Well I am still on the issue of water! As the summer heat starts, it really steps up the problem. Watering plants is actually a science and the only true way to measure water in the soil is by using multiple “tensiometers”. They are instruments with a porous ceramic tip that is left in the soil. They measure the pressure a plants roots must exert to extract moisture from the soil. That is right, the plant doesn’t just sit there and drink the water, it has to fight for it! Until your plants are “established” they have to be given adaquate water. Establishing a plant means getting the roots to grow out of the root ball into the surrounding soil. If you think of the root ball  like a reservoir it helps to understand what is required to maintain the plant. Say it holds 8 ounces of water, and if on a mild day the plant uses 1 ounce of that water and when  you water each day you add 1 ounce, the reservoir is replenished. On a hot day say the plant uses 3 ounces of water and again you add 1 ounce of water. You can picture what will happen in four days, the plant dries up! But you watered it everyday! Until the roots actually grow out of the root ball and into your soil, it has to be kept wet. If it is dry when you put it in the ground, that reservoir is already low, always soak it until you can SEE that it is thouroughly wet. You then need to FEEL the soil of the root ball daily the first week or two to determine when to water again. If the root ball gets dry enough, there is actually a point where it WON”T take water! A point where the soil tension exceeds the plants ability to remove moisture, and a point where the soil actually repels the water! If it is allowed to get to that point before the roots have grown into the surrounding soil? That is right, the plant has just died!  Once the plants are established you need to let them dry out between waterings, which really means not to keep them soaked constantly. And unless you use “tensiometers” it is just a guess as to how much to water and when. New plantings require  more frequent irrigation than old established shrubs and trees and if you have planted amongst them, they will take the moisture from the new plants. And remember the soil can vary in your landscape every few feet. Also sidewalks, driveways and reflecting walls will cause the irrigation requirements to vary, sometimes from plant to plant. And then there is the wind, even on a mild day it will suck the moisture right out of your plants. I know, watering is difficult, but think of the rewards. The beauty you are adding to your landscape and the world around you. The accomplishment you feel when you see the plants you have planted and maintained flourish. And then there is your contibution to life itself! That is right, without plants life ends for all of us! Sure food but thers’s more, you know, that global warming thing, sure there are the  carbon emissions, but to me the real problem is decades of global deforestation and removal of native grasslands , so I believe every plant helps. Gary