The most important thing to understand for getting new plants to establish, is to keep the root moist at all times! Summer or Winter.
~ Between December and February your plants should not need watering. The plant will be dormant and there should be plenty of rain to keep the plant’s root moist. If it has been a dry winter, with little or no rain, the ground will still dry out, even if it is cold, so do water your plants.
• Roots also access nutrients (for feed) in the ground through the water intake.
• The ground outside the roots only needs to be kept moist at all times.
• Water three times a week to get your trees established quickly.
• Water each tree with a hose from your tap that has a good water pressure for about 2 minutes from April to December. Only if there is very heavy or persistent rain should you miss watering in this schedule. Light, misty rain will not give enough water to get to the root.
• Throughout summer (July-September) new plants need more water than any other time of year, so continue watering three times a week but for 3 to 4 minutes with a hose when above 25 ̊C. In cases of drought or extremely hot weather (above 30 ̊C), water every day; even established plants are vulnerable in these conditions.
• If there is heavy or persistent rain, you won’t need to water the plants during this April-November schedule. Light, misty rain will not give enough water to get to the root however, so continue watering as usual in this case.
• Some plants, particularly evergreens, create a natural rain shadow that can divert a lot of the rain away from the root. Just keep an eye on the area above the root to see if it still dry and water if necessary.
• Plants must not be over-watered: you will know if this has happened because the roots will be sitting in water. If you have an irrigation system set up, make sure it is on a timer which is set up for the timings indicated above.
• Smaller plants which are planted underneath the canopy of others or over the root-balls of trees will need much more water in the summer than the advice given above. The larger trees large root will take a lot of the natural water in the ground, so you will need to compensate this.
~ All newly planted plants need fertilising to establish quickly, you can not rely on your own soil to have enough nutrients for plants to grow strongly.
~ Until new plants establish feed from April to October. A nutritional balanced fertiliser for plants requires Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus.
~ The right concentration of fertiliser is important, too little feeding will not help the plants enough. But too much can damage the roots.
~ We suggest a liquid fertiliser which their instructions for use directs you to the precise strength required. We would recommend a well know brand such as ‘Miracle Grow’ to insure good quality and success.
~ Regularity of feeding is also very important, follow the specific instructions of the fertiliser you have chosen. The producer knows the the strength they are suggesting to add to you plants, so it is important to trust their instructions to how many times you can feed the plant safely.
~ Most plants require a multi-purpose fertiliser. However some plants need a higher acidity in the soil, and they require an ericaceous fertiliser when it is time to feed your plants.
Some of the plants that are commonly planted and need ericaceous fertiliser are listed below.
- Erica (Heathers)
- Hydrangea macrophylla (for bright flowers)
- ilex (Holly)
- Magnolias (not all, this is the deciduous trees)
~ Evergreen trees and shrubs must recycle leaves like deciduous plants, even though they will have leaves on all through the year, about 15% of their leaves will yellow and drop off in the spring. A helpful statement is saying approximately 1 leaf will fall off and 3 new leaves will grow back. This is normal so do not worry; more leaves will grow back during late spring and the summer.
~ After bad winters the leaves of evergreen trees and shrubs, can be damaged by strong wind, temperatures below 0c. and snow sitting on canopies. As a lot of older leaves drop off naturally, many of the damaged leaves will drop off anyway, with many more new and fresh looking leaves will replace the damaged leaves of established plants.