When it comes to making a hedge, Thuja Green Giant is without doubt the top pick. With its vigorous growth it soon makes a thick, strong hedge, without needing a lot of care. There is one thing that new gardeners do want to know, and that is how much and when they should water their hedge, for maximum growth and good health.
New Plants need Plenty of Water
When you first put your plants in the ground, make sure you give them plenty of water. The best way to do this when planting is to only put back part of the soil around the roots, and then fill the hole right up with water. This will drain down into the root zone, so when you put the rest of the soil back you know there is plenty of water around the roots – where it counts. If you wait until all the soil is back before watering, you may only wet the top few inches, and you could be leaving the soil around the root ball dry.
During the first few weeks your new plants have no roots growing into the soil, and they only take water from the root ball that was inside the pot before you planted them. They can easily dry out even if the surrounding soil is damp. It is important in those early days to soak plenty of water right up against the stems of your plants, so that it trickles down into that root ball. The surrounding soil should also be kept moist, to encourage roots to move out in search of water and food, but don’t neglect the root ball itself.
Watering During the Early Years
Water at least once a week during the first growing season. If you are planting in fall or winter you may find the soil and the root balls remain damp, so you may not need to water so much, but during spring and summer your Thuja Green Giant plants will need plenty of water, so weekly watering is necessary. If the weather is very hot and dry, and your plants are in an exposed, sunny place, then more frequent watering, perhaps every two or three days, may be necessary.
By the time the second growing season rolls around, your trees will have sent out roots into the surrounding soil. So now it is important to keep the soil further away from the stem moist. You want your trees to establish a wide root system, so they can access the food they need, and resist drought, so watering over a wider area is important. You may still need to do this weekly during the hottest weather, but now you can water less often, since the roots have spread further out. You will get maximum growth from your young plants if they are getting all the water they need, so don’t neglect watering them during those critical early years.
Watering a Mature Hedge
After a few years, your Thuja Green Giant trees will be well established, and they will be drought resistant and independent. However, after fertilizing, or during long dry periods, a good deep soak will make sure your hedge stays lush and healthy. It is always better to soak the ground slowly for several hours, than it is to spray a lot of water in a short time. Don’t be fooled by a torrential thunderstorm either – most of that water runs away and never penetrates the ground at all.
Making Watering Easy
Getting out and watering can become a chore, but there are lots of labor saving ways to take care of it and free up your time for more exciting things.
You don’t need to install a full irrigation system to water your hedge easily. There are several low-cost options available, and the best choice is black porous soaker hose. This comes in 50 or 100 foot lengths, and you need about 50% more than the length of your hedge, so a 50-foot hedge needs about 75 feet of hose. You can join sections together easily, but if you don’t have good water pressure you may find it better to have separate sections, that you can water one at a time.
The ideal thing is to bury this pipe around the root zone when you plant the hedge, but it can also be laid on the surface of the soil at any time later. Snake it over the root balls and around the stems, which is why you need that extra length. One end has a fitting to attach it to a regular garden hose, and that in turn goes to your water tap. When you want to water, just turn on the tap and leave it running for a couple of hours, until the whole area around your hedge is thoroughly soaked.
To eliminate the need to think about watering at all, add a simple controller to the tap, which you can program to come on at any interval you want, for as long as you want. You can even add a soil moisture sensor, so that your hedge only gets watered when necessary, and with a small solar cell attached you don’t even need to worry about batteries. Everything will be automatically taken care of, and your hedge will get the best care possible.