After Care (Your New Plants)

Watering Guide

Your New Plants

  • The number one cause of failure in new plantings is improper watering.
  • Newly installed plants have compromised root systems and need to be watered continuously while they develop their root system in their new home.
  • Grass seed requires high amounts of water to germinate.
  • This guide will instruct you on how to properly water your new landscape and protect your new investment.

When To Water

The best time of day to water is early in the morning. With early morning temperatures being low, less water evaporates before entering the soil. If morning doesn’t work for you, later in the evening is the next best time.


Perennials need to be watered every day for the first two weeks so they can establish new root systems. Each plant should be soaked until flooding occurs. Slowly reduce this as plants become established over two months. Remember that more water is needed when temperatures are high.

Small Trees and Shrubs

Smaller trees and shrubs have much smaller root systems and require less water than larger plants. These only require about one gallon of water twice a week. Watering with a slow trickle is still beneficial for smaller plants, but for half an hour to one hour is sufficient.


Sod, like newly planted trees and shrubs, has a compromised root system. Since sod has a much shallower root system, sod requires heavy amounts of watering. Soak newly installed sod flooding it twice a day until its second mowing.

Newly Seeded Lawn

The number one reason new lawns fail is due to lack of watering. Daily watering with a sprinkler for an hour will maintain moisture at the surface where the seed is. After mowing the grass to 3″ height twice, watering can be reduced to twice a week. Mature lawns should receive at least 1″ of water either through rain or watering every week, encouraging deep rooting.

Large Trees and Shrubs

Most trees and some large shrubs require deep watering. Set a hose at the base of the tree and let it run at a very slow trickle for one to two hours. A slow, long watering allows water to trickle deep into the soil, encouraging new roots to expand into a larger root system. Do this once or twice a week to properly water your new tree or shrub.

Recommended Equipment

Oscillating Sprinkler: These are great for watering large areas such as lawns and large perennial beds. They cover a large rectangular area.

Impulse Sprinkler: These spray in a large circle. The length of the spray and the area it covers are adjustable.

Watering Timer: You can set a timer on your hose to automatically water your new plants. It attaches right to your hose and is easy to program.

Soaker Hose: Unlike a normal hose, water seeps out wherever this hose lays. This is great for watering large perennial beds. You can directly water plants with minimal evaporation.