Too much water or not enough?

araluenJuly 9, 2008


I would love to know how much everyone is watering. I have a new large formal raised garden with roses, boxwoods, perennials etc in full sun. We bought in new dirt and I am hand watering twice a day with well water. I do do the make a ball in your palm and toss it from hand to hand test, still I am just not sure. Because the garden is so new, just transplanted everything last month I dont know if the leaves turning yellow or in the case of barberry just dropping off is due to the transplant shock or too much water... am I killing them with kindness? thanks

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It sure sounds like too much. Even with new plants, I'd water about once every 4 - 7 days.

If you can get a mulch down, that will help a lot by keeping a more even temperature and moisture level in the soil.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I second that opinion. Water deeply, but not that often. The top inch or two of soil should dry out a little in between waterings.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 11:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I third that opinion! If you're feeling unsure, dig down in right next to the plant/root ball far enough that you're at least halfway down the root ball and see how wet the soil is down there. If it's still wet, wait a couple more days and check again. You need to leave the soil dry about halfway down the root ball so the roots will start to go looking for the moisture that's below where they were when they were planted. As long as the soil right around the root ball stays wet, they'll just sit there and won't do much growing. And if it's too wet, oxygen will be excluded from the soil and the roots will rot.

Too dry does less harm than too wet, so, if in doubt, wait to water. The plants can actually wilt somewhat from being too dry and it won't do any serious or long term harm. If you notice something wilting, wait till itÂs in the shade and see if it perks back up again. If it does, itÂs probably still fine for a couple more days. If it doesnÂt perk back up, check the soil to see if it's really dry. Overwatered plants can wilt too, so don't assume wilting means somethingÂs too dry without actually checking the soil several inches down. So start letting them dry out quite a bit more, and see how they're doing.

Let us know how theyÂre doing,

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 1:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stevation(z5a Utah)

I would only add that when plants are newly transplanted, they can need more water, especially when it's hot. Once a day was probably OK for the first week, but after that week, it should have been reduced to every two days, then every three days, and so on until you find the right balance. But if it's been a month, they should be sending out roots now. Definitely cover the soil with a good mulch or even use compost as a much, which I do. If you've watered that much for a month, you could very well have killed some plants or made them "mostly dead" (my second Princess Bride reference today, sorry!).

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 12:55PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Crops That Can Thrive At Lower Temps
Hey gardening geniuses.... glad to see most of us made...
getting ready!
So I decided to remodel my seed starting this year....
ZachS. z5 Littleton, CO
Like to See What is Happening
... in Rocky Mountain weather compared to "normals." Choose...
roof ice damming in Denver area?
I know this isn't garden related, but was wondering...
What are Your Plans
... for the yard and garden, this year? Zach has some...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™