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The Easy Job

May 28, 2010

You’ve just been chosen to water. Easy, right? Not really. There are many aspects that go into watering our plants, along with many questions that need to be answered before doing any actual watering.

What is that plant, anyway? What’s its preferred condition: sun or shade, moist or dry? What should it look like?

Where is the plant located? Sometimes baskets filled with the exact same plant need to be watered differently. One may have sun more than the other because of its location. Even though they are planted with the same plant material, the way they are watered has to be adjusted to fit each individual plant.

Do they need to be watered? Some of our plants receive overspray from our grounds team, making them appear to be watered. However, you must check to see if the soil is moist only on top, or if it is deep enough to reach the roots.

Is it planted in the ground or in a container? Containers dry out faster, but plants in the ground may be sharing moisture with trees nearby.

How many neighbors does it have, and are their water requirements the same? Hopefully, those issues were addressed in the planning phase, but you still need to think about those possibilities.

What is the weather like? Is it cool outside or 95 degrees? Is the weather forecast calling for rain? What will your plant look like tomorrow if it doesn’t? We maintain a rainfall chart so we know where we are compared to previous seasons. So far this year has been windy, as well, further drying out the plant material.

Did I mention that half of Busch Gardens need to be watered by 10 a.m.?

While the job may not be easy, it is a rewarding one. By answering each of these questions beforehand, makes you better equipped to make watering an “easy” job.

Horticulturist at Busch Gardens

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