Watering is one of the most important parts of landscaping, especially in New Mexico. Often our trees and shrubs do not get enough water because we are watering frequently, but not deeply. It is better to water deeply and infrequently to will encourage the roots to grow deep into the soil, making your plants more resilient.
So, when do we water? The best way to determine this is by digging up some dirt. If the top 3-4 inches of soil is dry, then it is time to water. Sticking to a watering schedule may not be the best plan of action, because plants will need more or less water depending on temperature, humidity, and wind. If there are high temperatures and hot winds, your plants may need more water than if the temperatures are cool and humid.
The best time to water is in the morning so the plants can stock up on the water they will need for the day. If the surface of your soil looks dry a few hours after watering, simply check to see if the soil below the surface is still moist. You don’t have to water again if the soil is still moist.
There are many methods you can use to water your trees. You can use a bubbler at the end of your hose and let it run at the base of the tree at a slow speed. You can also use a soil soaker hose, especially if you have a row of plants that need water. Flooding can also be effective. Another effective method is drip irrigation.
The best time to transplant your trees and shrubs is in the winter. Follow these steps for the best transplanting process:
First, thoroughly water your tree or shrub one week before transplanting.
Second, dig a hole in the location of the plant’s new home. Make sure it is at least twice as wide but just as deep as the root ball. You can determine the width by digging around the plant’s drip line. The depth should be around 15-18 inches. Mix half the soil from the hole with an equal amount of peat moss.
Next, dig out your tree or shrub! Make sure to leave a good clump of dirt around the ball and preserve the ball as much as possible. Wrap it in burlap to protect it from disturbance. Partially fill the hole with your peat and soil mixture, so the depth of your hole matches the depth the root ball was growing at before. Do not plant deeper than that, or it may kill the plant.
Fill the hole with the rest of the soil mixture to cover the root ball and water until there are no more air pockets in the soil. Add more soil to the top if necessary. Form a well around the plant to contain water and water deeply every day for the next two weeks. Use root stimulator weekly.
Prune the plant back 1/3-1/2 to compensate for the roots that were lost in the transplant and remove dead flower blooms or seed pods that may be consuming resources. Care for your plant carefully and let nature to the rest. Contact Jericho Nursery if you have questions!