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Planting new shrubs and trees. Water daily even if soil is very damp?

Planting new shrubs and trees. Water daily even if soil is very damp?


  #1  
Old 04-21-21, 10:53 AM
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Planting new shrubs and trees. Water daily even if soil is very damp?

I've had some crepe myrtles (3' height), pink trumpet trees (10') and various other shrubs planted in very clayey soils in southern California. They get almost full sun, normally, but it's been cool and overcast the last 3 days.

On the advice of the consultant, I've watered them daily for the past week. I'm starting to feel that they are being overwatered and more worried about the consequences. Even without water for last 2 days, the surface soil under the mulch is very damp and the mulch is moist (probably from evaporation and morning dew).

The trees and shrubs appear to be doing fine and showing lots of new growth, but I'm worried about root rot or mold growing in the moist mulch.

Is slightly underwatering better than grossly overwatering newly planted shrubs and trees? I'm not going for fast growth here. Healthy and staying live is far more important to me.
 
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Old 04-21-21, 02:11 PM
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I always let the plant/soil tell me what to do. If the ground looks too wet then it's too wet.
 
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Old 04-21-21, 02:40 PM
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For the first week it's not going to hurt, it help get all the air pockets out of the ground, after that ease back, once a week is fine!
 
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Old 04-21-21, 05:29 PM
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Thanks!

When I step on the mulch, the soil "pumps". If I clear the mulch, the clay soil sticks to my shoes and needs to be hosed off. That's too wet, right? I feel like clayey soils should be firm/stiff at least at the surface for ideal moisture.

When each tree and shrub was planted, there was 5 days of "bermed" watering around the perimeter of the root ball.

If it's that wet, not watering them for a few more days won't harm them, correct? Everything is growing well and I don't see any yellow leaves. Yet. It seems like ideal conditions for mold or rotting because the sun hasn't been out for more than few hours and temps have been between 50F and 68F. At least it's been a bit breezy, so there's been good airflow above the mulch.
 
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Old 04-22-21, 04:52 AM
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Yea, if the ground "pumps" then it's too wet. While new plants do need to be well watered it's a very bad time for them to withstand overwatering. You want to avoid the double hit of overwatering and transplant shock.
 
  #6  
Old 04-22-21, 10:38 AM
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I agree with Pilot, water them less
 
  #7  
Old 04-22-21, 09:51 PM
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This the the 3rd day without water. The young shrubs seem fine. The ground is "pumping" less as I kind of test it by walking around. The root-ball excavations are filled with much more porous topsoil, so I think the airflow/evaporation is probably much better there. The roots haven't had a chance to grow into the clay yet. That's my hope at least. The ground seems more firm than yesterday, so once I feel that there is a nice semi-moist "crust", I'll probably resume the drip irrigation watering as it warms up a bit.

Thanks all!
 
 

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