Please be sure to water any plants you have planted this season. All plants need water until they are established. Even plants that love hot and dry (such as butterfly weed….) will need some water until established. (You can tell if butterfly weed needs water if it is wilting.)
If you live in the Lehigh Valley where we have had no rain for a month and high temperatures, you will need to water trees and shrubs planted last year. Make a point to walk around your landscape and take a look at things you’ve planted. If anything is showing signs of drought stress, give it some much-needed water.
Water thoroughly and deeply when you do water. Soaker hoses can be very helpful for this. Try to get the soil wet to a depth of several inches. We want the roots to go DOWN for the moisture, not up. Long and slow is the key.
A simple, low-cost way to water plants thoroughly and slowly is to use drip buckets. You can use buckets, milk jugs, or any other water-holding-vessel. Simply drill or punch a few tiny holes in the bottom and set it near the base of your tree, shrub, or perennials. Fill the vessel with your hose, and the water will slowly drip out the holes. This method prevents run off, disturbing mulch or soils, and you having to stand there holding a hose for the entire process!
Mulch is also helpful to aid in moisture conservation. An inch or two is enough. It will shield the soil from the baking sun, and prevent immediate evaporation of water. As always, make sure to keep mulch away from the trunks of trees and shrubs as well as the crowns of your perennials.