If you were dunked head first in a 50gal drum, and told to drink ‘til you could breathe, would you survive? Wilting leaves are a sign of stress, but you gotta get your hands dirty to know whether a plant is thirsty or drowning. Overwatering is a common cause of plant loss.
— David Forster, MLO President @ Staff Training


  1. The best time to water is in early morning, and if necessary, in the evening. Do NOT water in the heat of the day.
  2. These are very general guidelines, and need to be adjusted according to rainfall, weather conditions, and soil type.
  3. Watering should be slow and deep, especially on trees and shrubs. If you have a drip or irrigation system, or even hand watering, please make sure every plant is getting water at its root, but be sure not to over water. (A good sign you are overwatering is if nut sedge – a grassy looking weed – pops up everywhere.)
  4. Feel the soil with your hands or buy a moisture meter!

Hand watering guidelines

Transplants and container grown shrubs (count to 40) and perennials (count to 20):

Water DAILY for first 2 weeks after installation. Three times weekly for the next 3 weeks. Twice weekly for the rest of the year.

Balled and burlapped trees and shrubs:

Three times weekly for the first 3 weeks after installation. Twice weekly for the rest of the year.

On trees, you can just leave the hose on a slow drip and put it near the tree for about an hour each time you're supposed to water.  (Uphill and approx. 2 ft away is best)

Watering sod

  • Water twice daily until mushy for first 2-3 weeks, make sure sprinkler is covering all sodded areas;
  • Sodded areas must stay wet at all times
  • Once daily for next 2 weeks
  • Regular watering once established

Sod must be cared for 3-6 times per year with applications of pre-emergents and fertilizers and must also be watered consistently to stay healthy and green. The taller your grass, the deeper the roots, so don’t mow too low.

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