rain-water-harvesting1This is a rough time for our gardens, but they can thrive and look beautiful with correct watering practices. Here’s a quick list of the basics of summer watering. If you’d like more detail here’s a link to “Landscape Watering By The Numbers” the very best guide to desert watering you can find. We have complementary hard copies in the shop. Stop in to pick one up.

Container Plants

Water container plants daily and be sure that the water flows out of the bottom of the pot with each watering. Watering early in the morning is best and spraying the leaves with water to add some humidity is great.

You’ll find more information on watering container plants in this previous post.


Water annuals in ground to a depth of six to 12 inches, depending on size. Depending on your irrigation system, this should be about every second or third day. It’s important to water deeply. Please remember to skip watering – turn off your irrigation system for a cycyle – if it rains 1/2 inches or more.


Avoid over watering desert shrubs because they don’t like wet “feet” and are likely to get root rot in warm, moist soil. Deep watering every other week is enough to maintain them.

With shrubs, water to a depth of 2 feet, which depending on your irrigation set up is most likely weekly.


Tree watering should be deep and slow. Lawn sprinklers are not adequate to do the job. Put a hose around the drip line of a tree and let it run slowly overnight, if possible. Water should go to a depth of two to three feet, depending on tree size. Use a soil probe or a straight stake after watering to measure water depth. Also, remember to move the hose around the drip line so the entire root system gets watered.


This is not a good time to fertilize anything except Bermuda grass.

There’s Lots More Information Available

The Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has a lot of great, timely information and watering schedules for the desert. Please click on this link for additional guidance.