Ashridge Blog & Recipes

Watering your Hedging and Trees

Any hedging or trees planted during the last 2 winters will need watering!

Water your Trees and Hedging Water your Trees and Hedging

Well done if you have remembered to water your plants, but if you haven't (and even if it has rained a little) here is a gentle reminder...

New and young hedging, garden trees and fruit trees suffer terribly when it is dry because they don't yet have the root systems to support them as they come into leaf and flower. A dry summer is especially deadly - plant growth accelerates as days get longer and warmer.

Water the base of each plant to encourage deep roots.

The best tactic is to absolutely soak the area, and then wait until it dries out before watering again, rather than watering a little every day. This causes the water to penetrate deeper into the soil, safe from the evaporating power of the sun, and so will encourage the plants to keep sending their roots downwards after it, rather than lolly-gagging around at the same level in the soil because you make it easy for them to do so by topping up the water near the surface every day. It takes at least a year for a plant to truly establish, maybe two years, and in that time it needs help finding water.And remember that light rain showers in this warm, sunny weather won't really water the ground well. Only heavy rain counts as a free watering.

When to water?

Ideally, water plants early in the morning to avoid evaporation loss during the day or water in the evening so that the soil can soak up the moisture.

How to water?

It’s always better to water your garden before a drought sets in, so if you have not been watering you need to catch up.

Concentrate watering around the base of the plant. You will use less and with luck, weeds will get less.

What water?

Rainwater is the best to use as it does not have so many hard elements in it (such as calcium and magnesium – that cause limescale) and is the correct pH for the majority of plants. Collect rainwater in clean water butts from roofs – gutters and downpipes. It’s estimated that you could collect 5000 gallons of rainwater from a roof each year!

Tap water is fine but can be expensive and is a finite resource.

Boiled water from a kettle, when cooled down, can be used for your most precious plants, as is water distilled from tumble dryers and dehumidifiers.

Grey water from the kitchen, washing machine, baths, basins and showers can also be used. Most soaps and detergents are harmless to plants but bleaches, disinfectant, dishwasher salt and strong cleaning products should be avoided.

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