How often do you water?

valtorrez(6b)June 27, 2010

How often do you water your hostas? Some people never water, just let them survive with rain water while others say daily. It has been in the 90's for the past couple of weeks. I've been watering every 3 days but some of my hostas are getting that yellowing of the leaves. It does not help that my neighbor cut down there tree now what was really shady is sunny.

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manyhosta(z4b MN)

It depends on the weather and the time of year. In the Twin Cities metro area of Minnesota, we've had several successive years of below-normal precipitation that required significantly more watering than 'normal.' I make sure they get a minimum of an inch a week, twice that when temps are in the 90s. I have a lot of yearlings that I water every day if it doesn't rain.

Some of my hostas growing under a 60' Colorado blue spruce are doing poorly after several drought summers, despite extra watering. They will be lifted and replanted either in spinout root control bags or in improved soil. We got almost 6" of rain in the past two days so I hope to take a break from watering and get busy moving hostas.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 1:57PM
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Great question. My perspective is from one Missouri gardener to another.

1. I have been watering all week. I have sprinkler system on my turf but rely on hoses to water by beds. I probably water said bed every other day. And when I say water, I'm talking about a good soaking.

2. I have ammended my clay soil with a combination of materials including my own leaf compost and degraded compost I receive from a business in the St. Louis area. Slowly but surely, I'm improving the quality of my soil.

3. I moved a few plants this weekend and noted that depending on garden, soil moisture in the root zones ranged from moist to wet. By moist I mean there was moisture in the soil although it crumbled easily. By wet I mean soil were I could very easily press the soil together to make a mud ball.

4. I think it is impossible to over water hostas.

5. The question you need to ask yourself is what are your objectives as a Missouri gardener? My 20 years of experience has taught me that one most physically change the state of the soil and agressively water if you want to make mature clumps that look good up to August 1 in Missouri.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 2:08PM
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chris-e(7 MD)

I have clay soil too in Maryland. We have just had our hottest spring on record in the Washington DC area. Summer is going the same way so far. Our only rain for at least three weeks has been thunderstorms, not good soakings.

Ii water all my gardens, not just hosta, every other day when it is this hot.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 5:26PM
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Thank you all soo much. Do you only water in am? I have some small sprinklers I purchased from Lowes that spray out mist of water. I've been using these for about 45 minutes 2 times a week but now I am thinking I need more. Do you ever water around or after 5pm. I ask because I have to be at work early and usually get home around this time and this is best for me. I have been amending soil. I have that clay soil that when I moved into home 2 years ago, I almost broke my back trying to dig in. I spoke with a nursery who stated to kill weeds, put compost then mulch down for about 3 weeks. I did all this at beginning of April last year and started planting at beginning of March. Just doing this made it so easy to plant. When I planted I put Miracle Grow and compost in holes. I know the saying second year just creaping but I can honestly say that some of my hostas in 1 year doubled in size and I think that is because of the compost. I planted some more hostas this year and now from what you all are saying, I need to be watering a lot more. Well, I am going to go outside now and get my hose and give a good drenching. Sun is not that high but it is still hot so enough time to dry out. I am proud to say that I have minimal Slug damage as of yet due to following everyone's suggestions. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 6:06PM
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I think i found out the hard way that we should water. a few years ago I watered regularly and it took a good 45 minutes each time as i have huge yard. due to circumstances sorry to say my beds were neglected the past two years and i did loose alot of my hostas or they are not as large as normal. I think that is part of the reason why some did not come back well
I guess I was one who thought that hostas do well on their own sometimes and Now I promise them I will keep an eye on them again so they can flourish

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:49PM
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manyhosta(z4b MN)

Another option is to wind a soaker hose amongst them, and give them a good 'seeping' overnight.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:30PM
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chris-e(7 MD)

I have to admit that I do water in the evenings. I know it is supposed to be best in the mornings but it rains in the evenings and night, so what's the difference? Never had a mold problem.

I am just not a morning person. But on the mornings that one of my grandchildren gets dropped off at 7 am for babysitting, I do water then, if necessary.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:31PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i water when they need it..

and then i water until the water gets down into the root zone...

insert finger.. or use a small trowel.. to find out how long it takes for water to get 3 to 6 inches INTO the soil ...

if you are watering.. and they are still yellowing.. you may not be watering deeply enough ...

NEVER confuse the dryness of the top inch of soil ... with water well into the root zone ... FIND OUT WHATS GOING ON DOWN DEEPER


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 8:11AM
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hostared(Z5, IL)

Unless it rains we water everyday! Especially in the heat.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:14PM
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