John C. Fech - Extension Educator

John C. Fech - Extension Educator

Horticulturist, ISA Certified Arborist
University of Nebraska

Watering New Plants

One of the most important factors in getting plants off to a good start is watering. Overall, the best guidance is to water to the bottom of the roots and to keep the roots of new plants moist, not soggy or dry. Inserting a screwdriver into the soil will help with determining the moisture content by gaining a sense required to push it in and also to feel the soil particles that stick to the blade. If they feel muddy, then water is likely being applied too often; if it’s dry and powdery, then it needs to be applied more frequently.

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Gaps and Overlaps in Lawn Irrigation

Dry spot due to lack of overlap in irrigation

All lawn sprinkler systems, whether they are in-ground or above ground, have flaws.  Some of the biggest are gaps and overlaps.

Actually, a well designed irrigation system, or the use of above ground spray heads utilizes overlaps in the form of “head-to-head coverage”.  This involves water from one head spraying all the way to the adjacent head and vice versa.  Since twice as much water is applied near the head as is at the end of the water stream, an even amount is applied if the system has good head-to-head coverage.

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Nitrogen Fertilizer for the Lawn, Not the Street

Fertilizer spilled on concrete
Fertilizer spilled on concrete. Photo by Brad Jakubowski, Penn State University

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Lawn Fertilizer and Pest Control Products in 2022

fertilizer bag percentage

The past 22 months have brought a tremendous burden to the U.S. and other countries around the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  One of the unforeseen issues is the spillover effects that the supply chain problems and worker shortages have had on the lawn and landscape industries.  While this post is not intended to encourage hoarding of products along the lines of buying up all the toilet paper in sight, it is helpful to be aware of potential price increases and product shortages at the garden center in 2022.

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Watering New Trees and Shrubs

Planting a shrub, Photo by John Fech

Many new trees and shrubs are planted in April, May and June.  By far, the two most important considerations are implementing the proper techniques for planting and watering.

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