Proper Turf and Plant Watering

The following watering recommendations are provided as a general guideline for establishing and maintaining landscape plantings.

Lawn Care Services in Annapolis, MD

Turf – Newly established lawn areas require daily watering of at least ¾” of water. The goal is to maintain soil moisture while turf roots are being established. This may require the lawn areas to be watered more than once a day. When temps are below day time highs of 45 degrees sod may only need to be watered every 2-3 days. Soils and turf should be monitored for soil moisture content. The sod and/or soil should always be damp until sod is no longer able to be lifted because of root growth. Once roots have taken hold sod should be watered at least once to twice a week especially during hot and dry periods.


Trees / Shrubs / Perennials – For a general rule of thumb, plants require water a minimum of three (3) times a week. During cool season periods, such as Fall, plantings may require less water, conversely, during hot periods, such as Summer, plantings may require more water. The bottom line is that plants require water all year long. Trees and Shrubs still need water even when they are dormant in the winter months. Exterior temperatures will determine how much or little water is necessary. Proper watering practices must take place from the initial installation. Damage to the plant may occur if proper watering practices are delayed until visible signs appear such as wilting and stress.


Watering should take place a t the base of the plant or soil line. Avoid watering where water comes in contact with the foliage whenever possible. This ensures that the wet foliage does not burn the plant in the hot summer months. Complete all plant watering between the hours of 4:00 and 9:00 am. If you find it necessary to water during the heat of the day, avoid watering the plant over the top and use “soaker” type hoses. Keep in mind that evaporation caused by wind and sun is maximized during the heat of the day. Just apply more water during these times to get the same results. Avoid watering in the evening after 5:00 pm, as fungus problems may result from this practice. You may water in the evening when absolutely necessary, but avoid repeated evening watering


Apply enough water to penetrate the plants’ root system 8-10” on average depending on the type and size of plant you are watering. It is recommended to water approximately 15-20 gallons of water per tree, 5 gallons of water per shrub and approximately 1 gallon of water per perennial or small plant. If you are not sure pull back some mulch and dig down 3-5” in the soil to see if the soil is moist.


Proper Watering Management For Annuals


Here are some guidelines and a few tips to remember when watering your summer / spring annuals. Irrigation is the most crucial ingredient of successful plant performance.


  1. Water your flowers once per day. If the flowers are in pots, they will require more water as they tend to dry out faster than flowers in planting
  2. Apply enough water to penetrate the root zone. (See Note Below)
  3. Allow the soil to dry out between
  4. Complete all plant watering between 4:00 am and 9:00 am. Avoid watering in the evening after 5:00 pm, as fungus problems may occur. You may water in the evening when absolutely necessary, but avoid repeated evening watering. If your flowers are stressing / wilting, then you should water as soon as possible. If this occurs during the heat of the day, then avoid watering the flower over the top. This will prevent the foliage from scorching. It is better to water at the soil level or the base of the



  • In order to clarify any confusion about checking the soil for watering, here is a simple test you can do:
  • Scoop up a handful of soil in the flower bed and try to pack into a small If the soil crumbles apart and will not pack, then the soil in too dry and you need to water.
  • If the soil is muddy, then there is too much water. Allow the bed to dry out before watering
  • If the soil packs and retains its snowball form, then there is sufficient moisture in the


Snow and Ice Removal Parameters For Plants, Trees and Shrubs


Winter is not the time when most people focus on yard work; however, it is a time of year when a lot of damage can happen. We want people to know how to care for plants, trees and shrubs during the winter. Winter yard tips include the following:


Just because it isn’t hot, doesn’t mean that plants don’t need water.

Continue watering until a hard freeze. A well-hydrated plant has a better chance of survival.


It is best to gently brush off snow. Shaking limbs may break them. Wait for ice and frozen snow to melt naturally. If a limb does break, have it removed as soon as weather permits. It will help the tree or shrub heal better in the spring.


It is normally not a problem if you get a few warm days in the middle of winter; however, if you covered plants with cones or cold frames, you may want to ventilate them during the day and cover them again at night.

  1. PRUNE 

Late winter is a good time to prune and shape ornamental trees and roses.

Another thing to think about in the winter is the use of salt or melting agents for snow and ice. It can damage plants and trees by drawing water away from their roots.

Evergreen trees are particularly sensitive to salt. Look for brown needles or leaves on trees and shrubs; they are signs of damage. Building barriers to protect the plants from runoff and adding more sand and gravel to the salt mix will help minimize damage.

There are also products that can be used preventively before the snow season to help reduce the risk of salt