When your new trees and shrubs arrive home make sure you put them in a shady spot if you are not going to plant them in the ground right away. Continue to water them in their containers the same way the nursery watered them and with the same amount of water. If you do not know how much your trees and shrubs need to be watered a good rule of thumb is to check the top inch of soil in the containers for moisture. If it feels dry, water the containers until the water drains from the holes in the bottom of the containers. You can also go by how hot your climate is and water accordingly. For example, if you live in a colder climate, watering every other day should be enough; if warmer, water everyday, and if it’s a hot climate, you should water your plants twice a day. The key is to remember that containers dry out more quickly than the ground, so those plants will need more frequent watering than your garden.
Before planting your trees and shrubs in the ground, a good practice is to fill a large tub or cart with water, remove the container from plant and soak the entire root system of the plant in water. Submerge the entire root system until you can’t see the top of the soil. You will see air bubbles coming to the surface. Keep the plant submerged until you no longer see any air bubbles; sometimes this can take half an hour if the plant was very dry. This process this will fill any air pockets with water and when your tree or shrub is finally planted it will have a full drink of water.
One you have transplanted your trees and shrubs into the ground, watering is extremely important. Soil conditions affect how your plants will receive the water; well-drained soils could result in too little, while overly moist soils result in too much water. Light will also affect how quickly your trees and shrubs will absorb water. If you are using well-drained soil, especially for the first month, you may need to water your trees and shrubs daily. In poorly drained soil, check the moisture before watering. As mentioned earlier, a great way to monitor your water is by checking the dryness of the soil or adjusting by climate. You can also take a fistful of dug up soil and squeeze it in your hand. If water drips out, you are over-watering if the soil crumbles, you are watering too little, and if the soil stays together with no excess water, you are watering correctly.
With a little bit of research and time and care you will help your new plants flourish into mature plants, adding longevity to your garden. Even if your trees and shrubs were labeled ‘Drought Tolerant,’ they will need watering until they get fully established in the soil, which can take up to a year.