Message Boards

Guidelines

  • Please be sure posts are category appropriate.
  • No off-topic or off-color postings.
  • Postings may be deleted at the discretion of HGTV Moderators.
  • No advertising is allowed.
  • Be Nice. No name calling, personal attacks or flaming.
  • Certain words will trigger moderation of the post. These words mostly cover political and religious topics, which are OFF the topics covered by HGTV.
  • For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.
Full Guidelines

  HGTV.com
  HGTV Message Boards
Hop To Forum Categories   Outdoors
Hop To Forums   Landscaping
  How often do I water shrubs and grass?
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
How often do I water shrubs and grass? Sign In/Join 
posted
Hello! I'm a new homeowner, and completely clueless about taking care of my yard. I know the basic rule of thumb for watering plants, but I'm not sure about shrubs or grass. Here's my questions:

1. I have large shrubs about 7 feet high on the side of my house. I live in Southern California where it rarely rains, and the temperature is in the 80s during the summer days. How often should I water these shrubs and for how long? I have only watered once in the past 3 weeks and they seem to be ok...but I want to keep them thriving! (Note: I do not have a sprinkler system for the side.)

2. I have a small front yard. I have a sprinkler system that the previous owner set for 20 mins. each day. My water bill was very high and I feel like that is WAY too much water! I know I should water in the morning/night, but how many times per week & for how long?

I appreciate any help and look forward to your replies!
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: Aug 28, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
posted Hide Post
It can vary so much depending on the type of lawn turf and the type of bushes, as well as local soil conditions.
Sounds like your shrubs are well established and often what ever you need to keep your turf alive, can work well for established shrubs and mature trees also.

Might check with your neighbors (who have similar yards) for suggestions and better yet a state, county extension agent for agriculture?

Watering in the cool of the morning is a good practice. And with a type of sprinkler that does not throw the water high into the air in a fine spray will keep you from wasting water to evaporation also.
 
Posts: 9598 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Most all turf grasses, in normal weather, need about 1 inch of water per week. Current research has shown that grasses do better if watered less often and deep, ie, not about 20 minutes every day. However there are also many other factors that you need to take into account such as temperature (higher temps mean grasses need more water), wind (high winds cause moisture evaporation), and soil type (sand generally drains faster then clay).
Your shrubs need water when they need water so no one can say water them every so many days for this long, you need to look at them to see what they need, when. Mulches around those shrubs will help conserve soil moisture and reduce the amount of water they might need depending on the same factors as your turf grass.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8148 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Loonie
posted Hide Post
Like house plants, outdoor plants should never be put on a schedule of watering.
Some days are hotter than other days and the plant might need more water.
Vice versa, when the sun doesn't shine.

Plants should be watered with their roots in mind.

New house.....new foundation plants?

A general consensus of how to care for your plants is all you should consider getting from this journal.
Better, as Conrad suggests, talk to your neihgbors, ask their advice about when, where, how, and what to use to care for your plants...including your lawn.

You may be restricted in your use of water by local authorities.

I agree though, twenty minutes of water every day....is a big waste of water and a waste of your money. Water only when your plants can use it.

Just a note: with the onset of winter, don't think your foundation plants do not need water....they do. They need that to take them through winter which is very dry. Water your plants as long as they accept the water for their roots.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Loonie,
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of M-ma
posted Hide Post
Those 7' are shading their roots.
They are established.
What Kimm said about watering.
Actually Penn State and Paul James said that the best time to water is between 3 and 6 PM.
Think about it: green grows over night. Green does not grow in the sun. (think grass). Roots and leaves alter production: roots (deep, dark, damp) do their thing daytime.
OK, there are transition periods. One growth slows to permit the other to start.
Bingo: 3-6 PM (dependent up season). For me right now that's closer to 2-5PM.
You could water 3-6 AM but.....
We water 3-6. Have a compost/seed/compost area that we just did. Of course, we haven't had appreciative rain now for two weeks! We water late afternoon---coming along fine.
 
Posts: 5924 | Location: western PA | Registered: Sep 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Some research, that applies to those on municipal water systems, indicates that watering in the morning is probably not the best time since the municipal water pressure drops then as people are getting ready for the day. Kind of the same thing happens after 5 pm as people are getting home from their day and water consumption again increases dropping the pressure on the system.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8148 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
posted Hide Post
There is also the argument that If one lives in an area where water pressure is not an issue, but fungus (from high humidity is) then early morning watering is best. It has a chance to dry off the leaf/blade areas and not sit damp overnight.Wink

When watering the shrubs? Soaker hoses around and near the drip lines (under and near outer edges) of the shrubs, and lightly covered with mulch to hide the hose and retain moisture, can also be a helpful addition.
 
Posts: 9598 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Loonie
posted Hide Post
I'm surprised a noted facility would suggest the hottest time of the day to water plants.
Much better, as I see it, to water mid morning and late afternoon, when the day's heat can dry leaves and not encourage mildew.....especially on roses.
Does it really matter if pressure loss during certain time of the day affects sprinkler settings.
Heck, Niagara Falls turns down the vulume the water going over the falls during the day and turns it back on at night which, doesn't affect the tourists enjoying the effects.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Good, solid research supports what M Ma wrote, not personal opinion based on?
When the pressure in your water system drops less water flows through that system. Less water delivered over the same time frame means your plants will be water deprived, not adequately moisturized.
There is also research that indicates the concept of water staying on plants overnight is not the issue once thought.
People that hold onto ideas that are over 25 years old really need to do some up to date research.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8148 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
posted Hide Post
Gosh. LOTS of personal opinions here.
I would still check with local experts for the type of plants and watering practices for your area, if you still have questions.

We tend to share what has worked well and proven true for us, and for our own plantings, over the years.
 
Posts: 9598 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Keep in mind Conrad that there are people out there with 1 years experience 25 times and others that stay tuned to the latest research and developments. The turf grass researchers at Michigan State University found many years ago that most all of the lawn watering techniques being promoted were not all that good.
Can late in the day watering cause you lawn to develop diseases? Sure, if your lawn is not good and healthy. Can mid day watering burn your lawn? No. That is a myth based on pseudo science. Is watering the lawn for 20 minutes every day good for the lawn? No! Not enough moisture gets into the soil to promote good, healthy growth so if watering is missed for just a short time the lawn will go dormant. The Best watering practice is to water infrequently and deeply. How much water does a lawn need? As much as necessary to keep it growing and that can be 1 inch per week, or maybe more depending on the weather. If your weather is hot and dry, and windy, the lawn may need up to 2 inches of water per week.
If the soil your lawn is growing in is well endowed with organic matter, is a good healthy soil, you most likely can water less then someone who uses synthetic fertilizers and has little organic matter (which helps hold soil moisture) in that soil.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8148 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
posted Hide Post
Oh, I keep LOTS of things in mind, kimmsr.

Not going to get into a pixxing contest with anyone here. My life is way too busy right now.

Good luck on your new home/yard lkc315! You have gotten lots of advice and hopefully some entertainment above? I am betting your established plants will be fine and you will find the best ways to care for them. All the fun of home ownership! Congrats.
 
Posts: 9598 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

HGTV.com    HGTV Message Boards  Hop To Forum Categories  Outdoors  Hop To Forums  Landscaping    How often do I water shrubs and grass?