confirm you meter, using a long screwdriver or other long firm rod, insert it into the soil. It will move easily through moist soil but will not pass through dry soil easily. Once confirmed or not will determine your watering schedule.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 10:20AM
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reversethong

Is it normal for clay soil to retain moisture like this?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 9:52AM
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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

Yes!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 6:41PM
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reversethong

Ok, thanks, I guess I just have to water less as result.Maybe the scorching heat on the way will fix that? :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 12:47AM
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aztreelvr

Make sure you are probing the root ball. While clay soils hold lots of water, the planting mix from the container has no clay at all and may dry out quickly. It's important to keep the root ball moist (but not soggy) until roots have chance to establish in the surrounding soil.

This summer you will probably need to water at least once a week. Applying a layer of mulch on top of the soil will slow evaporation and keep the soil cooler.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 2:47PM
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