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Garden Irrigation

  • Windy & Wet Weather Planting Advice

    Traditionally, tree and hedge planting is done during the dormant season for deciduous plants. Leaves are falling; plants are just ‘ticking over’ rather than actively growing, so they suffer less stress from lifting and transplanting from autumn to late winter.

    Unfortunately, this often coincides with bad weather, and this year is no exception. Some areas of the UK have been severely affected by waterlogged ground and flooding, which naturally leads to a delay in planting. In the meantime, we’re able to offer a little advice.

     Flooding Geograph

    ©Jonathan Billinger, geograph.org.uk

    Wet and Windy Weather? Bear these tips in mind…

    • Your newly planted trees need to be secure, make sure they’re staked well. View our page on single staked and double staked trees if you need a helping hand.
    • After windy weather check your stakes and ties are securely fastened
    • Abrasions can damage the bark. Make sure your trees aren’t loosely rubbing against their stakes, or anything else for that matter!
    • Stakes aren’t just for trees, some large shrubs may need staking to help them establish. This is especially true for evergreens. When there is no clear, single stem (as is the case with many shrubs), place one stake at an angle through the shrub to the main branch. See our link on single staking above.
    • For Specimen Trees, another option is to use a rootball anchor at time of planting. These allow you to secure large, standard trees without relying on visible stakes and ties.
    • For waterlogged ground, wait until the surface water has drained away before you plant. If it remains waterlogged consider improving drainage before planting, or the site could cause problems down the line.
    • If you can’t plant right now, bare root plants can be easily stored until conditions are better suited. Take a look through our cold weather planting & storage advice for more details

    Plant choice

    Remember that only some tree and shrubs can cope with periodic flooding, others will suffer in waterlogged conditions. Make sure you’re aware of the soil conditions around your property, and check that whichever specimens you plan to plant can cope with them.

    Don’t be afraid to ask us for a hand, we’re more than happy to direct you towards species well-suited to your needs. Contact us at 01435 862 992, or leave an e-mail via the provided contact form.

  • Don’t Kill your Trees! – Correct Watering

    Despite your best efforts, sometimes it can seem like a tree simply won’t flourish, or even survive! One of the main reasons for this may be incorrect planting and care. Last time we talked a little about the best way to get your trees off to a good start, with correct and safe planting depth, so this week we’re talking about what to do once they’re in the ground, with correct watering.

     tree irrigation

    First things first, keep the roots moist before planting, just don’t soak them. Then water immediately after planting, which helps to settle the soil. For newly planted trees in dry summer conditions, watering every 2 days, or 2-3 times a week, is advisable until they get established.

    A good place to start is installing a Root Rain irrigation system, some advice on installation can be found here. It’s an extremely effective way of ensuring the entire root ball is watered, not just a surface, and makes a big difference in low quality soils.

    One slip up we regularly see is watering a small amount daily during the spring, summer and autumn. You should be watering to your plant’s needs, not yours. Water well, and allow the water to drain naturally. Check the soil moisture the next day to see if it’s dry or overtly moist, and hold off or re-water appropriately. Remember to keep doing this after rain, though! Soil may be less moist than you expect, and evergreens in particular are likely to need a little extra if this is the case.

    Container grown plants may require a slightly different schedule, having a smaller amount of soil at hand to draw moisture from. If they drain quickly in hot conditions they often need daily watering.

    Finally, remember to keep your evergreens moist during the winter. They retain foliage (and water requirements!), so becoming dehydrated can lead to unattractive leaf burn in the New Year. Be especially careful with container grown evergreens, if the rootball freezes they’re at particular risk of losing their water supply, so wrap pots warm and keep roots hydrated.

    That’s all for now, though remember to check back regularly and we’re sure to be covering more in the coming months. If there’s anything you’d like to see feel free to leave a comment, or contact us at any time.

  • Watering System Installation – Root Rain Urban

    As with any plant, trees require efficient irrigation systems in order to thrive. In areas where the natural rainfall may not suffice, trees can need a little help. The Root Rain urban is a cost effective irrigation system for large-scale planting. Like the metro watering system it delivers water directly to the root zone of the tree, eliminating wastage and encouraging deep root development. A Tree Pit Pipe that’s substantially larger than the Metro variant, with a pipe length of up to 8 meters. It’s a highly useful product, and we’re happy to vouch for it. Today we’re setting a little space aside to advise you on the best way to install a Root Rain Urban with a newly planted tree, in the hope of meeting a few more of your irrigation needs.

    1. Plant the tree as normal. Once the rootball has been lowered into an appropriately sized pit begin backfilling. Stop when there’s about 30cm of space left below ground level, remembering how mulch will affect the final level.
    2. The pipe requires little assembly. Trim the piping until it fits snugly around the root ball and lay it around in a loop. Try and keep the loop as close to horizontal as possible, we understand some site conditions might deter this, but the closer the better.
    3. Clip both ends of the pipe into the plastic tee junction, pushed in at least 5cm.
    4. Backfill the pit until it’s at ground level, including any layer of mulch. The grid top should be emerged slightly above ground level to prevent soil and mulch falling in.

    The grid is un-removable, and is one of the reasons the products is so popular.  Most debris will be kept out of the pipe by the grid, while allowing water and air to circulate freely.

    As ever, we’re more than happy to give out planting advice, and hope that a Root Rain Urban will suit your needs well.  If you have any issues or require any further advice then please get in touch with us, and we’ll seek to help in any way we can.

  • Watering System Installation – Root Rain

    Depending on the weather and soil available to you, there are a few watering systems available to gardeners to ensure a direct level of control over the watering your tree receives. Irrigation systems like the Leaky Pipe are extremely popular, and with good reason. They’re particularly useful for planting new borders of mixed shrubs and perennial plants. However for individual tree planting effective irrigation requires a perforated pipe delivering water directly to the root zone. The Root Rain irrigation system is one of our more popular tree pit pipes, being quick to install, fast and efficient to irrigate and an excellent tool for improving the drought tolerance of your trees. So in this space we’re going to instruct you on the ideal way to install a Root Rain system in your garden.

    1. Go ahead planting as you normally would for any rootballed tree. Backfill to the point that there’s about 8 inches, or 20cm left of space below ground level surrounding the root ball.
    2. Stop backfilling, and attach the top filler cap to the top end of the pipe. This is to avoid accidentally filling the pipe with soil. Everything should be fastened to the bracket, and we’ve pictured the setup for your convenience
    3. Place the pipe in the pit looping close to the edge of the root system and connect the free and to the bottom cap. If you prefer simply detach it from the bracket. Bear in mind that the filler cap should not be more than 2-5cm above the final ground level.
    4. Secure the bracket in position by nailing it to the tree stake, a single galvanised nail will do the job.
    5. Finally finish backfilling the hole, firming gently over the pipe. Installation is now complete, and water and air can freely access the root ball.

    As a method for keeping one tree efficiently irrigated the Root Rain Irrigation system comes highly recommended by English Woodlands. We’re always happy to provide
    practical planting advice, so contact us if you’re unclear on installation and we’ll help in any way we can.

  • Watering Systems – Leaky Pipe

    Gardeners are quite rightly always seeking more efficient ways to keep their plants watered and healthy. Individual trees benefit from tree pit irrigation systems, such as the Metro and Urban watering pipes, ensuring water is directed to the root zone. In larger areas of planting, for instance shrub borders and hedges, a different irrigation system is far more appropriate.

    It’s important to avoid wastage and inefficiencies, we advise gardeners to consider Leaky Pipe watering systems, representing a proven method of irrigating plants effectively. So in this space we’re going to briefly discuss the setup and use of this convenient watering device, to help you make an informed decision on your investments.

    The irrigation system is setup as follows. The Leaky Pipe hosing will be placed along newly planted hedgerows and borders in rows around 60cm apart, to avoid over-watering. They are laid above the surface, though can be later covered with mulch to make the system less obvious. Connect the hosing together with the 16mm plastic piping where watering is not required, and once the system is complete a fitted connector will connect the system to a standard garden hose.

    The system allows you to water equally over a large area of ground without the wastage and energy costs associated with sprinkler systems, while directly controlling the flow of water by tap. Small pinholes, the “leaks”, will be able to slowly release water from above or just below the surface.

    All parts are available on our website, from 100m rolls of Plastic Piping for £90.00, to 50-100m rolls of leaky piping for £64.80 and £108.00 each. The piping can be easily cut to shape, and hose connectors come from as little as £2.40.

    The piping can be easily cut to shape to suit the size of your garden and irrigation needs, with the added bonus of being entirely hidden from view if you choose to do so. Remain aware of the possibility of freezing during the winter, and drain the system if freezing conditions are likely. Always remember to contact us with any questions you might have, and we’ll make every effort to try and help.

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