Lennon33x
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Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:15 am

Over/under-watering newly planted trees and lawn in Dallas?

Ok, I'm totally new to the landscape/gardening area, but I'm about to pull my hair out because I can't figure out if I'm underwatering or overwatering my landscaping, or if there's something I'm missing.

Backstory: basically a new development just east of Dallas, about 3 miles from a lake. Soil consists of a ton of clay, and I've been pretty successful with my lawn growth all summer. Bermuda in all areas. I've fertilized three times (new sod planted in March). Originally I used a 3:1:2 ratio fertilizer, and it didn't really help the lawn. But I switched to the StaGreen 29-0-5 (plus 2% iron) and had great success all summer.

However, the trees that were planted are just having a terrible time. We have three areas of landscaping. One area has crape myrtles, and has done well, for the most part. Another area, which happens to collect water when it rains significantly, killed off my mexican plums, in spite of me cutting the water back. When I went to cut watering overall to twice weekly, it torched my grass, but the trees still did poorly. Additionally, our HOA planted a rather large Red Oak near the street with a bubbler (0.5 gallons/min). It eventually died, and had to be removed.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to make sure my lawn stays fresh without absolutely drenching my trees. Based on the HOA rules, I have to have trees in certain areas. I eventually replaced the mexican plums with crape myrtles about two weeks ago, but I'm not sure if I'm under or over watering or if they weren't healthy to begin with. The leaves are not as brightly colored as the other CM that I have in the other areas.

Whatever you guys can do to help me fine tune this mess, I would appreciate!

Lennon33x
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:15 am

Watering Issue

Ok, I'm totally new to the landscape/gardening area, but I'm about to pull my hair out because I can't figure out if I'm underwatering or overwatering my landscaping, or if there's something I'm missing.

Backstory: basically a new development just east of Dallas, about 3 miles from a lake. Soil consists of a ton of clay, and I've been pretty successful with my lawn growth all summer. Bermuda in all areas. I've fertilized three times (new sod planted in March). Originally I used a 3:1:2 ratio fertilizer, and it didn't really help the lawn. But I switched to the StaGreen 29-0-5 (plus 2% iron) and had great success all summer.

However, the trees that were planted are just having a terrible time. We have three areas of landscaping. One area has crape myrtles, and has done well, for the most part. Another area, which happens to collect water when it rains significantly, killed off my mexican plums, in spite of me cutting the water back. When I went to cut watering overall to twice weekly, it torched my grass, but the trees still did poorly. Additionally, our HOA planted a rather large Red Oak near the street with a bubbler (0.5 gallons/min). It eventually died, and had to be removed.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to make sure my lawn stays fresh without absolutely drenching my trees. Based on the HOA rules, I have to have trees in certain areas. I eventually replaced the mexican plums with crape myrtles about two weeks ago, but I'm not sure if I'm under or over watering or if they weren't healthy to begin with. The leaves are not as brightly colored as the other CM that I have in the other areas.

Whatever you guys can do to help me fine tune this mess, I would appreciate!

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Over/under-watering newly planted trees and lawn in Dall

It sounds like you need to monitor the moisture levels in different areas of your property and really it would be best to plant appropriate trees for the natural moisture levels rather than trying to artificially water on schedule since the needs will change significantly depending on the season and natural rainfall.

Red Oak for instance would do well in the soggy area, but fruit trees would not --"Mexican" plum sounds like it might be drought tolerant? -- and if existing crape myrtles are doing well in drier conditions, they probably won't be happy in the wet area.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Over/under-watering newly planted trees and lawn in Dall

If the water is pooling in some areas what is causing it
If you have low areas, fill them to keep them from pooling
I think you are probably over watering your grass. It looks fine because you are giving it so much nitrogen. It will eventually build thatch and it will have a problem. Bermuda likes to go a little dry between watering. Increase your watering interval. Water deeply when you do water 4-6 inches deep, but don't water again until when you step on the grass it does not bounce back. Clay will hold on to water well, but dries slowly. You just have to make sure it is almost dry not hard and cracked before you water it again
Hawthorn or pond cypress might be better trees. Pond cypress is tolerant of wet condition and Hawthorn is tolerant of poor soil conditions.
Nectarines, pomegranate, Asian pears (you will need 2 trees for pollination) are more tolerant of wetter conditions.

I think if you planted your trees in a raised bed or on a mound they would probably do better. If the problem is poorly draining soil, it is probably being over watered. If you are watering for the grass, then either tolerate less green in the grass or raise the trees on a mound so they can stay drier. In the raised bed or mound you can add drainage material to the soil. Build the mound with 1/3 native soil, 1/3 good blended compost (made from multiple sources), 1/3 drainage material (I use cinder ). In the bottom of the raised bed or mound, add a layer of rock 4-6 inches deep.
https://texastreeplanting.tamu.edu/ViewAllTrees.aspx
https://texastreeplanting.tamu.edu/CustomSelector.aspx
https://www.nhg.com/growing-fruits/fruit ... rth-texas/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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