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Give Your Trees and Shrubs a Drink

August is traditionally the hottest month of the year. With increased temperatures, plants demand more water. Soils also dry out more quickly at high temperatures, which places additional stress on plants. So now is a good time to examine and adjust irrigation systems. Soil should be checked for moisture content at the end of an irrigation cycle. If the soil is dry, extend the watering time for that zone. Ensuring that landscape plants are properly and adequately mulched is also helpful in conserving soil moisture and irrigation water.

If you don't have an irrigation system, apply water through soaker hoses that help conserve irrigation water. Irrigate thoroughly by allowing water to penetrate the upper 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) of soil. For most established woody plants, thorough irrigation once each week is adequate. For shallow rooted plants and newly planted trees and shrubs, water should be applied two or three times per week depending on weather conditions. And if you are going on vacation, make provisions for watering while you are away.

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