Here you will find tips for home gardening and maintenance. At Capital we care about the long-term maintenance and health of your landscape. We offer a number of services for this, but there is plenty you can do on your own to keep your flowers and plants healthy and lawn looking great. Check out some tips below!
Watering your plants
When to water: check the top 1" of soil around the base of the plant. If the soil feels wet, then there is no need to water. If it feels dry, then its time to water!
How to water: Trees require different watering than shrubs which require different watering than perennials. Here are different methods suited for different plants.
Trees: Leave a hose at the base of the tree and let water flow out in a stream about the width of a pencil. Let water flow for 20-30 minutes and repeat every 7-10 days during the summer. You might need to water more often if it is hot and dry, just check the soil like mentioned above in when to water.
Shrubs: Using a watering wand (an attachment to your hose that creates a lighter, showering stream of water) water each plant for about 20-30 seconds. Check on shrubs every 4-5 days during the summer, or more regularly if its particularyl hot and dry.
Perennials (plant that lives more than two years): depending on pot size or where they're planted, these plants may need water more or less regularly. For perennials planted in ground, follow the same directions as shrubs checking every 2-3 days. For perennials in 1 gallon, or 6" and quart pots check and water every other day and everyday if it's dry and hot out. For small pots (3-4") check every day, especially during hot and dry periods of the summer, and water for approximately 10 seconds.
Into the future: after a plants first season and its established it won't need additional watering except a good deep soaking after stretches of dry weather. In the fall its good to give trees and shrubs a deep soak in mid-late november before winter to help them over the winter season. It's also helpful to treat your evergreens, rhodies, and boxwoods with an antitranspirant for plants to help them keep from drying out over the winter.
Monitoring Irrigation systems: monitor your plants and soil closely if using an irrigation system. Run the system minimally to make sure your plants aren't over-watered. Use the same method of checking the base to make sure it's wet and set your irrigation to maintain that accordingly, taking into account rainfalls and dry spells. Typically your irrigation should run once a week, depending on the rain fall and temperature of the season.
Special Plants/Instructions: certain plants needs to be watered more/less frequently. Plants to water more frequently: Summersweet, Itea, and endless summer hydrangea, Plants that need to dry between waters: Rhododendrons, russian cypress, junipers, evergreens, sedum. Don't water these if the soil is moist at all.
Water is essential for all plant life, including the grass in your lawn. But when and how should you water your lawn? For the most part, an established lawn can get the water it needs from natural rainfall. But if you have a newly planted lawn or are in an extended period of heat and drought you may want to water your lawn to keep it looking healthy and usable.
When to water: as stated above, your most likely don't need to water your lawn unless the weather has been harsh. You can tell your lawn needs watering if the color of the grass has turned a dull green, and if footprints or tracks remain visible in the grass (the grass losses its springy-ness). These are signs that your lawn could use some water, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to in order for your lawn to survive. If you're trying to be conscientious of water usage or are under local water usage restrictions, you can let your lawn go dormant. This is letting the lawn turn brown and although the grass may look dead, the root system can survive and it will bounce back when cooler temperatures and rainfall return. Letting your lawn go dormant though is not the best option if the lawn is frequently used by pets or kids.
How to water: using a sprinkler, apply about 1/2 half inch of water twice a week. This should take approximately 15-30 minutes depending of the sprinkler, but a good cheap way to measure is to use empty tuna or pet food cans in the area being watered to determine if each area is getting enough water. Another option is set out a rain gauge.